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Vocal Fry is a subconscious behavior typically exhibited by young women who artificially lower the register of their voice and "fry" out, or make a growling sound, often at the end of thoughts. If you really want to geek out on this, here is the full study.
And an example of how it has begun to infiltrate commercial media:
By "uptalk," I mean this:
"Mastery is the process of going from unconscious incompetence, to conscious incompetence, to conscious competence, to unconscious competence." The origin of this quote is disputable, but the truth of it is not. I like this saying so much it's featured on the front page of my website. This truth is sort of the diet-and-exercise of behavior change. It isn't glamorous, but it's the approach that works best. What we start with is behavior that doesn't work for our purposes. What we want is behavior that will support our goals. The first step is recognizing the behavior. Luckily, as the above quote indicates, this whole process has four steps, not 12!
The second step, conscious incompetence, tends to be the most difficult - we know what we're doing and notice the behavior we want to change just after we've done it. Luckily, it gets easier from there - especially with some good techniques, coaching and self-reflection.
Is it fair that people may be judged and even dismissed based on mannerisms such as vocal inflection and tone when they are otherwise competent and capable? Probably not. Does it matter if it's fair? Definitely not. The judgment of senior management is usually as subconscious as the behaviors they judge. Only we have an advantage: we have the ability to change and positively impact this impression! As a speech coach it is my mission to help those who are ready and willing to make those changes and thus remove obstacles to good, confident communication.