To be commercially successful with a company like AllGoodSpeakers ApS and its German branch Charismatischer.de in an area in which one also conducts research inevitably brings with it the question of a conflict of interest. It is important for me to emphasize here that I take this question seriously, and that I want to deal with it responsibly and transparently. I would also like to emphasize that for me I do not see a conflict of interest in the strict sense. There are various reasons for this, which I would like to briefly explain below. Please note that this statement and all explanations were agreed with the Research Ethics Committee of the University of Southern Denmark (SDU).
The first reason
…is that a conflict of interest in the strict sense always presupposes that the research conducted seeks to achieve a certain desired result. Imagine the typical case of a researcher being paid by a food or tobacco company to analyze the effects of the respective product on the consumer's body and health. A result showing that, for instance, the product’s sugar or fat content is harmful or that smoking significantly increases the risk of cancer would certainly be less desirable on the part of the paying company than the respective opposite result. In the charisma research of me and my colleagues, there is no such desired result. On the contrary, our goal is to understand, analyze and, ultimately, train the complex multimodal system of (non-verbal) signals that determine the perceived charisma of the speaker. Any finding is desirable in this connection and brings us closer to achieving this goal. It does not matter whether a finding contradicts information in the advice literature or not. We have made both types of findings in the past and communicated both equally openly and made them the subject of our analysis and training measures. It also doesn't matter whether a finding comes from our team or not. Accordingly, we always aim to keep an eye on the state of research on the subject of charisma as a whole and, if it makes sense, to implement new knowledge accordingly (with reference to the source, if applicable).
The second reason
…is that we have not published any research that was from the outset carried out with a corporate, commercial perspective. This applies, for example, to the results and metrics behind the PICSA algorithm for charisma assessment, but also to other research on hardware and software that, in the sense of the above example, could be suspected of achieving a desired result. There may be publications that give a different impression, for example in the case of software and hardware tools. In these cases, however, the study in question was either carried out after the tool had been successfully tested and introduced, or it was research that was otherwise externally funded (e.g., in the case of the MARRYS cap).
The third reason
…is that I am not directly financially dependent on the commercial activities of AllGoodSpeakers ApS or Charismatischer.de. Neither am I in a traditional employment relationship with the company based on a regular income nor do I receive any money from the company's activities directly. I just hold shares in the company and do what I do, because I really enjoy building up something, and because it inspires and motivates my spirit of research; and not least because it is very fulfilling to help people, especially those who feel insecure and anxious about public speaking and giving presentations. In view of this, I refer back to the first reason, because one can only help others effectively if one properly understands the production and perception of speaker charisma, regardless of whether a specific result is desirable or not and/or comes from our own team or not.
For the reasons mentioned, I do not see myself and my colleagues in a conflict of interest (COI) in the strict sense, and therefore unfortunately did not consider it necessary (actually not even thought about it) from the outset to refer to such a conflict of interest in publications. However, I would like to thank those colleagues very warmly and sincerely who have drawn my attention to the fact that the mere lack of a COI statement could give the impression that there is a conflict of interest! They are right! I am grateful for the opportunity to make the above explanations explicit, which have prevented me so far from considering adding a COI statement to my publications.
I will refer to this website from now on in all relevant publications. In addition, wherever possible, I will try to add a reference to this website to all those previous papers that there published after AllGoodSpeakers ApS was founded in 2019, especially to those of which I am the first author.
I have also compiled a list of relevant publications below, divided into two groups; one in which I was involved in the data collection (group A) and one in which I was only involved in as an advisor or author (group B). Thank you for the support and for the interest, and I look forward to developing, sharing, discussing, and examining exciting, controversial, or simply remarkable experiences, observations and claims from the field of speaker charisma with you in the future.
With best regards,
Publications of group A (starting with the foundation of AllGoodSpeakers ApS in 2019)
Niebuhr, O. & J. Michalsky (2019). Computer-Generated Speaker Charisma and Its Effects on Human Actions in a Car-Navigation System Experiment - or How Steve Jobs’Tone of Voice Can Take You Anywhere. In Misra, S., Torre, C., Tarantino, E., et al. (Eds.), Lecture Notes in Computer Science (pp. 375–390). New York: Springer Nature.
Niebuhr, O. & K. Fischer (2019). Do not hesitate! – Unless you do it shortly or nasally: How the phonetics of filled pauses determine their subjective frequency and perceived speaker performance. 10th Proc. International Conference of Spoken Language Processing (Interspeech), 544-548.
Niebuhr, O. & J. Michalsky (2019). PASCAL and DPA: A pilot study on using prosodic competence scores to predict communicative skills for team working and public speaking. 10th Proc. International Conference of Spoken Language Processing (Interspeech),306-310.
Niebuhr, O. & R. Skarnitzl (2019). Measuring a speaker's acoustic correlates of pitch - but which? A contrastive analysis for perceived speaker charisma. Proc. 19th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, Melbourne, Australia, 1774-1778.
Gutnyk, A., Niebuhr, O. & Gu, W. (2019). Differences in gender-specific charismatic speech across countries and languages. Proc. 1st International Seminar on the Foundations of Speech, Sondebrorg, Denmark, 27-29.
Niebuhr, O., A. Brem, J. Michalsky & J. Neitsch (2020). Towards quantifying the managerial key competence of charismatic speech – A comparative acoustic-melodic analysis of Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg. Abralin 50, 1-23.
Niebuhr, O., Brem, A., Michalsky, J., & Neitsch, J. (2020). What makes business speakers sound charismatic? A contrastive acoustic-melodic analysis of Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg. Cadernos de Linguistica 1(1), 1-40.
Niebuhr, O. (2020). "Space fighters" on stage-How F1 and F2 vowel-space dimensions contribute to perceived speaker charisma. In: I Siegert, R. Bock, A. Wendemuth (Eds.), Studientexte zur Sprachkommunikation (pp. 265-277). Dresden: TUDPress.
Niebuhr, O. & Neitsch, J. (2020). Digital Rhetoric 2.0: How to Train Charismatic Speaking with Speech-Melody Visualization Software. In: A. Karpov, R. Potapova (Eds.), Lecture Notes in Computer Science (Vol. 12335, Speech & Computer, pp. 357-368). New York: Springer Nature.
Niebuhr, O. (2021). Computer-assisted prosody training beyond foreign language learning: Improving public speakers' vocal charisma with the Web-Pitcher. Revista da Abralin 20(1), 1-29.
Siegert, I., & Niebuhr, O. (2021). Speech Signal Compression Deteriorates Acoustic Cues to Perceived Speaker Charisma. In S. Hillmann, B. Weiss, T. Michael, S. Möller (Eds.), Studientexte zur Sprachkommunikation (pp. 1-11). Dresden: TUDPress.
Erickson, D., Niebuhr, O., Gu, W., Huang, T., & Geng, P. (2020). The MARRYS cap: A new method for analyzing and teaching the importance of jaw movements in speech production. Proc. 11th International Seminar on Speech Production, Yale, USA, 1-5.
Gutnyik, A., Niebuhr, O., & Gu, W. (2021). Speaker charisma analyzed through the cultural lens. IEEE Xplore (Proc. 12th IEEE International Symposium on Chinese Spoken Language Processing, Hong Kong, China), 1-5.
Niebuhr, O. & A. Gutnyk (2021). Pronunciation engineering: Investigating the link between jaw-movement patterns and perceived speaker charisma using the MARRYS cap. IEEE Xplore (Proc. 3rd International Conference on Electrical, Communication, and Computer Engineering), 1-5.
Niebuhr, O. (2021). Advancing higher education practice by analyzing and training students vocal charisma: Evidence from a Danish field study. Proc. 7th International Conference on Higher Education Advances (Head 2021), Valencia, Spain. 1-8.
Publications of group B (starting with the foundation of AllGoodSpeakers ApS in 2019)
Fischer, K., O. Niebuhr, L.C. Jensen, L. Bodenhagen (2019). Speech Melody Matters-How Robots Profit from UsingCharismatic Speech. ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction 9:4.
D'Errico, F., O. Niebuhr & I. Poggi (2019). Humble Voices in Political Communication: A Speech Analysis Across Two Cultures. In Misra, S., Torre, C., Tarantino, E., et al. (Eds.), Lecture Notes in Computer Science (pp. 361–374). New York: Springer Nature.
Michalsky, J., & O. Niebuhr (2019). Myth busted? Challenging what we think we know about charismatic speech. Acta Universitatis Carolinae Philologica, 2019(2), 27-56.
Berger, S., O. Niebuhr, & M. Zellers (2019). A preliminary study of charismatic speech on YouTube: correlating prosodic variation with counts of subscribers, views and likes. 10th Proc. International Conference of Spoken Language Processing (Interspeech), 1761-1765.
Niebuhr, O. & Wrzeczsz, S. (2019). A woman's gotta do what a woman's gotta do, and a man's gotta say what a man's gotta say - Sex-specific differences in the production and perception of persuasive power. Proc. 16th International Pragmatics Conference, Hong Kong, China, 1-2.
Barbosa, P., Niebuhr, O., & Neitsch, J. (2019). Revisiting rhetorical claims of breathing for persuasive speech. Proc. 1st International Seminar on the Foundations of Speech, Sonderborg, Denmark, 103-105.
Michalsky, J., Niebuhr, O., & Penke, L. (2020). Do charismatic people produce charismatic speech? On the relationship between the Big Five personality traits and prosodic features of speaker charisma in female speakers. Proc. 10th International Conference of Speech Prosody, Tokyo, Japan, 700-704.
Niebuhr, O., J. Michalsky, & J. Neitsch. (2020).Der akustische Fingerabdruck stimmlicher Führungsstärke. DEGA - Fachzeitschrift der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Akustik 20, 7-22.
Niebuhr, O. & A. Brem (2020). Dress to impress? On the interaction of attire with prosody and gender in the perception of speaker charisma. In B. Weiß, J. Trouvain, J. Ohala (Eds.), Voice attractiveness: Studies in sexy, likable, and charismatic speakers (pp. 183-213). New York: Springer.
Berger, S., O. Niebuhr & A. Brem (2020). Of voices and votes: Phonetic charisma and the myth of Nixonʼs radio 99 victory in his first 1960 TV debate with Kennedy. In M. Elmentaler, O. Niebuhr (Hrsg.), An den Rändern der Sprache (pp. 99-139). Frankfurt/New York: Peter Lang.
Barbosa, P. & O. Niebuhr (2020). Persuasive speech is a matter of acoustics and chest breathing only. In M. Elmentaler, O. Niebuhr (Hrsg.), An den Rändern der Sprache (pp. 559-589). Frankfurt/New York: Peter Lang.
Siegert, I., & Niebuhr, O. (2021). Case Report: Women, Be Aware that Your Vocal Charisma can Dwindle in Remote Meetings. Frontiers in Communication 5: 611555.
(Last updated: 8 October, 2021)