Advancing research and practice in entrepreneurship through speech analysis – From descriptive rhetorical terms to phonetically informed acoustic charisma profiles

Oliver Niebuhr, Alexander Brem, Silke Tegtmeier


Entrepreneurs aim at introducing innovations into the market, e.g., in the form of new products or services. However, innovations always mean changes, and people tend react reluctantly to changes. Moreover, introducing the innovations into the market is often linked with a higher investment risk. Thus, before ideas can become tangible reality, they first of all need to be "sold", for example, to supervisors, potential investors, and, finally, customers. For these reasons, it is particularly critical for entrepreneurs to have a charismatic way of speaking with which they can persuade others of their ideas. Against this background, we motivate and outline in this concept paper a new interdisciplinary line of research that focuses on the speaker's tone of voice. The new line of research builds upon traditional rhetorical descriptions of a speaker's charismatic tone of voice and is meant to extend and eventually replace this descriptive terminology by an objective acoustically based and perceptually informed tone-of-voice analysis, evaluation, and learning. We outline initial promising findings we have made within this new line of research, also in comparison to the established Charismatic Leadership Tactics (CLTs) whose focus is on the verbal aspects of charismatic speech.

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