The University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research conducted this study on how different speech characteristics influence an audience’s decisions during telephone surveys. The conclusions of this study suggest certain patterns of persuasive speech.
- Those who talk fast are seen as fast-talkers out to pull the wool over our eyes.
- Those who talk slow are seen as not too bright or overly pedantic.
- Those who use pauses in their speech are seen as more persuasive than those who were perfectly fluent. However, those who pause too much are seen as inarticulate.
Idea for Impact: The results of this study suggest that to persuade others, you need to speak moderately quickly, pause often, and not be too animated. In addition, you need to speak slowly and clearly to sound more thoughtful and less nervous.