Get the Most from Your Telemarketing Voice

By John H. Melchinger

The first 15 seconds of every phone call are crucial to your image. One key to success is knowing how to make your voice work for you. Sounds good, doesn’t it?

To get the most from your telephone voice, start by warming up your voice in the morning. Talk to yourself on your way to work. Sing, read signs out loud, do anything to limber up your vocal cords. You may feel silly at first, but you’d be surprised at how many people who rely on their voices use this technique.

Record and then listen back to your voice. If you use a video recorder you will also be able to “see” how you sound. Do this occasionally and you can be your own voice coach. Just remember that most people dislike the sound of their recorded voice. You’re not alone in this.

Use your natural pitch. Some people find it by saying “mm-hmm,” lips closed, voice rising on second syllable. The vibrations should be in your lips and nose, not your throat. When it sounds sincere, it’s your natural pitch. This only takes a second, and once you’ve done it a few times, you’ll know your natural pitch without hesitating. Unconsciously “switching” your voice to create another image is not only artificial, but over time it can ruin your voice.

Sit up straight when you speak on the phone. It creates a more alert tone in your voice. Practice good breathing habits. Breathe from your midsection, your stomach moving slightly out as you inhale and gradually in as you speak.

Notice how your audience reacts to your voice. Do they often mistake who you are or ask you to repeat yourself? Do they hesitate or pause when you expect them to speak? Chances are they may not be hearing you well.

Listen actively. Let the person on the other end know you are listening. Use response signs like “Yes,” “I understand” or “Certainly.”

Smile! People can actually hear your smile over the telephone. One symptom of not smiling is when people who know you ask if you’re feeling okay. They hear stress or fatigue in your voice.

Your voice is one of your most powerful sales tools. Use it, but don’t abuse it.