What the Sirens Knew

Have you ever met someone who, at first appearance, was breathtakingly gorgeous, only to have that image completely destroyed the first time he or she spoke? I bet most of us can name a few TV or film starts—male or female—who are extremely attractive physically, but when they speak, their voices are distinctly nonseductive. Of course, many "everyday people" have vocal challenges as well. Here are some common symptoms of an untrained voice:

• Some women take on a nagging, whiny, complaining tone. A man who hears such a voice will associate it with a woman who's impossible to please. This is definitely not seductive.

• Some men assume a staccato tone—an impatient, aggressive manner of speaking that can come across as domineering, condescending, or arrogant.

• Some men and women have a tendency to just drone on and on; their normal conversational tone is expressionless, flat, and dull. Either way, it's a turn-off.

• Some men and women may have problems with nervous or careless speech patterns: speaking too rapidly or too loudly, mumbling, and so on.

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