We’re constantly being given information by voices. Whether it’s on the morning news, directions from the subway conductor, a didactic podcast we’re deep into, or instructions from an automated attendant, voices are the symphony of our day. And it’s interesting to how we respond to different types. Some are abrasive, some are mumbled, and some may be preachy. Sometimes we can paint a clearer picture if we look at body language, but then there are times when we just can’t. Which is why training your voice can not only make you a better salesperson, but a better communicator in general.
Over the phone, where face-to-face interaction is impossible, tone of voice is hugely important. A clear and distinct tone of voice is essential to establish definite communication between everyone listening.
While most sales agents can easily take a message and answer the caller’s questions; it is the tone they convey that can make the call a positive one for your customer. Giving difficult to understand, technical information in a robotic manner over the phone won’t necessarily land on whomever you’re talking to. But by the same token, overbearing sales pitches chock full of wit and perfectly tailored sound bytes can come across as disingenuous.
If you spend a good chunk of your time on the phone doing business, it’s time to assess your own voice skills. Your voice is, in fact, an instrument. One that can either seal or lose a potential deal or customer. Yes, we’re not all born talking like Oprah Winfrey or Jack Nicholson, but that doesn’t mean we can’t train our voices to improve. So, with that said, let’s examine some aspects of how we speak.
How does the tone of your voice sound? Are you a baritone with confidence? Or maybe you’re deep and guttural but with a some timidity? Grab a friend or a colleague you trust and ask their opinion. It’s sometimes hard to know what we sound like, or what we’re conveying through our tone until we get good honest feedback. Then do some research on people you admire in the public eye who have a similar tone to yours and study how they speak. Here’s a fascinating TED Talk about connecting and inspiring using your tone of voice from Janina Heron. And, to have a bit of a laugh, here’s Jerry Seinfeld on tone.
Practice is imperative! Whether you’re taking a new job at a call center or about to give a presentation to 100 people, you really should devote time to practicing your delivery. Do you trip up over certain words? Are you racing through your presentation? Pacing, intonation and enunciation are vital to delivering a powerful performance. Do it in the mirror, or in front of someone you trust, or simply record it and listen back over.
This is similar to tone, but a little different. Energy refers to the verve in which you’re giving a speech. Listen to Dr. Martin Luther King, or Winston Churchill, or most other American presidents. It could be a speech on foreign policy or war, or equality. But notice the passion and enthusiasm in how they deliver. It has to be a balance though, if you have too much energy, the audience could get lost in the bombastic passion or you might blow through too quickly for anyone to comprehend your message.
What do you sound like? Really? Have you listened to your voice in a while? Make a recording of you reading or talking and listen back. Now do it again using this fun tip from a voice-over artist: when you read for a second time, do it with a smile. You’ll instantly hear a difference.
So now that you’re a professional public speaker, you’re ready for just about any scenario when it comes to pitching your business or dealing with a concerned customer. Thankfully at Phone.com, your business phone service comes with HD voice quality, so you can hear every word on every call.