Evaluate Your Telephone Voice
Your voice is your personality over the telephone. It makes an immediate impression that can portray you as friendly or distant, confident or timid, spontaneous or mechanical, relaxed or nervous.
So, how do you come across over the phone?
Make a tape recording of yourself while on the telephone and evaluate the following attributes:
Pitch: Is your voice too shrill or strained? Do you speak in a monotone? In normal speech, pitch varies. These variations are known as inflection. The more inflection you use, the more interesting your tone of voice is. Keep in mind that when you are under emotional stress, the pitch of your voice will tend to rise and become shrill or strained. Watch it! The pitch of your voice is an index of confidence and poise.
Volume: Check the volume or loudness of your voice. (You might want to get a friend to help you with this.) Is it too soft or loud? Often when people are tired or upset their voices tend to fade, and they will be asked to "speak up." Be sure to speak loud enough to be heard, but not so loud that you sound forced.
Rate: If you speak too slowly you'll likely lose the attention of the listener. Conversely, your listener won't be able to follow you if you speak too rapidly. In either case, your message won't get through.
Quality: The quality of your voice is its most distinctive and individual characteristic. This is where the essence of warmth, understanding, and "likeability" come into play. Smiling as you speak enhances your voice quality. Being angry upset or in a hurry negatively affects your voice quality.
Articulation: The price of poor articulation is high, particularly in business. You must enunciate or pronounce your words very clearly or your listeners will misunderstand you. Faulty articulation and incorrect word pronunciation give your listener the impression that you are sloppy, careless, and lack knowledge.
Remember you have to break through the "communication clutter" more today than ever before!