If you are insecure about your telephone skills, you’re not alone. Many professionals today are intimidated by phone dialogue because of the inability to gauge client reaction. Here are a few tips to make these types of conversations more effective.
1. Smiling while talking on the phone has long been a technique of receptionists and personal assistants. The physical mechanism of smiling changes the way your voice sounds and will make your voice sound more friendly and warm.
2.Record yourself on the phone once or twice and listen to your own diction. Paying conscious attention to the way you speak will make you a better speaker. If you find yourself slurring words or trailing off in your recording, make a concerted effort not to do so when you next speak on the phone.
3. Cutting out filler words will make you seem more confident about what you’re saying. Many times we find ourselves saying “um,” “uh,” or “you know” repetitively. While many listeners gloss over these filler words, it can make them feel like you’re unsure about the conversation.
4. Be mindful of the listener’s time and keep them updated on what you’re doing. Rather than dropping off into silence on the phone, make them aware that you are reading their documents or consulting a colleague, and always give them other options rather than just waiting on the phone. Otherwise, the listener will feel lost, or worse–that you’re wasting their time.
5. It may seem strange, but deeper voices for both men and women tend to get better results. This is because deeper voices seem more confident, mature and knowledgeable. This does change with culture, however, as in some cultures women with higher pitched voices will be perceived as more youthful and friendly.
While there are many tips you can use to make yourself more effective over the phone, the most important aspect is confidence. When you believe in yourself and what you’re saying, others are sure to follow.
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