That is interesting you should mention this. A study sponsored by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau is due to release a study entitled, "Evacuation commands for optimal passenger management" by Ms. Lauren Thomas of Cranfield University. It will be an interesting read when it comes out later this year.
For some reason I am convinced that although the Air France cabin crew were calm, they were still shouting commands. (See Below)
From my understanding, it has long been cited that ASSERTIVE cabin crew using positive commands can significantly reduce pax evacuation times. Some researchers have indicated that being LOUD and even to the point of being PUSHY can get passengers to get out faster. (Saying, for instance, "MOVE IT
Time can be essential. A TWA memo I read cited that if the cabin is on fire during an evacuation, flashover can occur in as little as 90 seconds-- the benchmark for evacuation trials with half the exits blocked. So the faster people get out, the better.
Emergency commands can also be important to ensure passengers adopt a brace position, leave baggage, or to take life-vests, so I don't doubt its value.
Here are some variations I have heard:
"RELEASE YOUR SEAT
BELT! LEAVE EVERYTHING BEHIND! GET
OUT! YOU AND
YOU, STAY AT
THE BOTTOM OF
THE SLIDE, HELP PEOPLE OFF. YOU, SEND THEM AWAY. JUMP, SLIDE! JUMP, SLIDE! JUMP, SLIDE, MOVE AWAY!" -Canadian
BELT-EVACUATE! JUMP AND
SLIDE!" - Several EU carriers
BELT! GET UP
OUT! JUMP, JUMP, JUMP..."
"RELEASE YOUR SEAT
BELT AND GET
OUT! RELEASE YOUR SEAT
BELT AND GET
OUT! COME THIS WAY, FORM TWO LINES. COME THIS WAY, FORM TWO LINES! JUMP! JUMP! JUMP!"
Also, check out this video at http://www.youtube.com/?v=lr19mz9XmeU
... it is an emergency "ditching" drill on what I believe is a Filipino carrier.
(TSB Report on Air France Flight 358 Overrrun)
Evacuation and Emergency Response
After the aircraft stopped, flight attendants observed a fire outside the aircraft and gave the evacuation order. The airport's emergency response services (ERS) personnel and vehicles arrived on site within a couple of minutes of the aircraft coming to rest. Their primary task consisted of assisting with the evacuation of the passengers and crew to a safe area and the control of the rapidly intensifying fuel-fed fire, which eventually destroyed most of the aircraft fuselage. The firefighting/extinguishing capability of the foam-equipped ERS vehicles was initially severely hindered by the intense downpour from the thunderstorm, which caused dilution of the foam, rendering it less effective against that type of fire.
The aircraft is equipped with eight exit doors and associated evacuation slides. The two left rear exits were not opened due to the fire observed in that area immediately after the aircraft stopped. One right middle exit was opened, but was closed after the slide deflated after it came into contact with aircraft wreckage. One left exit was opened, but the slide did not deploy. The remaining four exits were commanded open by flight attendants, although the left forward slide was damaged. Many passengers took carry-on luggage with them as they evacuated the aircraft. The complete evacuation was effected in less than two minutes.