Top Eight Ways To Sound Warm And Friendly On Cue… Even When You’re Having a Bad Day
Over the phone, your *tone* of voice is 84% of the message. No matter how carefully you choose your words, your voice tonality reveals your true emotions.
It doesn’t take much. You can probably tell how your friends and family are doing merely by the way they say “hello”. Your clients and prospects can tell the same about you.
From time time we all experience feelings of anger and irritation. And we all have days when we feel tired and out of sorts. But when you’re on the phone speaking to customers and colleagues the last thing you want is for any one to hear the irritation in your voice. Your clients and colleagues could care less about your personal problems. And they might even mis-read the stress in your voice as rudeness and take their business elsewhere!
With a little bit of practice you can learn to control your voice so only the emotions you want come through. Actors , radio personalities and voice over artists do it all the time. And you can learn to do it too.
Here are my favorite tips to help you sound warm and friendly on cue.
A smile on your face puts a smile in your voice. It works even when you’re in a terrible mood. Keep a mirror by your phone to make sure there’s a smile on your face *before* you pick up the receiver.
- KEEP A BEAUTIFUL PICTURE OF A CHILD BY THE PHONE
Any child will do. If it’s your own child, so much the better. Ask yourself how long this child would stay upset about the thing that is troubling you. Tune into their joy, their spontenaity, their happiness.
- SAY A KEY WORD
A key word is any word that helps you access a desired emotional state. “Love” is a powerful key word. Say it over and over out loud, focusing deeply on its meaning and hear how your voice becomes softer and warmer as you speak.
- CHANGE YOUR BODY LANGUAGE
Much research has been done by NLP (neuro linguistic programming)about how physiology or body language affect mental state. Actors use gestures and mannerisms to help them change their tone of voice.Note the body language of anger: A clenched fist. Slamming your hand on the table. Throwing something. Stomping around. Note the body language of love.A warm smile. An outstretched hand. A gentle touch. Try changing your physiology the next time you’re feeling down. You’ll be amazed at the results.
- IMAGINE YOU ARE ENJOYING A CANDLELIT DINNER WITH THE PERSON ON THE OTHER END OF THE PHONE
“Would you like a glass of pinot noir with that box of widgets, sir?”If this image makes you laugh, great! You’re on the right track.
- TAKE A SHORT, BRISK WALK OUTSIDE
You’ll breathe more deeply, releasing any tension building up inside. The mere act of changing your scenery will help you change your state of mind.
- KEEP FRESH FLOWERS BY YOUR DESK
Dr Andrew Weil, bestselling author of several books on health and healing, says keeping fresh flowers where you can see and appreciate them can lift your spirits and have a therapeutic effect on health, and consequently on the sound of your voice.
- TAPE RECORD YOUR VOICE
To improve the way you sound you must hear yourself as others hear you. The only way to do this is to listen to your voice on tape. The voice you hear inside your head is not your *true* voice. It’s distorted by the bones of your skull. By listening to yourself on tape, you’ll get an acurate impression of the way you sound to others. You’ll quickly hear if your spoken image is every thing you want it to be. Do you sound angry or tired? Is this the voice you want your customers to hear? The awareness may make you cringe, but it can motivate you to make some positive and productive changes that will have a powerful impact on the way you come across to others.
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Susan Berkley is a top voice over artist and founder of The Great Voice Company, a company devoted to teaching great voices around the world how to become successful voice over actors. The Great Voice Company is an international leader in voice over training and in providing top quality voice over recordings in all languages to discerning businesses and marketers. For additional information visit www.greatvoice.com
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