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Voicing the facts

Voicing the facts
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Your larynx is much more than just a noise-making organ. Check out these fun facts about the voice box and what your tone gives away about you.

Airplane chatter can cause damage

Airplane chatter can cause damage
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If you talk or sing for a living, you may want to avoid chatting on flights as much as possible. Dr Gregory Postma, ENT physician, says air on planes has about 8 to 12 percent humidity, which is about as dry as the Simpson desert. Air with very little moisture is tough on the vocal cords, so keeping talking to a minimum could help protect your voice.

Here are 13 things smart travellers always do before a flight.

You could be a voice professional

You could be a voice professional
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Would your job be significantly harder or impossible to do if you lost your voice? Then you might be considered a professional voice user. According to a study by Dr Robert T. Sataloff, professor and chair of otolaryngology at Drexel University, a professional voice user is someone whose ability to earn a living is impacted negatively by the loss of vocal quality and endurance. Most people think this label is only for singers, actors and broadcast personalities, but it also extends to teachers, receptionists, telemarketers, salespeople and other professions.

Trying to protect your larynx? Don’t whisper!

Trying to protect your larynx? Don’t whisper!
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You may be tempted to whisper to conserve your voice if you have laryngitis or a sore throat, but that could actually damage your pipes even more. “We advise people not to whisper as whispering is, in fact, harder on your voice than speaking in a normal tone,” said Dr Postma. It’s better to use your voice gently and quietly versus forcing your vocal cords to squeeze together tightly through whispering.

Watch for these 6 subtle signs of acid reflux you might be ignoring.

Babies know their mum’s voice before they’re born

Babies know their mum’s voice before they’re born
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Singing to your bun in the oven may not be falling on deaf ears. At 25 weeks of development, your baby can already recognise and respond to your voice, says Forrest Talley, PhD, a clinical psychologist. Once they’re born, babies also show a clear preference and recognition for their mother’s voice over other female voices that they hear.

There’s a scientific reason you hate your own voice

There’s a scientific reason you hate your own voice
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When you talk, energy bounces around in your mouth, throat and through your head, directly to the inner portion of your ear, Aaron Johnson, PhD, a speech and language pathologist told Reader’s Digest. Other people can’t sense the vibrations in your mouth, so you hear your own voice differently than they do. When you hear your voice in a recording, you sound brighter or higher than what you’re used to, which you may find irritating.

Learn more about why you hate the sound of your own voice.

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Your voice gives away a lot of information about you

Your voice gives away a lot of information about you
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“You had me at hello” might not seem like a crazy phrase considering evidence shows that the sound of a person’s voice can give away important information about them. According to multiple studies, listeners hearing voice samples can guess personality traits, socioeconomic status, and even attributes like height, age and weight of the speaker. In fact, someone hearing your voice can potentially guess your physical features as accurately as someone examining a photo of you.

Learn 6 annoying speaking habits you have, according to science.

You’re not shouting at parties on purpose

You’re not shouting at parties on purpose
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Have you ever talked to someone with your headphones on and realised you were shouting at them by accident? Well, it’s not entirely your fault. Jason Galster, PhD, Starkey Hearing Technologies Senior Manager of Audiology Research, says everyone naturally raises their voice in loud environments. This is called the Lombard effect – a speaker’s involuntary increase or change in voice, pitch, rate and duration of syllables when in loud environments.

Learn the 12 small habits that reveal a lot about your personality.

Your pitch can reveal your attraction

Your pitch can reveal your attraction
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You’ve probably heard that men lower their voices when they’re flirting with a woman, but did you know that women instinctively do the same? A study found that “both sexes used a lower-pitched voice and showed a higher level of physiological arousal when speaking to the more attractive, opposite-sex target.” The next time you’re talking to someone you find good-looking, listen carefully to see if their pitch lowers, even slightly – it might signal that they’re into you!

Discover 13 things scientifically proven to make you more attractive.

People can judge you based on the first word out of your mouth

People can judge you based on the first word out of your mouth
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You don’t have to say much for people to judge you, but what about just saying one single word? It turns out, people may gauge your trustworthiness and dominance from a simple greeting. About 500 listeners who were part of a University of Glasgow study judged the trustworthiness of voices only saying “hello.” Researchers found that voices that “have personality” or variations are perceived as more trustworthy than those that remained mostly flat.

Discocer 8 ways to use body language to build trust.

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