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0338 – The Anniversary Party Analysis

Season 1, Ep. 338

2021.12.04 – 0338 – The Anniversary Party Analysis

VOCAL PROXEMICS AND THE FOUR VARIETIES OF VOCAL VOLUME

Your natural volume

We are not ‘prehistorically programmed’ to speak to people that we can’t see, let alone speak to millions of people all at once but supposedly in a friendly one-to-one conversational way. The two elements are in dichotomy. So, we try and manipulate our mind to create a false version of reality.

 

Let’s take a step back, and consider what we do naturally.

 

Picture this: your lovely uncle and aunt who you’re very fond of (and they love you back) have invited you for a barbecue to celebrate their wedding anniversary, and you knock on the door and step back as uncle opens it. You say hi and also say hello to your aunt down the hallway you’ve just spotted. You are shown into the garden and you chat with them both for a while. Your uncle moves away to the barbecue and calls over asking what you’d like, and you reply. Then your aunt suggests you get out of the sun and carry on chatting on the made-for-two garden bench, where she whispers the surprise gift that she has got for her husband. Later you talk with some of their neighbours you have met for the first time, who ask you to repeat a funny story one of them had heard about you, and then you make a speech to the whole gathering to honour your aunt and uncle’s anniversary.

 

Now think of the different voices you used in those few minutes:

·        To uncle as he opened the door

·        To aunt who you spotted down the hallway

·        To them both as you stood in the garden

·        To uncle over by the barbecue

·        To aunt as you sat together on the garden bench sharing a secret

·        To the neighbours

·        And then to the ‘whole garden’.

 

Now consider what changes to cause you to alter the volume and tone of your voice:

·         To uncle as he opened the door

o   You know him, he was alone, probably about a metre away, it’s the start of a fun, social day

·        To aunt who you spotted down the hallway

o   You know her, she was say, six metres away, by herself but beyond your uncle who is close beside you, it’s the start of a fun, social day

·        To them both as you stood in the garden

o   They are together, you are outside, each of them is probably half a metre away

·        To uncle over by the barbecue

o   He’s outside say, three metres away, behind the barbecue

·        To aunt as you sat together on the garden bench

o   As it’s a made-for-two bench you are right next to each other and indeed touching, and you have a conspiratorial conversation

·        To the group of neighbours

o   Each of them probably about a metre from you, further than your aunt and uncle stood as you are less ‘personal’ with them, and there are several of them, standing outdoors and you are trying to ‘impress’

·        To all the guests at once when you thanked and congratulated your hosts

o   There were more people, at a greater distance, and you are trying to engage and entertain.


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