CNN's Harry Enten asks why we’re avoiding phone calls and whether we can be coached through our telephone-related nerves in this new Margins of Error podcast featuring Mary Jane. LISTEN HERE.

What Do Others Hear?

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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!

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What's The Phone Lady doing?

  • One-on-one sales process creation with business owners/entrepreneurs
  • Sales training webinars with pharmaceutical outbound sales teams
  • Fundraising and sponsorship communication webinars with national team
  • Phone skills for job search with career-change organization
  • Sales training on outbound calls for financial advisors
  • Auditing phone conversations and creating phone communication protocols manual for Atlantic Canadian natural resource company
  • Custom communication workshop on the working with compassion, self-awareness, emotional triggers and detachment in both conversations and email for a Canadian university
  • Cold calling for lead generation marketing firm
  • Cold calling for corporate education specialist
  • Creating and delivering phone etiquette module for new industry-specific college

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