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They say you cannot make the first impression twice. Whether it is in business or
other aspects of our lives, it is estimated that it takes a little as 3 seconds for
us to judge a person consciously or sub consciously.
Therefore first impression can be everlasting – it can either make or break business
or personal relationships. What is even more challenging is that people will often
make the first impression of you before they actually see you face to face.
In difficult markets of today, many salespeople and business owners are focusing
more marketing efforts on cold callingto secure sales appointments and develop new
I make a quick survey on people around me and was astonished to find that most people
dread calls because they feel like they are put on the spot, feeling like they do
not know what to say but I have a valid reason for you to look forward to dialling,
that is, phone calls command more attention than an email. Now, the question is how
do you make yourself sound confident over the phone?
You probably have already scripted the call, rehearsed a few times in your head but
your voice is still flat or shaking with anxiety. How do you suddenly muster confidence?
To help you sound confident on the phone and achieve your ultimate aim in making
that one call, keep these 4 important tips in mind.
How to Sound Confident on the Phone
Stand up: Standing up instantly injects energy and vitality in your voice. Organisations
like Bloomberg financial media encourage salespeople to get off the seats before
calling. You can adopt this useful tactic at the start of your calling sessions or
when you are feeling your enthusiasm beginning to level off.
Maintain the correct posture by keeping your head up and breath naturally. This makes
your voice deeper, more resonant and helps to improve your overall focus, your attention
and your motivation. If circumstances do not permit you to stand, simply sit alert
with your back erect, feet on the floor and buttocks towards the front of your chair.
Oh yes, don't forget to smile! When your smile, your voice naturally become warmer,
brighter and friendlier. Some customer service professionals even put a mirror in
front of them while they work to check their attitude.
Avoid cradling the receiver: You should be holding the phone receiver 8 centimetres
away from your mouth. In this manner, you will sound less muffled over the phone
and more like you are there talking in person.
If you are wearing a headset, make sure it does not slip and you are speaking at
the mouth piece. I noticed this flaw especially in call centre agents, their voice
fade and I can barely hear them on the phone.
Concentrate on talking: Avoid multi-tasking while you are talking on the phone. Many
people including myself are guilty of this bad habit, we use phone time to open mail
or type. Not only it is obvious to the other party that you are distracted and not
respecting their time, one study has found that multitasking greatly reduces your
ability to listen.
Multi-tasking in this insatnce will ruin your flow of thought and distract you from
your main purpose of making that call. Divert incoming calls, turn off your email
and tell colleagues or even your children not to interrupt when you are on the phone.
Take a pause: If you get flustered, simply stop talking for a short while and collect
yourself through some calming breathing techniques and also practise them when you
start to lose your emotions.
Silence is better than annoying fillers like ums and ahs because it projects thoughtfulness
not confusion and saying things ‘like’, ’sort of’, ‘maybe’, ‘you know’ only make
you sound unsure, unconfident or immature. Slow down and enunciate clearly. You should
sound clear, concise and confident or risk losing your listener or clients.
Making confident calls may take a while to develope, the one and only step to progress
is through constant practise but do not practise when the stakes are high. Instead,
practise with a trusted friend where feeling a bit silly or shy will not undermine
Watch your personal and business chances increase as you sound better and more confident
over the phone. Good luck!