What Does Your Voice Say About You?
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What is a "presidential voice"?  What voices do we like?  Politicians hire consultants to help them with their clothes, their hair and their speeches, but one central trait often gets ignored: their voices. Vocal cords play a strong role in shaping public images, and we're very good at picking up vocal clues to personality, even if we don't realize it.  Listen to the audio file and answer the following questions.

1. How is the voice of Henry Kissinger, former US Secretary of State, described?  Fill in the blanks.

He sounds like a , with a   cigarette

habit, who has just swallowed .

2. Our voices reveal essential clues about who we are.  List some adjectives used to describe voices.

3. What characteristic is linked with authoritative voices?

4. What other quality besides authority do we want from a public voice?

5. How do some people describe Al Gore's voice?

6. List some good and bad qualities of former President Clinton's voice.

7. What criticism is made of British Prime Minister Tony Blair's voice and how could this characteristic be detrimental to his credibility?

8. Discuss the comments made about Barack Obama's voice.  Do you think his voice is an asset or a liability?

9. What challenge does Hillary Clinton face?

10. Why and how does Mahatma Gandhi's voice fit his message?

11. Do you assume a different voice and/or personality when you are speaking in your second language?  If so, describe the differences.