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Variance: Swimming Upstream

Yesterday, I gave a talk to a Women in Tech group.

One of these women asked, “Should we just lower the pitch of our voices if that gives us more authority?” She was referring to an often-cited 2012 study that indicates that people give more authority to deep, male-sounding voices. I have some issues with the study (available here) including the mean age of the subjects (20.6 years old), especially as what is considered authoritative shifts with experience. But, in any event, the study doesn’t really impact my answer to the question. Which is, absolutely not.

You can take a study of 72 young people and let it shape you in the image you believe society expects, but that is not thriving. Adaptation works for survival but often it fails fulfillment. To be fully yourself — to let your voice and your thoughts enter the world in alignment with who you are — is a practice in the willingness to swim upstream. Of course, the current wants compliance. It will try to convince you to go with the flow.

But, the right to resonate from your body, to make the sound your body has created for you. One that is fully supported by air. A sound backed by the full intention of your neurology and the full alignment of your body. That right should not be denied to anyone. That is how a human being — male, female, or non-binary — should let their voice enter the room.

When encountering a society built upon the silencing of some voices — not because of their beliefs but because of their perceived personhood — it is likely better to just swim the other way.

This Friday at 12:30 pm EDT, Gina will be live on FB. These will be short voice alignment sessions aimed at voice skills building. Watch it on the GROW Voice FB page. I hope to see you there.

Gina Razón is the Founder and CEO at GROW Voice LLC, a full-service verbal communication studio in Boston’s Back Bay.  She has over two decades of experience as a teacher of voice and speech, is a communication and change facilitator, and is a voraciously curious voice user.  Gina has worked professionally as a classical singer for over a decade and more recently as a professional public speaker.  For more information on the studio or to book Gina visit

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