From Wired – Persuade Someone:
There’s a science and an art to persuasion. Researchers at the U of Michigan analyzed the speech of 100 interviewers as they tried to persuade people to participate in a survey. Here’s what they learned.
TALK FAST: Researchers found that optimal persuasive speed is a little faster than normal – about 3.5 words per second. Hyperspeed can sound shady, and slow-talkers come across as dull or didactic. (Note: Odd – Seems everyone coaches … slow down)
TAKE A BREATH: Interviewers who spoke perfectly were the least likely to hook a listener. It’s best to pause about every 20 seconds.
MIND YOUR PITCH: Get enthused but be wary of being too boisterous. Men who varied their pitch a lot were less persuasive that those who didn’t. But women who varied their pitch were more successful that those (women) who didn’t. As with men, a lower pitch also helped slightly, which was a surprise, because research has shown that higher female voices are viewed as more attractive.”