Audrey Coaches others to speak with confidence showing them how to make simple corrections in the way they are using their phone voice.
Would You Repeat Please? I Can't Understand You.
The sole purpose of our voice is to communicate. Speaking, singing, crying and laughing are all forms of communication. We are recognized by our speaking voice so it is necessary for each of us to sound different
Because we can't be seen when talking on the telephone, the message we communicate is based on two parts.
- What we say.
- How we say it.
Once a word has been allowed to escape, it cannot be recalled. The old adage "Think before you speak" is full of wisdom.
What do the following phrases all have in common? " Would you repeat that please?" "I'm sorry I can't understand you." "What?" "What did you say?" "I can't hear you."
If your answer is: They all refer to the inability to understand what the person is saying, you're right. This is the number one frustration when talking on the phone and has become the biggest of all complaints.
I'm not referring to those from other countries trying to learn the English language. I am talking about you and I. We all need to concentrate on speaking more clearly. It isn't all that difficult. It just takes a little awareness and some practice.
Now, I don't want to offend anyone and sometimes there are physical or mental reasons for poor diction. If this is the case, you may be excused. For the rest of you, here are 6 tips to help you begin speaking more clearly and confidently:
Tip #1 An Exercise for Good Diction
Words can touch us in many ways. But only when we speak clearly. If you need help with articulation try the following exercise:
- Blind Exercise" - Pretending that you are speaking to someone who is blind, say the phrase, "I'm glad to meet you". Break each word down, concentrating on the following:
- I'm ( drop the jaw when attacking the "I" for a more open sound ) and be sure to close the lips on "m".
- glad (finish the "d" by putting your hand up to your mouth to feel for the quick spurt of air following the "d")
- to ( the "o" is given the sound of "oo" and the lips should be pursed as if sucking through a straw ).
- meet ( hum the "m" and the mouth is in a smiling position for the "ee".) Be sure to articulate the "t".you - ( the "y" is a diphthong, meaning that 2 vowels are used to form this letter. Begin with a very quick "ee", followed by "oo".) - ee-oo.
Practice this exercise until your speed and sound are natural. Write out other common phrases you might use while on the phone and practice as outlined above.
Slow your speaking down while practicing this exercise. As your enunciation improves and becomes more automatic add speed a little at a time.
The words we speak are shaped by the mouth, particularly the lips. The vowels must "carry" and the consonants clearly articulated. The lips and tongue have a specific job to do. When they fail to do this job, our speech becomes mushy or mumbled and words are unclear. Poor articulation can hurt your credibility when communicating.
Practice the following articulation exercises. Begin slowly, then gradually increase your speed:
- Red Leather, Yellow Leather.
- A big black bug bit a big black bear.
- She sells seashells by the seashore, and the shells she sells are seashells.
- Eleven benevolent elephants.
- Giggle gaggle gurgle.
- Round the rugged rocks, the ragged rascal ran.
Record Your Voice Without Being Critical
Tip #2 Record Your Voice
It's amazing what we learn about our voice when we record it. It's also somewhat surprising. The first time you hear your voice you may be shocked, or go into denial. This is precisely the time to let your ego take a back seat. Denial is a common defense mechanism we use to avoid dealing with painful or uncomfortable experiences.
After a lifetime as a public speaker, I still dislike the sound of my voice. It stands to reason that because we spend years only hearing the sound that resonates between our head and face surfaces, we never hear our projected sound (true sound).
Tip #3 Is the Pitch of Your Voice Too High?
Ouch! Speaking in a high tone may feel comfortable for some women. The truth is, many girls never lose their child-like sound which is naturally on the high-side. The sound is carried through the teen years and into adulthood. This irritating sound can be developed into a warm, rich, chest tone.
The following exercise will introduce you to your chest voice:
- Using the floor, place yourself on all fours, with the hands and the knees.
- In this position, drop your head as though you're looking at the floor.
- Using a low pitch, say the word "whoa" as though you're calling for a horse to stop. Keep in mind that the sound of your voice must be low.
- As you speak the word "whoa", draw your attention to the vibrations in your chest area. You are initiating your chest voice.
- Be sure to supply plenty of air to the word "whoa'.
- Your body must be in a relaxed position. Keep checking your head to avoid lifting the neck. Concentrate vividly as you repeat this exercise.
Tip #4 Watch Your Speed Limit When Speaking
Talking to fast can be a detriment to good communication. And speaking too slow will put others to sleep. Recording your voice and listening for the tempo at which you speak can be a very helpful way to hear how you sound to others.
With YouTube videos being so popular, it's crucial that before we publish our own, we work on our voice to assure a satisfactory and interesting presentation.
Tip #5 Avoid Chewing Gum or Eating During a Phone Conversation.
Never eat or chew gum while on the phone. Is anything more annoying? And if you are on "speaker" phone with the sound magnified - well, you get the picture.
I have a friend who is a potato chip fanatic. I swear, I think she waits until we are on the phone to rip open the noisy bag. Then she proceeds to smack away causing me to get annoyed.
It's sometimes hard to understand what a person is saying with food in their mouth. Make it a practice to change this habit if you're guilty.
Avoid Talking With a Mouth Full of Food
Tip #6 Learn to be a Good Listener
Try not to interrupt or cut the other party off while carrying on a conversation. This is a habit that can and should be broken. Being a good listener is one of the most important rules for good communication. It takes a sincere desire and a good deal of practice to learn this skill but it can be done.
Talk less and listen more.
The Sound of Our Voice Can Convey Many Moods
The sound of our voice and how we use it can say a lot about us. For example, we can convey the following emotions and moods as we chat away on the phone:
The thing is, we are usually not even aware that we come across in a certain way. Most of us are pretty good at hiding our emotions. We try to be in control, especially when we are on the phone.
The truth is, the human voice is capable of showing true emotions even when we are in denial.
August 10, 1876: Alexander Graham Bell makes the world's first long distance telephone call, about 6 miles between Brantford and Paris,Ontario Canada.
How do You Sound When Answering the Phone?
The telephone rings just as you are about to have your dinner. You are tempted to ignore the caller, but you anxiously pick up the phone and impatiently answer, "hello!" It becomes obvious to the caller that his call has been an interruption. He feels bad and he feels responsible for your present emotional state. He may think twice about calling you in the future.
The word "hello" is one of the most used words in the English language. Whether we use relative words like "hey", or "hi", the meaning is the same. However, the interpretation of this basic greeting depends on how we use our voice.
According to industry titans such as Nielsen, eMarketer and more, ressearch shows that in the year 2017 we spent an average of 4 hours a day on the telephone. This number increases with the use of social media, games, email and such.
How to Be a Better Listener
The number one frustration and complaint with being engaged in a conversation is the other party doesn't really listen. Interruptions are frequent and we aren't even allowed to finish a sentence.
Being a "phone hog" is rude, selfish and dis-respectful. Nothing destroys your telephone image as fast as hogging and dominating a conversation.
Being a good listener is a skill we can all master. Yes, it takes some practice but all leadership skills do. Here are a few tips to help prepare you to be a better listener:
- Take a deep breath before replying.
- Wait two seconds after the person finishes speaking before you take your turn.
- Show a sincere interest by asking questions on the topic.
- Care about what's being said by the other person.
- Do not interject. As difficult as this might be, learn to restrain yourself.
4 February 1878: Edison demonstrates the telephone between Menlo Park, New Jersey and Philadelphia, a distance of 210 kilometres (130 mi).
A fellow writer here on HubPages and an expert on the speaking voice, Tim Truzy, suggests trying the following tips for improving the speaking voice:
- Listen to newscasters. These individuals have to speak properly and deliver information precisely. They speak with superb clarity.
- Listen to older movies and old radio broadcast to better develop a speaking voice.
I'd like to add that singing lessons will also be very beneficial for developing a good, clear, speaking voice.
Final Thought ~ It's Not What We Say But How We Say It
Author, Roger Love says, "The artistry in speaking comes from creating a convincing blend of three elements: what you say, the way you say it, and who you are. When these elements come together, you'll find that your voice becomes a vehicle that moves people to listen and take you and your word s seriously, whether you're in the office, at home, or on stage."
People cannot see us when we speak on the telephone, therefore judgments are made on what we sound like. The importance is not so much what we say, but how we say it.
- We assume others understand our meaning.
- Be aware of the tone you are using.
- Studies have shown that 87% of the opinions people form about us, when speaking to us on the telephone, are based on the tone of our voice. Only 13% is based on the actual words we use.
“It is not what we say or feel that makes us what we are. It is what we do...or fail to do."
Marianne, BBC 2007 Production of Jane Austin's Sense and Sensibility.
Set YourVoice Free, Roger Love. ISBN 978-0-316-44158-2
Questions & Answers
Question: I have a nice voice but I want it to be like Dove Cameron. What should I do to sound like Dove Cameron?
Answer: Why not sing like yourself? Find your unique sound and embrace it.
Question: I am a Customer Service Representative and am trying to become more aware of the tonality and how my voice may convey messages that are either unintended or of which I am unaware of. Do you think it would be helpful for me to join some sort of speech-making groups, such as Toastmasters or other similar organizations?
Answer: Absolutely! Toastmasters is a good and very helpful group!
Question: I have been told by my coworkers recently that, when making followup calls, my voice sounds robotic. I am smiling while speaking and take a breath before answering questions. What can I do to improve my voice when making these daily calls?
Answer: The human voice is blessed with a complete range of color and sounds. Singing is one of the most helpful sources for adding life to the speaking voice.
Practice speaking some words softly, and some with a strong emphasis. Record your voice to monitor your progress. Also, listen to motivational speakers like Tony Robbins on youtube. Experiment with copying some of the same sounds.
If you are using a script, make your presentation as natural as possible. Let your personality shine through!
© 2011 Audrey Hunt
Tim Truzy from U.S.A. on November 27, 2018:
Hello, my musically gifted creative friend,
I appreciate you adding my suggestions, but I give credit where it is due. If great vocal talents such as yourself haven't taken time to educate me on the power of the human voice, then I would be unaware of the beauty, potency, and strength of words and song.
Keep encouraging, educating, and sharing your experience and knowledge with us so we can always remember the gift of speech and music.
May your day be peaceful and blessed, Audrey.
Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on November 25, 2018:
Thank you so very much for your wonderful, helpful comments. Great advice! I'll add your suggestions to my hub. I'm grateful to have met you here on HP. Your valuable advice is much appreciated.
Tim Truzy from U.S.A. on November 24, 2018:
Superb advice from a person who has made her living with her talents. One thing I wanted to point out though. As a professional who works with individuals who are visually impaired, this population tends to do exceedingly well with voices, regardless of speech qualities; this is because they have to listen to voices of all abilities to communicate. Also, this is providing that person with a vision loss is "vanilla" blind, meaning he/she has no other disabling conditions. Perhaps, if you are focusing on enunciation for a person with minor hearing loss, then that would be more relevant when speaking.
One other tip which I provide my students with to improve their speaking voices: Listen to news casters. These individuals have to speak properly and deliver information precisely. In truth, I'm a big fan of the BBC commentators. When I instruct my students, they ask me: "Mr. Truzy, why do you teach with a slight British accent?" I always respond: "Yes, but is everything I said understood?" Always an affirmative, Audrey. (Actually, Audrey, I use the Transatlantic (developed for films and early radio) voice.)
That's another helper, too. Listen to older movies and old radio broadcast to better develop a speaking voice.
Yet, I enjoyed your article immensely.
Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on January 21, 2018:
I'm sorry about the misinterpretation of this article. "Your phone voice" is how you sound to others while speaking on the phone, be it a cell or land line phone.
Regardless of which phone you decide to purchase, clarity is a matter of proper diction.
Thank you for commenting.
Dee Drew on December 07, 2017:
When I read the beginning of this article I thought I was going to get some answers to why I could not here or understand what people on the other end were saying. But this article did not address that issue.
There is not such issue with a land line phone. There was no such issue with the old cell phones. The last cell phone I used that gave me very clear speaking voice of the people on the other end was HTC Amaze. After that I had Samsung galaxy 5, iPhone 6, and HTC One M9. None of them gave me clear speech from the other end. To the point that I avoided using the phone I use text messaging or email as much as I can. What’s the point of having a smart phone then?
I am deciding which phone to buy now, iPhone X. Samsung 8 or HTC U11? Price is not a consideration at all. All the new tech gadgets do not matter either. To me, the only one ultra- important quality is the clarity of people’s voice transmitted by the phone to me ear. I want it to be like a landline phone or the very old cell phone.
Kristina on December 19, 2016:
Impossible to think that we spend 525, 600 minutes on the telephone when in fact there are 525, 600 minutes in each year...
Teodora on September 23, 2016:
Ah goodness I hate my voice on the phone! Its sooo high pitched, and a friend always wants to Skype me and I hate my voice! I've been trying to make it better, but I hardly see an improvement. I'll keep trying I guess!
Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on April 21, 2015:
Hi Mary - I love the sound of a southern voice. Sounds like you're doing all the right things for your voice. Thanks for your generous votes and for sharing.
Mary Hyatt from Florida on April 14, 2015:
I have a very slow Southern voice, but sometimes I'm hard to understand. I have to really work on pronouncing every word to be understood! I do try and "smile" when I talk on the phone.
Voted UP, etc. and will share this timely Hub.
Jason Faith from Grand Rapids MN on December 04, 2014:
very interesting, i try to be polite on the phone but that's about as far as it went. ty for giving me something i can use to improve business communications.
Kas from Bartlett, Tennessee on June 10, 2013:
Anytime. I think it's also what any good actor or musician does anyway to learn how to articulate properly.
Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on June 10, 2013:
Hello Kasman - How wonderful to see you here. It's been some time since I've found a new comment on this hub. I'm delighted! I doubt that you're a bad listener, and it's the responsibility of the speaker to articulate each and every word. Using the mirror is marvelous for receiving feedback for lips position training. I commend you! Thanks for the Up and for sharing.
Kas from Bartlett, Tennessee on June 06, 2013:
Great hub Audrey, I think that's one of the worst things that bothers me is when we can't understand each other on the phone. It drives me crazy to say, "What did you say?"
Perhaps it's because I'm a bad listener at times, I don't know. I like that you highlighted how to work this out properly. I have used the mirror before to show the articulation in my words. Good job on explaining this and giving all the details. Voting up and sharing.
Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on April 07, 2013:
Jasnav - Thank you for these excellent tips on how to improve your speaking phone voice. I like the idea of letting the phone ring while you gather your thoughts. And, as you suggested, thinking about what you are going to say before making a phone call is very helpful. Again, thanks!
Jasnav on February 22, 2013:
This is really good stuff - every one would like to sound better on the phone, and these tips are great to get one going.
Letting the phone ring for a couple of seconds while you gather your thoughts is also a good idea to potray a confident voice.
Another way would be to first think about what exactly you are going to say before you make that all important call. That way you can be sure you'll sound good.
Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on October 02, 2012:
vox vocis - Hi there. Thanks for being here. I'm working on a hub about "Why you hate your speaking voice" and it should be completed soon. I give exercises and tips on how to speak with a rich, great sounding voice. Also, get into why we don't like our voice. I think this hub will help you. Again, much thanks!
Dolores - Hi . As I commented to vox vocis, my new hub for improving your speaking voice will be ready for publication soon. Take a look at it. Let me know if it helps you. Thanks!
Alecia - Most every human being hates their voice. That's why I'm finishing up a hub about it. You are not alone. There are more tips and info on my new hub. Hope to finish it soon. Thankyou.
Alecia Murphy from Wilmington, North Carolina on October 02, 2012:
I need to record my voice. I don't like how it sounds and have always wondered what I can do to improve it. These tips are definitely worth a try- thanks so much for providing them :).
Dolores Monet from East Coast, United States on September 04, 2012:
Great tips - I know that I often sound irritated and really need to work on my phone voice. I guess we could leave ourselves a message on the phone, to see how we sound, then work on improvements. I've got a lot to work on, as vox vocis (above) said, I hate the sound of my own voice.
Jasmine on July 18, 2012:
Great idea for a hub! You've recommended recording your own voice, and although I've done this a few times when I was preparing for my exams (I listened to the records while cooking or before falling asleep), I must say that I hate the sound of my voice on tape, video or CD. It sounds so unnatural, like it's not me who's speaking at all! I sound like I'm choking or like I'm sick or something. Other people say the same thing when they listen to themselves. Why is that so?
Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on June 15, 2012:
tillsontitan - Well, thank you so much. And a "900" voice is something to feel darn good about! Why not? Are you in the wrong jobmarket? :-)
Love you for voting up, useful and interesting!
Mary Craig from New York on June 15, 2012:
Very innovate hub topic, but then...you are a vocal coach. I do think though we can all benefit from this hub and more like it I'm sure!
I probably shouldn't say this but I was told several times I have a "900" voice on the phone...I certainly don't look or feel sexy ;)
This was very interesting and I'm sure useful for many of us.
Voted up, useful and interesting.
Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on June 14, 2012:
Kosmo-I'm so glad you liked these tips on the speaking voice. I appreciate your coming by and hope to see you soon.
Kelley Marks from Sacramento, California on May 17, 2012:
Thanks for the tips, vocalcoach. One's speaking voice on the telephone or wherever is certainly important. Now I think I'll pay a little more attention to what I say and how I say it. Later!
Shasta Matova from USA on January 16, 2012:
I do have a tendency to blur my words together and mumble, and let the ending of my sentences fade away. Thanks for the reminder. I hadn't thought about the look of the words, but maybe that will help me make sure that I enunciate correctly.
Victor Mavedzenge from Oakland, California on September 30, 2011:
Very good tips.I needn't say more than has already been said above! Great hub.
Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on September 27, 2011:
Dolores - If you would like my help, just let me know. Would be happy to train you. And the young woman who you could barely understand on the phone...this is the biggest complaint of all. Very frustrating. So glad you dropped by and keep me in mind. :)
Dolores Monet from East Coast, United States on September 27, 2011:
I hate my voice and hate to call people that I don't know, fearing they will be put off by my obnoxious tones. Must improve. The other day, I spoke on the phone to a young woman who'd left the area. It was nice to speak to her, but I could barely understand a word she said. Great tips here!
Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on September 19, 2011:
Princessa - You make an excellent point! Without the ability to see the person you are speaking with, all the "confirmation" signals are lost. The non-verbal communication of just the face itself - the eyes, (eye-to-eye contact being the most important feature)the tilt of the head, the entire body language is missing. Without those signals we sometimes miss-interpret what the voice on the telephone is trying to tell us.
Thank you Princessa for this very important contribution.
Yes, you are indeed, a Princess!
Wendy Iturrizaga from France on September 19, 2011:
Great tips. Pronounciation is sooo important I can tell you that speaking a foreign language trying to talk on the phone is very challenging because of the pronunciation. During face to face comunication it is always easy to convey what you are meaning, but on the phone it is a completely different story. Good pronunciation and choosing the right words is a very good beginning.
carolina muscle from Charlotte, North Carolina on September 13, 2011:
This is a wonderful hub, Audrey... plenty of solid ideas that will help anybody communicate more effectively!!! Rated UP, of course!!!
Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on September 12, 2011:
What a great reminder! Communication is a key element to survival now days!
Dallas W Thompson from Bakersfield, CA on September 12, 2011:
As one who has been accused of not "articulating clearly," who speaks in a deep voice, I understand and agree with this great article.
Hello, hello, from London, UK on September 12, 2011:
Yes, it is amazing how the phone picks it more than you realize.
Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on September 11, 2011:
Movie Master - There are times when I really do think twice about suggesting people record their voices. Its like opening up a can of worms :) Like I said - after hundreds of my own recordings, I still shutter when I hear it. Thank you so much.
Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on September 11, 2011:
cloverleaf - Customer Service! Probably the most thankless job but a great example of where this hub is needed the most. But you are such an assest to that field and understand completely why this information is necessary.
In a way, we are all customer service reps and should get busy noticing how we come across to others.
You are such a love for following all my hubs and giving me so much support. I was so tired last night, that I wrote a silly poem which will be published today. I hope others will find the humor and message in my poem.
Have a fantastic day, you fantastic person!!!!!
Cloverleaf from Calgary, AB, Canada on September 11, 2011:
Hi Audrey - you've done it again! A great hub packed full with useful information. I have to say that I get so annoyed when someone on the other end of the phone is chewing gum. It's so obvious and distracting!!!
I always like to answer the phone "hello" happy and cheerfully, even if I don't feel like it. In my job, Customer Service is very important and the Customer doesn't need to know if I am having a bad day. They just want to talk to someone happy and helpful.
Nellieanna Hay from TEXAS on September 11, 2011:
My beloved George had a wonderful voice. It was strong and clear, could convey humor, pathos, love, expertise and most of all - trustworthiness. Like my friend TwilightLawns states above, - George, too, could open doors with that voice. Even when George''s body and mind were both dwindling, it was a fact that if he got on the phone, dialed a number from the Yellow Pages (which he loved to do!), there was no telling what deals he might make and bring to fruition while on the phone, but which he wouldn't remember by the time he'd hung it up!
To me, it was the dearest voice on Earth. I have such sensitive ears that I can be physically pained by some voices if they are raspy and ill-spirited. So I have to say that this is one of the most beneficial of hubs, VocalCoach! Thank you!
I have to mention that I've been complimented on the tone of my own voice, but at one time, I was so shy that if I detected anyone actually listening to me, my voice would simply begin to become almost "swallowed" before it was sent out. I had to learn to project and to modulate it, but that, happily, came more easily when I gained self-assurance and forgot about self-consciousness. Those make a huge difference in how we sound.
Movie Master from United Kingdom on September 11, 2011:
Some great tips here, people do tend to mumble or speak very quickly on the phone.
I hope I don't really sound like I do on a recording, it's awful1
Great hub, thank you.
Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on September 10, 2011:
This is a great topic for a hub! My husband is very critical of my phone voice, and I know that there is room to improve. In the age of smart phones and texting, I actually don't spend much time on the phone anymore, but it's still really important to make the best of the calls that you do have to make/answer.
b. Malin on September 10, 2011:
Very Interesting Hub Vocalcoach. I'm always Amazed at the Sound of my Voice...when we talk we think we know what we sound like, but after listening to my Phone Recording on the Answering machine...Mmmm I do sound so Different. But yet, I get things done to my liking, be it a complaint etc., so I guess my voice is Pleasing and Authoritative. Lover Man says I always get the Job Done effectively. Thanks for Sharing these 6 Important Tips, I'm always willing to Learn.
Twilight Lawns from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. on September 10, 2011:
I have a really beautiful speaking voice that always encourages comments.
It is a classic, deep, very British voice with almost perfect pronunciation and inflection. I can virtually get anything I want on the phone and use it to advantage whenever I am required to do so.
I love the sound of my own voice, and have hardly any faults whatsoever, apart from the occasional lapse into humility.
Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on September 10, 2011:
I must admit that i needed this. My Son tells me that i sound HICKY on the phone. I know i should be mad at him, but i thought it was funny HaHa, Your Hub is packed full of good tips, thank you.....
WillStarr from Phoenix, Arizona on September 10, 2011:
Older folks with hearing loss usually have trouble hearing the consonants, so articulating consonants clearly can save a lot of repetitions.
Good points, Coach!
Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on September 10, 2011:
GL - I love your story of the "hot looking woman" who lost the "hot" as soon as she started to speak. How true - how true. It works in reverse too. I have experienced woman who speak with the voice of an angel, who, inspite of their looks, instantly become beautiful.
And you make an excellent point regarding how important the voice is to landing a job. Thanks, golden friend for your support during my commitment to the hub challenge.
Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on September 10, 2011:
Mentalist - evaluating your speaking voice to identify clarity and tonal dynamics is the best way to begin improvement. Loud dynamics work great for lecturing, teaching, etc. Phone communication, is more personal, hence the dynamic range of "m" (medium ) to " mf" (medium loud) works best. In fact, because you enunciate so well, even a "mp" can carry well.
Thanks, my writing hero, for your comments.
Mentalist acer from A Voice in your Mind! on September 10, 2011:
My enunciation is fine but loud...thanks for sharing vocalcoach.;)
Hillary from Atlanta, GA on September 10, 2011:
This is so excellent Audrey! With so many people and new graduates going out on job interviews it's crucial information and great advice. Your voice really does define who you are. It broadcasts not only your emotions, but your "perceived" level of sophistication and intelligence. I keep thinking of an funny old commercial that showed a glamorous woman surrounded by photographers and the press. You thought she was hot stuff until she opened her mouth and out came the most irritating voice you could imagine. The same goes for anyone in a business suit! Here's to Eliza and Henry Higgins. Cheers and good luck with the Hub Challenge!
Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on September 10, 2011:
Charlotte - To add more warmth in your speaking voice, think chest. Lower sounds resonate from the chest area. It will feel and sound strange at first, but will move the vibrations to a lower area. Thanks for likning my hub.
Indigital - Your Nanna had the right idea. God bless her!
Here's a hint to help you speak with more energy. Simply run in place (or to the phone) on the first ring. Keep running until the 3rd ring and your voice will sound "alive " and wonderful. Thanks for your comments.
homesteadbound - I just gave Indigital a hint for bringing more energy to the voice. Give it a try. How is the hub challenge going? Your hubs are a treat to read. Going to check out your latest one right now. Good luck - to you, and to me :)
Elena from London, UK on September 10, 2011:
This is excellent. I must brush up on my Telephone skills. Some people call me just as I have taken a big bite of a chocolate bar and I have to keep it to the side of my cheek because I don't want to chew it while talking....
Brenda Barnes from America-Broken But Still Beautiful on September 10, 2011:
This is great advice. Not being able to understand or hear someone is frustrating and annoying. Another suggestion is for the caller to extinguish background noise. It really interferes and while not an actual part of the "voice", it adds or detracts to the perception of the speaker.
Your Hubs are great, especially lately. I have seen wonderful Hubs from many Hubbers and I appreciate them so very much. Thank you! Hyph
breakfastpop on September 10, 2011:
Thanks for the lesson. I was born and raised in Brooklyn, so I am always fighting the accent. Up and useful!
KathyH from Waukesha, Wisconsin on September 10, 2011:
Great hub! Very interesting and something I hadn't thought much about... I sometimes get "is your Mom there?" Something good to work on! Thank you for the tips!
Dee aka Nonna on September 10, 2011:
Like Happyboomernurse, I just wanted to die the first time I heard my voice on a recording. It wasn't by a teacher--wish it had been---it was actually while learning to become a trainer/facilitator. In our first practice session our voices were recorded...then we were encouraged to record our voices anytime we practiced or rehearsed. In the end we learned control and was able to see or hear our progress. Great hub! Voted up and useful. Anyone who must used their voice should read this.
drbj and sherry from south Florida on September 10, 2011:
Important tips, Audrey, about a subject most people do not pay enough attention to. The telephone company once had a small card next to the phone of every customer rep. The card read: "Smile." It's difficult to sound negative to a caller if you are smiling.
lisabeaman from Phoenix, AZ on September 10, 2011:
Great hub Audrey! What a good idea... I talk on the phone all the time at work, sometimes for recruiting for our internship program and sometimes to interview applicants over the phone. So I'm both being judged by my voice and judging others. Great hub! Voted up and useful :)
Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on September 10, 2011:
happyboomernurse - What a good idea to play back your voice mail message. I hope our hubfamily reads your comments as this is a great way to hear what your voice sounds like. A huge thanks to you!
Cindy Murdoch from Texas on September 10, 2011:
Very nice hub. My husband has told me that sometimes I sound tired or depressed on the phone. And it was my intention. So it is definitely something I need to think about more often.
Indigital on September 09, 2011:
I've never thought of this when talking to someone - I wonder if I sound awfully depressed to people I don't want to speak to, eek! I think, if anyone, my Nanna probably has the most uplifting and happy voice on the phone, she seemed positively ecstatic whenever anyone rings.
Charlotte B Plum on September 09, 2011:
I thought this was such an interesting hub! It would have never crossed my mind to think of such a topic.
I think I need to practice talking with more warmth in my voice, as mine is naturally high pitched.
Gail Sobotkin from South Carolina on September 09, 2011:
Very interesting hub with some great tips. I still remember being startled as a teenager when a teacher recorded our voices. Mine sounded very high pitched and nothing like I'd imagined and I didn't like it. I think it was a good lesson in becoming aware of my own voice.
When I leave voice mail messages for my husband, I'll play them back sometimes just to see how my voice is coming across and I usually like the way it sounds.