What Do Others Hear?

April 24, 2016
Mary Jane Copps


News in disorder


In each of my workshops there is at least one person who believes that the sound of their voice prevents them from communicating effectively on the telephone. This is rarely true. But all of us have habits that we’ve woven into our speaking patterns that can – and do – prevent others from listening to and understanding our message. How can we improve? I take advice from an expert – Natasha Marchewka.

Natasha is a professional voiceover talent. As much as I focus on the psychology of phone communication, she focuses on the psychology of the voice – how tone, speed, rhythm, energy, etc, impact our audience. Over the past 10 years Natasha has voiced thousands of commercial and business narration projects around the world. She also provides presentation skills coaching and she’s helped me take many a speech from “okay” to “awesome”.

Here are some of her tips on improving the power of your voice. (You can access more information on her blog.)

Whether it’s a nervous laugh after each sentence, a quiet talker, or an overly confident communicator, we tend to “hear” a lot more than words when listening to someone. We all have qualities or habits that we demonstrate while talking. Even a broadcast professional, in their banter on the radio or in their personal life, have off-putting habits that dilute clear communication. Everyone has their “thing”.

What are your “go to” habits in communicating, and, are they undermining you or your point? This is a great question to ask, whether for business or social interactions, because the answer demonstrates a potential weak point in your personal communication style. If interested in improvement, here are some options for meaning what you say and saying what you mean…

  1. Become aware of your delivery – you can do this by actually listening to the words as you speak, or even better, randomly record yourself, during phone calls or anytime. While it can be excruciating to hear our own voice, it provides powerful insights.
  2. Calm down. Such great advice…taking a moment (or more) to take a breath and exhale slowly not only changes our tone, it changes our mind.
  3. Think before you speak. Find clarity with what you are trying to say. Your point will be clearer.

Want to take it further? Here is an article on How to Develop a Perfect Speaking Voice from WikiHow.

Enjoy your phone work everyone!

What’s The Phone Lady Doing? 

April 25 – Phone Fear to Phone Fabulous, CBDC NOBL, Truro, NS

April 29 – Create Consistent Revenue, Advanced Management  & Mentorship Program, Centre for Women in Business, Halifax

May 2 – Communication Skills for the Phone Fearful, Options Work, Halifax

May 4 – Telephone Talent, RBC, Ottawa, ON (Tele-training session)

May 5 – Phone Skills for Job Search &  On The Job, Older Wiser Labourforce (OWL), Halifax, NS

May 7 – Customer Service Excellence, Maritime Electric, Charlottetown, PE (Tele-training session)

May 10 – April 20 – Telephone Sales Skills, The Oyster Group, Dartmouth, NS

May 12  – Phone Fear to Phone Fabulous, CBDC Cumberland, Amherst, NS

May 25 – Phone Skills for Job Search and on the Job, Teamwork Cooperative/The Workbridge, Halifax, NS

May 26 – Creating Powerful Conversations – On the Phone!, Canadian Credit Union Association, CUSource, (Tele-training session)

May 30 – Telephone Talent, RBC, Ottawa, ON (Tele-training session)

May 31 – Understanding Accents – Creating Conversation, Canadian Credit Union Association, CUSource, (Tele-training session)

June 7 – Create Consistent Revenue –  CEED, Halifax, NS

June 13 – Telephone Talent, RBC, Ottawa, ON (Tele-training session)

June 14 – Phone Fear to Phone Fabulous, CEED, Halifax, NS

July 20 – Phone Fear to Phone Fabulous, CEED, Halifax, NS

September 13 – Phone Fear to Phone Fabulous, CEED, Halifax, NS

October 19 – Phone Fear to Phone Fabulous, CEED, Halifax, NS

November 30 – Phone Fear to Phone Fabulous, CEED, Halifax, NS



  1. Jacqueline Steudler says:

    Thank you for this so timely once more. Have a great week Mary Jane.

    • The Phone Lady says:

      Thank you, Jacqueline. Always appreciate that you share your thoughts. Hope you have a great week as well.

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