Few of the great silent film stars survived the arrival of the talking movies in 1927. They simply lacked verbal impact. Even the great Ruldolph Valentino couldn't overcome his small, squeaky voice.

The Power of Vocal Control

In 1985, Peter Blanck and his associate researchers proved that California juries were twice as likely to convict defendants in criminal trials when judges knew of defendants' prior felony convictions, even though the law forbids judges to share that information with juries. How could that be? The researchers found that when the judges gave their final instructions to the jury in cases involving previously convicted defendants, the judges' words lacked warmth, tolerance, and patience; the judges, communicated ...

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