Top 7 Tips to Improve Your Telecommunication Skills
By Dr. June Johnson
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Without visual contact to create a favorable impression, the telephone necessitates that you rely solely on your speaking skills. On the phone, the way you are perceived is determined entirely through your voice and choice of words. Even the most powerfully planned phone script needs a polished speaker to make it effective. Use these 7 tips to help you get your point across with confidence and power.
- Speak slowly and clearly. When speaking on the phone, more time is needed to absorb what is being said than when speaking in person, so it's imperative that you slow down. Enunciate carefully, particularly when saying your name and the name of your company. When leaving a message, repeat both.
- Speak with energy. Energy is not to be confused with volume. Energy is the vitality the voice needs to convey your interest in and enthusiasm for what you're saying. People are influenced by people they enjoy speaking with.
- Smile with your voice. Set the tone on the phone with the first words you say. A pleasant voice will hold the prospect's interest while helping you avoid speaking in a monotone. Just thinking of a smile will automatically reflect in your voice, make it more appealing to listen to. Place a mirror before you and smile as though you're talking face to face with the person on the other end of the line.
- Use body language. Physical activity puts energy and vitality into your voice. It can be as simple as hand gestures or a smile. If possible, stand and move around. If not, sit tall and use body language. Your voice will sound more interesting and will encourage people to be more receptive to your ideas or sales presentation.
- Listen attentively. Listen more, talk less and, above all, don't interrupt. No one appreciates being interrupted. Regardless of how well you speak, you will only lose points for rudeness. Visualize the person you're speaking with to remind you that you're engaged in a two-way conversation. Let listening be your number one priority.
- Stay focused. Ask questions that force you to concentrate on what is being said and indicates your interest in the customer's needs. Always allow the customer to complete his or her thought. You'll leave the customer with the impression that you're more interested in his/her needs than you are in making a sale.
- Offer the option of holding. Before placing a prospect or customer on hold, ask if they would care to hold or would prefer to have you call back later.
Effective speaking skills can determine your success or failure with a customer. With time and careful practice, your voice can become your greatest asset.
Today's Top7Business Article Was Submitted By Dr. June Johnson, President of VOICEPOWER, is a speech and communication coach. Through her workshops, seminars, keynotes and corporate and private coaching, June provides the skills and techniques for speaking more effectively. Her numerous articles have appeared in national publications and she has authored a book, "You Look Great, But How Do You Sound?" and set of training tapes, "Find the Power in Your Voice." 800-988-0644; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; -- web site: [http://www.wisonline.com/voicepower]
Article Submitted On: September 03, 1999