Destination Directory

How to Get the Best Tone of Voice

We present dozens of webinars throughout the year. They're well attended and, thankfully, very well received.

When possible, and time will allow, I request questions ahead of time from the attendees so we can answer what's on their minds. At one of our more recent webinars, the question below was asked and answered. It was so timely and relevant I wanted to share it so you can have the information as well—and share it.

If we use your question on any of our webinars, you'll receive an autographed copy of one of our popular, customer service books. Here's a recent e-mail with the winning question.

Hi Nancy: My question revolves around how my voice sounds on the telephone. I have recorded messages over and over and I can't get that happy sound to come across as being natural and genuine. I do want my customers to know that the voice they are hearing belongs to me. So, my question is, what can I do to improve my voice quality? Thank you and I look forward to learning at your webinar.

Oddly enough, the topic of "Tone of Voice" has come up several times this past week. Which says to me there are other folks talking and thinking about this as well. One of the biggest complaints I hear is, "She didn't sound happy, friendly or eager to help."

The short and easy answer is: SMILE!

The long answer is: When you're not smiling, you can come across as rude, uninterested, unfriendly and just plain bad.

Sadly, many people don't smile when they're on the phone. They think they're smiling, but they're not. And there are those who say and think, "You can't tell if I'm smiling or not."

Ah, yes, but we can.

Our mantra at Telephone Doctor, "A phony smile is better than a real frown," works wonders on the phone. (Face to face, too.)

You simply need to put a SMILE on your face (show your teeth) and talk. EASY!

So, yes, you're sitting at your desk or on your cell, putting on this BIG FAT SMILE and talking. The caller can hear it. YES! YES! YES, they can! And it's so much nicer to talk with someone who is smiling rather than someone who's not. We know in person you look better when you smile and on the phone, you sound better. Why do we say "Cheese" when we're taking your picture? To get you to smile. End of subject.

We have suggested keeping a mirror on your desk to be sure you're smiling. And there are those that do just that as a reminder to smile. Some people do it naturally and don't need a mirror.

It boggles my mind when something is so simple and people don't do it. Smiling is simple, easy and EVERYONE can do it.

NancyFriedman-HeadshotWritten by and reprinted with permission of Nancy Friedman, President, Telephone Doctor Customer Service, St. Louis, Missouri. Learn more about the author of nine books and popular keynote speaker on customer service, sales and communication skills on or by calling 314.291.1012.

 Headshot courtesy of Lance Tilford