More often than ever, business meetings and job interviews are taking place on the telephone because it’s easier, faster and cheaper than meeting face-to-face.
But phone conferences can be unsettling for some people because they can’t gauge the listener’s reaction.
While you can’t see the person on the other end of the line, you sure can hear them and that’s what really counts. Using the right tone of voice is essential to optimizing phone meetings. It’s just as important as the message because it conveys an emotional attitude.
Good phone etiquette, such as speaking clearly, listening attentively and not interrupting the speaker, also goes a long way in showing respect and credibility.
Here are some other tips that can help you send the right message in phone meetings:
- Prepare and rehearse speaking points ahead of time.
- Assign someone to open and close the call on time, manage topics, facilitate discussion and review next steps.
- Use a clear, pleasant tone of voice with good volume and enunciation.
- Good body language, such as standing to convey confidence and smiling to express a positive attitude, will come across in your voice.
- Be an active listener and show attentiveness with verbal cues such as, “Yes, I understand,” or “That’s interesting.”
- Don’t perform other tasks during the phone meeting as listeners can pick up on awkward pauses and a distracted tone.
- Improve sound quality by avoiding speaker phones or cradling the phone in your neck.
- Make sure it’s clear who is speaking. Identify yourself before you speak and instruct others to do so.
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This post is by Caren Burmeister. Caren is a retired newspaper reporter turned freelance writer who enjoys yoga and caring for her two fat cats.