It is an interesting question. Does the winter affect our telephone voice? Yes, our professional positive telephone voice can change at this time of year, but it is vital to maintain your usual tone on the phone in business.
It is so easy to feel very ‘ho-hum’ or downcast simply because the clocks have now gone back and we find ourselves driving home in the dark and we will soon be driving to work in the dark too. In addition, the temperature will drop considerably making many of us feel positively glum. It is therefore very easy to adopt a less than positive tone when making or receiving telephone calls.
However, our daily work demands will not make allowances for these changes in our mood particularly when we are using the telephone. This is because the telephone is very unforgiving and will dramatically amplify a slightly less than enthusiastic tone in your voice when you are speaking to colleagues, customers or suppliers if you are feeling below pa.
Please do not worry…I am not about to advise you to start your working day with star jumps or chants to help improve your mood. I’m sure that these suggestions would possibly make you want to swear at me and as someone who works within a telephone answering service who needs to maintain positivity for herself and to raise the spirits of her team daily, I know that chanting, singing happy songs and doing star jumps will not work.
So, how do we maintain a positive professional telephone voice at this time of year where we may be affected by darker mornings and evenings and the colder weather? Here are some quick tips to help you along the way…
1 Reflection & Mimicry – It is at this time of year where you really need to think about and remember a positive telephone conversation you have had where the person on the other end of the phone has been enthusiastic, positive, helpful, and quite simply a pleasure to speak to. What did they do? How did they sound? In a less than positive mood, you do not want to project this onto others, so become that person that you found infectious. Be really conscious to adopt their attitude when you pick up the phone. Make sure that whilst you are dialling that number or responding to the ringing phone that that person pops into your mind and taking on their personality will quickly become a habit.
2 Speaking Voice – You will probably find you have to concentrate harder on how you are speaking whilst on the telephone. It is important to speak clearly and inject that little bit of extra enthusiasm into your voice. A simple way to do this is to think about and make changes to the tone on your voice whilst you are speaking. Remember that the telephone breaks down the voice and it can leave you sounding quite monotone, so do change the pitch of your voice slightly as you speak.
3 Slow Down – You might find with the possible change in your mood that you really want to get through the day as quickly as possible and this can dramatically affect the speed at which you speak on the telephone. Speaking quickly can lead to misunderstandings or the caller might not be able to catch what you are saying, which could cause you irritation, so it is best to slow down and give them the chance to understand what you are saying to avoid misunderstandings and any occurrences that would heighten your less than bright mood.
4 Use Body Language – Whilst the caller cannot see you, it is still worth adding emphasis to your call by using hand gestures and facial expressions. This will add passion and enthusiasm to your voice and really help to bring energy into your voice. As long as you do not fidget too much or lose concentration by focusing on your movements.
5 Breathing – However you feel or whatever you are doing it is good to be conscious of your breathing. Make sure you are taking in plenty of oxygen and never let your breathing become laboured, because this can make you tense, flustered and stressed. Managing your breathing will help you to remain calm and help you to sustain energy throughout the day. During telephone conversations you will sound more calming and also focused on the call. If you have ever spoken to someone on the telephone who is out of breath, it can give you the impression very quickly that they may not have time for you and you do not want your caller to feel this way.
6 Drink Water – It is a time of year where we crave and indulge on heavy snacks, hot drinks and hearty meals all of which can affect your energy levels, so it is good to drink plenty of water. This is also a good way to keep your vocal chords lubricated allowing you the opportunity to change your tone quickly and without too much effort. Water will certainly help your energy levels too.
If you find all this a bit much and would like to reduce the amount of time you are spending on the telephone during this time of year, you can always get a little extra assistance from us at Message Takers. As a well established telephone answering company, we answer calls for clients on a full time or ad hoc basis. This really does take away the pressure from those that have busy diaries full of meetings or those that do not have a receptionist to answer their telephone calls.
For more details do give us a call on 01858 439000 or to find out what our clients say visit www.messagetakers.co.uk