Voices Carry

It's Not What You Say.

It's how you say it. Here are three voices Anna Bernstein loves:

1. Patrick Stewart: "His natural voice is soothing and sexy. He has the unique ability to sound attractive to both men and women."

2. Lauren Bacall: "She pronounces everything so clearly, yet doesn't sound as if she's trying. Her smoky register is a gift, and she knows how to let it rise and fall."

3. Madeline K. Albright: "She always sounds dignified and serious, yet human. She allows her personality into her voice, but you always know she's the Secretary of State. Her throat is open when she speaks, which signals she's being honest."

Three voices Bernstein wants to help:

1. Al Gore: "He's been pumping up the volume in his speeches in an effort to sound more exciting. He should use pitch rather than loudness."

2. Maria Bartolomo, CNBC's "Money Honey": "'Maria, please stop shouting in the floor of the Exchange!' We would be much happier listening to her if she let her voice drop to its natural bottom."

3. Sen. Phil Gramm (R-TX): "Nasal, nasal, nasal! He pushes so hard into his nasal cavity that he sounds forced and insincere. It turns off more people than it impresses and makes him appear stubborn."

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Geoff Williams has written for numerous publications, including Entrepreneur, Consumer Reports, LIFE and Entertainment Weekly. He also is the author of Living Well with Bad Credit.

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This article was originally published in the May 1999 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Voices Carry.

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