The 'influencer accent' is all over TikTok. Here's what it sounds like. If you end statements as if they're questions and speak with vocal fry, you may have "TikTok voice."

Do you have 'TikTok voice'? It's OK if you don't want to get rid of it

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Hi there. It's Steve Inskeep. I just wanted to hop on here and say a few things. The way I'm talking now is the way some content creators speak on TikTok, and it's known as influencer speak or TikTok voice. It's a combination uptalk, where you sound like a question when it's not a question. And the other element is vocal fry.

LAURA PURCELL VERDUN: Broadly, this upspeak - this upspeak - with talking does have a tendency to suggest hesitancy questioning, you know, less-than-assured tones, youthfulness.


Laura Purcell Verdun is a speech therapist and communication coach. She's had dozens of clients come to her because they want to get rid of these speech traits.

PURCELL VERDUN: The vocal fry is noisy. So if they're in noisy environments, whether it's a restaurant or a boardroom, you need to be able to speak up. You need to have a strong, clear voice. Noisier voices that are more vocal fry just don't carry.

INSKEEP: Adam Aleksic, known as the Etymology Nerd on TikTok, says the trend came out of the Valley Girl accent.

ADAM ALEKSIC: It's sort of a prestige dialect on the internet that also helps with platform retention. When viewers are listening, they want to keep listening to people when they have uptick in their voice.

FADEL: Now, recently, some TikTokers started mocking the accent. One of the first to do that was Natalya Toryanski. The content creator made a parody video of the quote "cadence of every bland influencer" after she caught herself doing it.


NATALYA TORYANSKI: Hi, you guys, I wanted to show you the best sweet treat.

INSKEEP: (Laughter) The video struck a chord, so she made 18 more, which have received a total of 23 million views.

TORYANSKI: It's something that a lot of people were aware of and perceiving, but nobody was really talking about it.

FADEL: Research shows young women have a major influence on linguistic changes, but speech therapist Purcell Verdun says anyone can fall prey to TikTok voice, even Steve Inskeep.

PURCELL VERDUN: These features of speaking - the vocal fry and the upward inflections - are pervasive. That's not just in the United States, and it's pervasive across genders as well.

INSKEEP: In order to get rid of the TikTok voice, Purcell Verdun recommends listening to a recording of yourself.

FADEL: Steve, do you listen to your pieces and think, I'm falling prey to TikTok voice?

INSKEEP: Well, yes. No.

FADEL: But your job is to ask questions.

INSKEEP: I don't really fall prey to TikTok voice.

FADEL: You do not.

INSKEEP: But I do listen back sometimes and critique myself and think, man, I didn't sound right there or whatever. And you try to learn, and it's actually a process of getting to the - to where you talk more like yourself.

FADEL: Yeah. Same, same.


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