Can A Voice Make or Break A President?

Tonight is the first Presidential debate and we all are in an analyzing mode as we consider our country’s leader for the next four years. As a voice image specialist, I just completed an interview for Detroit’s channel 7 news evaluating the voices of John Kerry and President George Bush. It will be aired at noon and 5:00 PM tonight.

Here are some of my observations:

In my interview in analyzing Bush and Kerry’s voice I said that Bush has a more personal vocal style, using vocal inflections and range, hesitancies to add the human quality, and smiling especially when he wanted to connect with his listeners. Kerry on the other hand, has a more direct straight tone to his voice, not much fluctuation, and tended to drone, in a somewhat militaristic style.

In other scenarios, such as walking through the crowd, both candidates are effective as they smile and shake hands with those in the audience. Bush seems to bring that up to the platform with him, whereas Kerry shifts into a serious stance. When Bush says something that receives applause, he stops, looks around, and acknowledges his audience. Kerry, on the other hand, keeps his nose to his notes.
My suggestion is that Kerry lighten up and be more personable when on the platform, and smile more to connect as he does when he is moving among the crowd.

After the shooting one of the camera crew said, “Your voting for Bush, right?” making that assumption because I felt Bush has a stronger voice image. I laughed and told him my evaluation was purely from a professional stance. That I was not being political only straight in what I was observing.

After the debate: 


I enjoyed the debate and thought Kerry came across more relaxed then Bush by the end of the program (guess he took my advice). Bush, on the other hand, in a subtle way, reflected some agitation in some of the rhetoric. Isn’t it interesting how we analyze every winch, gesture, and movement as we look for clues in how we will vote or ways to
confirm the decision we have already made?

Food for thought: What does the voice of the ideal President sound like?


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