It's time to visit a topic that may be uncomfortable for some, but something that must be discussed. Are you losing people with your voice? In a time where face-to-face meetings seem to be rare and more business is conducted via the telephone, your voice could be hindering your success. On the telephone, we do not have visual cues or body language to strengthen our position and message; all we have is our voice.
As an Account Coordinator working with an agency that does national business, a lot of your time is spent on the phone. Professionalism, friendliness, and confidence have to be displayed using the instrument of your voice. We are all born with our voices, but they can, in fact, be trained.
If you spend a lot of time on the phone conducting business perhaps it's time to assess your own voice skills. Your voice is, in fact, a tool. It's a tool that can gain your business or lose you that next business deal. Here are some key factors when it comes to having a voice of success:
What does the tone of your voice sound like? Does it reflect confidence? Strength? Assurance? Perhaps your tone reflects fear? Boredom? Immaturity? Be honest with yourself, do you need to work on your tone? Grab a close friend or co-worker and ask their honest opinion. It's important to find someone who will give you just that. Listen to what they have to say and take their criticism as constructive to help you develop a voice that will get you where you want to be in life.
When speaking and thinking about the key points you want to emphasize, make sure the inflection of your voice does just that. Inflection alone can change the meaning of a sentence.
Practice, practice, practice. The delivery of your message when training your voice is key. Don't be afraid to rehearse a pitch, a proposal, or even just a phone call. You won't always have to do this, just long enough to where a good delivery is natural and you can do it with confidence.
What do you sound like? Have you ever really just listened to your own voice? For example, when you record your outgoing voicemail message, what do others hear? A smile? Joy? Authority? Don't be afraid to use a voice recorder as you train your voice. A recorder will allow you to hear exactly what others hear.
Similar to tone, but different. The energy in your voice allows people to feel like they are in the room with you. Does your energy make them want to be in a room with you? Put it in check. One thing that you might have to watch is the speed at which you speak. Breathe, think about what you are going to say, and fill it with the right energy for the moment.
Most of the time, voice can be trained by just becoming aware, and other times it may take a voice coach or someone to help you with the things you struggle with the most. It's not uncommon for people to seek out the help of a voice trainer or coach. If you assess that your voice may be hindering your success, it may just be time for you to take that next step.