Sound Communication: The Holdcom Blog

Professional Human Voice: What the Public Wants to Hear

Are we neglecting the power of our own unique voice? Businesses across many industries are using computer generated voices to motivate their audience instead of reaching them through the authenticity of real human speech. Although synthetic speech is utilized in various business applications, studies have concluded that the professional human voice is responded to more positively. Researchers at the University of Missouri and Stanford University theorize that humans react more positively to speech that sounds similar to their own. These studies suggest that human narrated speech is the most valuable type of audio for communication and customer engagement strategies. Now the question is: Is your voice more comparable to a computer synthesized voice or an actual human voice?Public prefers human narrated speech

The University of Missouri Study: “The Use of Human Voice as a Relationship Building Strategy on Social Media Networking Sites.”

  • This study found that audio becomes most engaging when there is a connection between you and your audience. 
    • Professional voice over talents are trained to emphasize key points, create an identity, and give proper voice inflections.
  • The human voice proves to be a critical component when building a relationship, interacting , and communicating with consumers and colleagues. Voice communication is often necessary, especially when exceeding customers' expectations and positioning your business as truly professional.

Stanford University Study: "Does Computer-Synthesized Speech Manifest Personality? Experimental Tests of Recognition, Similarity-Attraction, and Consistency-Attraction"

  • This study assessed how web merchants reacted to computer-synthesized speech. The study found that subjects responded more positively to a voice talent recording than to synthetic speech, because the voice talent sounded more like their own voice. The study confirmed that people prefer consistency in behavior because it's easier to understand and predict.
  • Conductors of the Stanford study, Dr. Clifford Nass and Dr. Kwain Lee gave their findings of the study, "To maximize liking and trust, designers should set parameters, for example, words per minute or frequency range, that create a personality that is consistent with the user and the content being presented."


These studies both determined that the human voice impacts audiences significantly more than computer generated speech technology. Professional human speech possesses a personal and emotional touch that synthesized words cannot articulate. Proper voice inflection, emphasis, identity, tone, and pace are all key factors to consider when developing an audio message. Unfortunately, computerized speech cannot achieve these dynamic capabilities. When comparing the pros and cons of text-to-speech and human interpreted reading, consider the value of the unique personal touch that the human voice offers. For example, script writers use human audio because it enables a more appealing and persuasive description of a product or service. Because people react better to hearing a human voice, make sure to use human audio in your marketing and communication efforts.


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Tags: resources, customer experience, voice talent