Tag Archives: vocal creak

Vocal creak. Why is it ‘bad’?

So.  There is a vocal phenomenon going on that is garnering a lot of negative press. It is known as ‘vocal creak’, ‘vocal fry’ or ‘creaky phonation’.  It is most often heard at the end of people’s phrases when they are speaking, and predominantly in young women. A major example of this style of speaking is Kim Kardashian and her sisters.

kim

Example of vocal creak:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02rcmb6

It has a few major disadvantages, mainly on how you are perceived by others. When we speak, the listener subconsciously forms a range of judgements about us. This is instantaneous and has a big impact on how they receive our words, therefore our ideas.

If you have a habit of trailing off when you speak into ‘vocal creak’, the danger is that it can be perceived as any of the following;

You don’t really care about what you are saying
You have little or no authority
You have little or no integrity
Your ideas are not important
You don’t value the listener and their time
You are not mature (as it is associated with young women, especially teenagers)

So, you can see how that may have a negative impact on your professional life, especially as a woman.

The good news is that you already know how to speak without vocal creak, as most of your speech will be without creak.  All you have to do is keep the vocal energy going till the end of your phrase.

EXERCISE:  Try recording yourself free-speaking on a subject such as what you did last weekend, and listen back. Notice if you vocal creak at the end.  Now try a few of the same phrases again but this time aiming for the last word. By that I mean, make the last word stand out a little bit.  It is partly a psychological commitment of being present with your speech while speaking. Experiment with it. and you will be able to reduce or even remove vocal creak from your speech.