I’m a devoted audiophile. Beautiful voices, moving soundtracks, simple things like the base rumbles in a well-produced film: all give me great pleasure. By contrast, a single slurp can kill me.

I find it interesting what happens when a calm voice expresses clear ideas in a very few words. It can stop a room. People pause to listen in. For great theatrical examples, take Benedict Cumberbatch’s monologues as a Star Trek villain, or Anthony Hopkins behind the glass verbally dancing with Clarice.

I see it in speeches too. The louder a presenter bellows, and the longer he sustains emotional frenzy, the less seriously he is taken.

The point relates not merely to volume. It’s also applicable to emphasis, where emotional froth is the enemy of impact. The editors at Penguin (and every other reputable publishing house) strike out exclamation marks and hyperbole on sight, and writing is the stronger for it. They rightly assume that readers get the point without the need to drag them through a tedious emotional wringer at every turn.

VW advise people who work on their advertising that ‘you don’t have to shout. The customer can hear you.’

The temptation as we wade through a world of sirens is to try to be an even louder siren. It’s a mistake. The human mind doesn’t take the louder siren more seriously, and hammering it home with excruciating emotion actually communicates hollowness, not clarity of thought nor credible leadership.

The still, quiet, reasonable voice, saying much in few words, is a different proposition. It feels like wisdom.

Experts don’t yell. Pounding the podium is for hucksters. Speak softly and carry a big idea.

Douglas Kruger is a bestselling author and international speaker. Meet him at www.douglaskruger.com