Before you start worrying about building brand identity through marketing and public relations campaigns, you might start thinking about the image you and other employees are projecting when making or taking a phone call. Obviously, when customers can’t see you, the way they assess your confidence and professionalism is what they hear in your voice. So what is the image you are broadcasting through your voice?
Here are a few tips for sounding polished and professional :
- Know what you really sound like. Record yourself having a conversion on your phone’s voice memo app, and prepare to be surprised. You likely sounds totally different than you thought you did.
- Lose the uptalk – It makes you sound unsure of yourself and its distracting. To practice speaking without it, hold your arm out and read aloud. Whenever you reach a period, drip your arm and your voice along with it.
- Stop using baby talk – A voice that sounds young will diminish your accomplishments. Singing will loosen your pharynx and lengthen your breath, which will help your voice sound more mature (so you can consider your karaoke habit a work expense).
- Take it slow – Rushing when you speak gives the impression you don’t value what you’re saying, and it doesn’t give people a chance to absorb what you’re saying. To practice slowing down, talk or read out loud to yourself and clap your hands at the end of every sentence to train your brain to stop for punctuation marks.
- Eliminate fillers – “Like”, “um”, “you know”, they all make you sound like you don’t know what you want to say, like you need to qualify all of your statements. Replace these filler words with pauses, which allow you to gather your thoughts and think more clearly, while giving meaning to the next thing you say.
- Make yourself heard – If your voice is barely audible, chances are whatever you’re saying will come across as equally unsubstantial. Unsurprisingly, speaking up will make you sound more powerful. Visualising your voice as a ball you can bounce of the walls will help you project without feeling unnatural or overdoing it.