Does Smiling Affect Your Voiceover Tone?

You know the old trick, smile before you answer the phone and you will have a happier tone of voice. But is it true or just an old wives tale?

A new study from the University of Portsmouth, U.K.. says that a smile is something that you can actually hear in a voice, and that an attentive listener can pick up on different types of smiles.

There are 3 different kinds of smiles according to the study:
1. The Duchenne smile, which is a big toothy smile, with the lips drawn back, the cheeks raised, and little crinkles around the eyes.
2. The non-Duchenne smile, which isvery similar to the Duchenne smile but without the eye crinkles, so its more of a surface smile, not as deep as the first one.
3. Lastly there is the suppressed smile, which is what happens when you’re trying not to smile while you’re speaking p. This usually happens when you are trying to stay serious and you are pulling your lips in or down as you speak.

It’s interesting to learn that a smile not only crosses language barriers but also airwaves. It can be transmitted even without seeing the speaker.

This is a good tip to remember when you are planning and implementing your next voiceover, commercial, or on hold message. Media Sound would love to help you write any scripts or voice directing prompts to ensure you get across your complete message including those parts that remain unsaid.

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One response to “Does Smiling Affect Your Voiceover Tone?”

  1. Trina says:

    Nice post! And yes, I can 'hear' a smile when I talk to my closest friends. I'll take note of this when I start looking for someone to do a voiceover. As a customer myself, I don't want to be treated as another person to talk to while the reps are on-the-job. It would be nice to soothe customers starting with a smile, something that I guess a good company would do. 

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