In today's hotly competitive workplace, everyone needs to be a good public speaker, or at least an effective verbal communicator. Emails, tweets and Facebook posts just don't cut it when you're trying to make an impression on bosses, business partners, colleagues and customers.
But how are people really hearing you?
Well, there's a cloud service with a mobile iOS app coming out later this month that will help speakers understand how listeners might be perceiving them.
A startup company called Beyond Verbal has a service whereby a customer sends a recording (at least 12 seconds in length), and special analytics software provides nearly instant feedback about the mood, attitude and emotion of the speaker regardless of the language and content.
It's similar to reading body language, only with voice.
Beyond Verbal claims its voice-analytics software is based on 18 years of research by physicists and neuropsychologists who have conducted more than 60,000 test subjects in 26 languages. It provides primary and secondary moods, as well as the speaker's level of control, from calmness to anxiety.
If you're still not getting it, here's the software at work analyzing Steve Jobs talking about the Apple iPad in one of his last interviews:
In comparison, here's Tim Cook discussing the iTunes Festival:
While the voice-analytics software might be able to detect a marketer who isn't really enthusiastic in his product pitch, perhaps because he doesn't believe in the product, it's important to note that the software is not a lie detector. A competent Hollywood actor, for instance, can deliver the correct emotions of her character, and Beyond Verbal software will reflect this in her speech.
However, the software can help speakers, presenters and call center agents perfect their craft.
Tom Kaneshige covers Apple, BYOD and Consumerization of IT for CIO.com. Follow Tom on Twitter @kaneshige. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline, Facebook, Google + and LinkedIn. Email Tom at email@example.com