Find out how to improve your tone of voice and watch how quickly your successes add up.
Unless you’re a classically trained singer, you probably don’t think much about how to improve your tone of voice. Sure, you’ve heard some version of, “Don’t use that tone of voice with me,” or, “watch your tone.” But the situation and circumstances are different in a call center.
Your tone, in that context, is about the way you sound to a potential customer or a current client. Your tone can convey warmth, trust, and reliability. It can also express boredom, irritation, and disinterest. Clearly, one of these is far preferable to the other. So without taking a master class in opera, what can you do to improve your tone of voice? Quite a bit, actually.
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How to improve your tone of voice and sound more convincing to prospects
To understand how to improve your tone of voice, it’s helpful to realize that your voice and your breath are inextricably linked. As your diaphragm expands and contracts, air moves in and out of your lungs. Likewise, it’s the movement of air through your vocal cords that produces the sounds we shape into words. So the tone of your voice is a combination of air and muscle movement.
There’s much more to it than that, but for our purposes here, the point is the link between breath and voice. This is why, in part, you’ll see so many recommendations around standing when you’re on sales calls. Your diaphragm and lungs have more room to expand and move air. So, the first step in how to improve your tone of voice is to practice breathing.
1. Take slow, deep breaths through your nose. Exhale and inhale, counting to 10. Even one minute of this will help your lungs warm-up and prepare for those sales calls. As a bonus, this is also a great way to relax and focus.
2. Keep breathing. Warm-up breaths are helpful, but you need to continue breathing throughout a call. Take deep breaths (quietly) while your customer or prospect is talking. Breathe while you’re entering information. Just keep breathing.
3. Get your voice ready. Just like a batter takes a few swings before stepping up to the plate, you can get your muscles moving ahead of time. Run through some vocal exercises or sing along to some of your favorite songs.
4. Move when you talk. You may be on the phone, but you can still use gestures and movement to your advantage. This also helps keep your blood flowing, which improves concentration.
5. Pace yourself. Most of us speak too quickly on calls. Try to slow yourself down, like you’re talking to a friend at dinner. Be aware, however, that you don’t want to go too slow here.
6. Articulate. Your audience needs to understand what you’re saying. You can practice with some tongue twisters. Need a few fun ones?
- Twelve twins twirled twelve twigs.
- Friendly fleas and fireflies.
- Which witch is which?
7. Drink water. Or tea or whatever you prefer. Keep your throat and vocal cords hydrated, so your tone isn’t croaky and dry.
8. Change your pitch. Not your sales pitch – your vocal pitch. Make your tone exciting and avoid the temptation to talk in a monotone. Altering your pitch also helps you sound more excited about your product or service.
9. Take breaks. Your voice gets tired, just like any other muscle. So try to take breaks and rest your voice. That might be every other day, once a week, or every hour or so. It really depends on how your voice reacts to a lot of talking.
10. Stop talking. This might not be the tip you’re expecting from an article about how to improve your tone of voice, but it’s an essential part of phone sales. If you’re talking too much, you aren’t listening to what your customer or prospect is saying. You’re missing valuable insight and probably on the verge of losing the person on the other end of the line. By all means, share your pitch, but make sure you leave plenty of room for an actual conversation.
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