You may not have noticed vocal fry before, but once you recognize it, you'll hear it everywhere. Most famously used by the Kardashians, vocal fry is the sound made when someone speaks in a low tone, so their vocal cords are relaxed, but without much force behind the breath. The result is a rough, gravelly voice. You'll generally hear it at the end of sentences, and it gives the impression of a relaxed, more casual style of interaction.
Unfortunately, vocal fry can also give a negative impression, especially in a professional setting.
Because it sounds casual, people sometimes interpret those using it as uninterested or unambitious. This is especially true for women, and research has shown that it can even affect their professional success. In fact, although men and women both use vocal fry, people tend to notice it and interpret it negatively more often in women.
Since it can have such a powerful effect on how people view you, this is a habit you should work to eliminate, especially in professional settings. The first step is to find out if you're doing it. People are notoriously unaware of how their own voice sounds, which is why recordings of your own voice sound so strange. Record yourself in a normal conversation, then listen for vocal fry.
If you hear yourself using vocal fry and decide that you do want to break this habit, there is help. A speech therapist can help you work on techniques to combat it, such as breath control and shifting the pitch of your voice slightly higher. Unlike serious speech issues, vocal fry can be corrected quickly and effectively. As a result, you will come across as more polished and professional.
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