Phonetic exponents of charismatic speech

Talk by Oliver Niebuhr, SDU

2018.01.02 | Anne-Mette Pedersen

Date Thu 01 Mar
Time 12:00 14:00
Location IMC Meeting Room, Jens Chr. Skous Vej 4, Building 1483-312


Some speakers draw us under their spell. We cannot help but listen to them, we believe in what they tell us, and we are willing to adopt their opinions, attitudes, and/or agendas. Attracting attention as well as gaining and persuading followers without having any formal authority is the essence of charisma. In perception, charisma is a complex bundle of signals and actions; however, the non-verbal cues, in particular those associated with the speaker's tone of voice, play a key role. The present talk provides an overview of statements and findings on a charismatic tone of voice and sketches how acoustic-phonetic analyses can help putting the evaluation and training of this key component of charismatic speech on a new footing that is quantitative, objective and operates at a new level of detail and technical support.


Oliver Niebuhr is Associate Professor of Communication and Innovation at the Institute of Design and Communication, University of Southern Denmark. Additionally, he represents the speech-sciences branch of the Innovation Research Cluster Alsion (IRCA). Before joining the SDU, Oliver Niebuhr worked as an interdisciplinary post-doc researcher at the universities of Aix-Marseille (France) and York (UK), and was appointed Junior Professor of Spoken Language Analysis at Kiel University (Germany), where he also chaired the Kiel research center on "Speech & Emotion". 

About the speaker: Oliver Niebuhr, SDU Electrical Engineering, Mads Clausen Institute, Sonderborg