A megaphone and authority.

To me, a megaphone sounds like authority. Most people may agree with that, when someone starts speaking through a megaphone, you tend to pay attention. I’ve thought about that for a while, why does the megaphone project that feel?

One thought was they are commonly used by police and large crowd situations to get messages across about where to go and what to do. So, as a result it became associated with authority. However, unruly mobs and protestors without authority use them too at times, and it still has an authoritative sound to it to me, even if I don’t believe in what I’m hearing.

So to me, I believe it’s the sound and the tempo that can be achieved with it that isn’t possible otherwise. We’ve all been yelled at some point in our life. We know loud noises sound more powerful than quiet ones, but there are some physical limits to the human body, namely lung capacity. To make a louder noise, you must expel more air, which with a fixed lung capacities means naturally the words have to be sped up before the lungs run out of air to say the final words. So it comes out loud and in a faster than normal tempo. It’s not possible to speak loudly and slowly without considerably gasping for breath.

A megaphone flips that. You can talk in a calm, meter tone which also projects authority, but then the technology amplifies the volume for you adding authority.

Like the megaphone, there are ways to get more people to listen to you more closely in order to make the case that you want to be heard. You need to keep a look out though, and pay attention to see them.