Communicating in person and over the phone are two very different crafts. Once you pick up the phone, your body language does not have any value any more, while your tone, pitch, speed and choice of words now shoot up in value.
With your voice, people you talk over the phone can immediately pick up your mood within a few seconds.
What is inflection?
Inflection is how you vary the highs and lows of your voice. The frequency and degree by which you vary your highs and lows will let the other person on the line know if you're really interested or not. Without inflection, your voice becomes monotone and boring.
Here are tips to convey what you really mean over the phone:
Smiling, specially upon picking up the phone, can help you get a great head start on sounding positive. When you smile, your sound waves sound more fluid. This means that smiling is not just a psychological effect, but also physically proven to work.
The wider you open your mouth, the better your tone is. By smiling, you open your mouth more and show more teeth. This helps achieve a friendly and happy tone.
- Change in word stress
By putting stress on all the right words, you can convey what you really mean easier over the phone. It is also important to note that changing stress on certain words on a sentence changes the implied meaning of the sentence altogether.
Breathing also plays a vital, yet underrated, role in how you communicate over the phone. Your highs and lows will vary some more when you take deep, long breaths. People under pressure usually start breathing shallow.
When shallow breathing happens, your voice goes up, sounding strained. By taking deeper and slower breaths, you can bring your pitch down, sounding calmer over the line.
Usually, people who have a hard time inflecting speak in an extremely monotonous manner. A way to work around this is by exaggerating every word of your sentence. This helps you get used to speaking in a loudness that you weren't used to before. Soon enough, you'll be speaking with inflection normally.
Playing around with your highs and lows is also an important tool to have to communicate better over the phone. A person that shouts enthusiastically is not only going to be drained at the end of the day, but may also scare off a few people on the other line because of their gusto.