Initial results of GPB-Vox research

GPB has been undertaking research with its Associate, the Vox Institute through 2011 and 2012. The research will be reviewed at a scientifc conference, and published in mid-late 2012 in a scientific journal. The research asked a key question in business development and more generally in spoken communications:

Research Question: “Do we prefer to talk to people who sound like us, or do we prefer to listen to people with good voices irrespective of whether they sound like us?”

The answer to this question has a bearing on the validity of the concept of ‘mirroring and matching’ often cited as a key skill in Business Development.

This research has involved GPB in gathering data from many of its clients, mostly during our workshops, so first of all we thank the many who have agreed to participate. We asked each person to record their voices for about a minute, describing their job to an important conversaion partner. We then asked each person to listen to four similar recordings made by a woman, and four similar recordings made by a man. A questionnaire asked our clients to assess the voices they heard for pleasantness, dynamism, clarity, competence and credibility.

The data has been sent to the Vox Institute in Geneva, where statistical analysis has started on the data. Early results are in (February 28th 2012), and 55 statistically significant correlations have been found. These will then be checked, and further analysis is now developing the findings into more valuable, and fewer, interpretations.