Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Importance of Voice and Expression

Conversations done over the phone allows us to interact with another person, albeit indirectly. As a call center agent, the primary lessons inculcated in me during my training bordered on the significance of the best and most proper way of conducting myself during a phone conversation. Besides the need to polish my English speaking skills, two important factors cannot, or should I say, never be dismissed: voice quality and proper expression.

On Voice Quality

Face to face conversations would involve voice tone, gestures, and facial expressions as part of the communication package. Over the phone, the absence of physical presence automatically means the voice would take center stage. Believe it or not, confidence level is easily detectable over the phone. Even if the person you are talking to may not be outright conscious of your underlying feelings, thoughts, or state of mind as you speak, believe me, he or she can tell beneath the words. Because neither one of you can see each other, voice quality is of utmost importance. If you already have a good speaking voice to begin with, that is a major plus factor. If otherwise, you can always work on improving it. All it takes is a little effort and patience. Listen to someone possessed with a good speaking voice talk (usually a DJ or colleague or anyone you know), and notice how he or she uses his or her voice to express his meaning along with the way he or she enunciates each word. Take note and start practising with this as a guide.

Proper Expression

By expression, I am not actually referring to the kinds of words you use, but the manner whereby you express yourself over the phone. And by no means are you supposed to sacrifice these qualities of expression at all cost: clarity and conciseness.

  • Clarity, I say?”

    Yes, I say so. A no-brainer actually. If you tend to eat up your words or the line is choppy, then it is only rightful that you do not come across clearly, meaning whoever you are talking to hardly understands a word that you say. Should this happen, then your effort and time come to naught. In layman's term; wasted, useless, balderdash, etc.

  • Why be concise?”

    Short, sweet, and meaningful is the way to go when doing business calls. Beating around the bush needlessly by ranting too much about things that are out of context from the message you are supposed to deliver, could lead to two unwanted possibilities: Either the one on the other end falls asleep due to extreme boredom, or he/she slams the phone on you as he/she finally loses his/her temper. Be nice. Be pleasant. Be direct. Be concise. A little dilly-dallying like talking about the weather would not hurt provided you do not overdo it. A little pleasantry segueing to the exact point of your call is part of the whole script. But overdoing it...As the old adage goes, “Too much spice, spoils the broth.”

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