Is The Voice Mightier Than the Keypad?

by Ann Holtzapple on August 20th, 2015

Text may be all the rage when it comes to getting your message heard quickly, but is it the way to present that message in the very best light? According to “The Sound of Intellect,” a recent paper from the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago, the answer is a resounding “no.” In fact, when it comes to conveying intellect and a “thoughtful mind,” the tried and true human voice has been scientifically proven as superior. Let’s take a closer look at the research, along with what this means for your organization.

The Research Is In
Findings published last month in Psychological Science: A Journal of the Association for Psychological Science reveal that while text-based communications have their advantages, they’re far from the best way to convey information when your endgame is to impress. Why? Because direct vocal cues, including face-to-face visits and phone calls,  are more powerful than indirect ones, like texting and email. Booth School Professor of Behavioral Science and paper co-author Nicholas Epley explains that while words “show that we are alive inside — thoughtful, active….text strips that out.”

The researchers’ conclusions are based on a series of experiments in which students pitched presentations to potential employees via video, audio, and written transcript. While the first two were equal in terms of eliciting a favorable response from audience members, the third fell woefully short — not just in indicating intellect, but also in term of conveying likability and employability.  Neither participants’ aptitudes for public speaking nor their writing ability factored into the findings. In short, audience members liked connecting with people as directly as possible, and rewarded them by walking away with more positive impressions of the individual on the other end of the phone.

What This Means For You
That there’s a time and a place for texting can’t be denied. It’s quick. It’s easy. It’s incredible efficient. But the many benefits of text don’t compare with the power of voice when it comes to certain types of communication. In fact,  according to Dr. Epley, “People abuse text-based mediums like email [and text]. That’s a disaster in a lot of ways. Email is really good for sending a spreadsheet, but it strips out some of your humanity.”

Your takeaway? if your goal is to simply communicate basic information completely devoid of influence or inspiration, texting may suffice. But if you’re looking to connect with your audience — truly connect — than a phone call is far more likely to yield the results you seek. This is where One Call Now enter sthe picture. Offering the ease and speed of texting albeit with a personal touch, One Call Now’s voice broadcast system delivers a best-of-both-worlds solution.

While the old adage goes that “the pen is mightier than the sword,”  in a day and age when pens and swords are semi-obsolete, a new — and unexpected — expression may well be more apt. So is the voice mightier than the keypad or keyboard?  If you’re looking to make the most favorable impression with your team members, clients, and constituents, the imperative for today’s organizations rings loud and clear: voice messaging is the way to go.


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