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Vocal Tricks to Help with Call Answering

Mumbling is one of the worse traits a receptionist can have, that’s how miscommunication happens. Being the initial voice of the brand, a receptionist needs to practice their most useful instrument, their voice, to ensure they enunciate words clearly and speak with a powerful yet polite tone.

“If you’re speaking for a business, your voice carries more weight than you think it does when it comes to influencing customers and stakeholders,” comments Gary Genard from The Genard Method that specialises in public speaking training.

Let’s have a look at a few easy ways to help you convey words with clarity.

Tips and Techniques to Assist Speech

1. Record Yourself

It helps to know what you need to work on and the best place to start is by recording yourself. While recording, talk through some pretend phone calls and aim to sound as professional and clear as possible. Afterwards, listen to your recording, and take note of any concerns or areas that could do with improvement. Are you speaking clearly enough, or do you mumble? Are you missing inflections on certain words? Are you speaking to fast or is your pitch too high?

Knowing the flaws is the first step to fixing them.

2. Breathe Better

It’s awful when we run out of breath mid-sentence, or worse, if we rush to incoherently complete the sentence. Practicing a good breathing technique will help increase the volume of air you can take in as well as how to use it wisely – also known as speaking from your diaphragm. Try this exercise as part of your morning routine:

  • Slowly breathe in through your nose for 5 seconds, while keeping your shoulders relaxed.
  • Slowly exhale through the mouth for 5 seconds with a gentle humming.
  • Repeat for 5 to 10 rounds, and try to pace your breathing to the 5 seconds.

3. Simply Smile

People can actually hear when you are smiling. By simply placing a smile on your face, your tone will become lighter and certainly more approachable. Top call centre professionals recommend keeping a small mirror by your desk so you can adjust your facial expression and maintain that smile and friendly-tone.

4. Gesture Gently

Headsets are great! They free up your hands so you can take notes or record messages when answering calls. They also allow you to make gestures while you are talking, which many professional speakers encourage. 

Genard explains that “gestures in speaking exist to strengthen, amplify, support, or explain what you’re saying. As with smiling, some of that physical expression comes through in your voice. If you gesture when you make a critical point while speaking on the phone, the people on the other end will understand that what you just said is important.”

5. Speak Slowly

Rushing through dialogue is not going to do you any favours, ever! The listener will just ask you to repeat what you said, wasting both their and your time with unnecessary repeating of vital information. Most of us unknowingly tend to speak fast, so try to be mindful of your talking speed when tending to phone calls. It helps to have a sticky-note up near your phone to remind you to “Speak Slowly”. 

6. Practice Tongue-Twisters Each Morning

Here are a few sentences to help you enunciate better. Start slow and try to pick up speed while ensuring each word is clearly articulated:

  • 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. 

“Most people think vocal warm-up exercises are only important for singers. Wrong! Every professional should be using vocal warm-up exercises to sound more powerful,” says Vanessa van Edwards, bestselling author and founder at Science of People.

Take a peek at Vanessa’s short video on “5 Vocal Warm Up Exercises Before Meetings, Speeches and Presentations” right here:

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What if you’re not so great at phone calls?

That’s okay! We all have our strengths, and when it comes to running a small business, you really don’t have to do it all. Instead, consider subscribing to a call answering service that will handle your calls with trained off-site receptionist that will know how to make your beginner brand sound like top-notch conglomerate – it’s all in the elegant tone. If you need help with incoming calls so you and your lean team can focus on other aspects of the business, get in touch with Real Receptionist and set up a call answering solution that fits your brand and boosts your customer care and caller experiences.


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