Margaret Thatcher - Voice Before-and-After Lessons

When Margaret Thatcher's colleagues wanted to help improve her image, Laurence Olivier - the famous actor - suggested that she work with a tutor at the National Theatre.

Her lessons there included humming exercises, directed at lowering her pitch.  Studies of her before-and-after voice - as heard on this video clip - reveal she had successfully lowered her pitch 46 Hz.

According to Max Atkinson, author of Our Masters' Voices, that makes her results "almost half the average difference in pitch between male and female voices."

By changing her voice, to speak with a lower pitch, Mrs. Thatcher also slowed-down her speech.  According to Atkinson, that is a natural result:

...the human voice-production system is organized in such a way that reductions in pitch involve physiological processes which tend to slow down the speed at which we speak.  (This, and the above quote, from Our Masters' Voices:  Language and Body Language of Politics, by Max Atkinson, page 113.)

When we compare the before-and-after videos, of Mrs. Thatcher, we note that she speaks more slowly post-voice instruction.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5197stories and lessons created

Original Release: Oct 07, 2013

Updated Last Revision: Jun 02, 2016

Media Credits

Video clip of Margaret Thatcher's before-and-after voice pitch, online courtesy BBC. 


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"Margaret Thatcher - Voice Before-and-After Lessons" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Jun 02, 2020.
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