You may be surprised to see this heading in the 'Non-verbal flirting' section, but 'verbal' means 'words' and vocal signals such as tone of voice, pitch, volume, speed of speech, etc. are like body-language in that they are not about what you say, the words you use, but about how you say it.
We noted at the beginning of this 'non-verbal' section that people's first impressions of you are based 55% on your appearance and body language, 38% on your style of speaking and only 7% on what you actually say. In other words, body-language may be your most important 'flirting tool', but vocal signals come a very close second. The more you think about that 38%, the more concerned you will be to ensure that your vocal signals make the best possible impression. An ability to 'read' the vocal signals of the person you are flirting with will also help you to find out how he or she really feels about you.
Attraction and interest, for example, are communicated much more by the tone of voice than by what is actually said. Depending on the tone, volume, speed and pitch, even a simple phrase such as "Good evening" can convey anything from "Wow, you're gorgeous" to "I find you totally uninteresting and I'm looking for an excuse to get away from you as quickly as possible".
If your target gives you a deep-toned, low pitched, slow, drawn-out "Good evening", with a slight rising intonation at the end, as though asking a question, this is probably an indication of attraction or at least interest. If you get a short, high-pitched, clipped "Good evening", or a monotone, expressionless version, your target is probably not interested in you.
Once you are in conversation, remember that the intonation of even a single word can communicate an immense variety of emotions and meanings. As an experiment, try practising variations in your intonation of the one-word response "Yeah", and you will find that you can communicate anything from enthusiastic agreement to grudging acceptance to varying degrees of scepticism to total disbelief.
If you speak in a monotone, with little variation in pitch, pace or tone of voice, you will be perceived as boring and dull, even if what you are saying is truly fascinating or exceptionally amusing. Loud volume, a booming tone and too much variation in pitch will make you seem overbearing. Speak too quietly or too slowly and you will seem submissive or even depressed. Aim for moderation in volume and tone, with enough variation in pitch and pace to hold your companion's interest.
Also remember that a rising or falling intonation, especially when accompanied by a drop in volume, is a 'turn-yielding cue', whereby speakers signal that they have finished what they are saying and are ready to listen to the other person. When you hear these vocal signals, your companion is probably indicating that it is your turn to speak. When your companion hears these signals, he or she may well assume that you are 'yielding' the floor. If you frequently end sentences on a rising or falling intonation, with a drop in volume, and then carry on without allowing your companion to speak, he or she will become frustrated. Taking your turn when your companion has not given any vocal 'turn-yielding cues', even if he or she has finished a sentence, will be perceived as interruption, and is equally irritating.
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