Communicate Effectively and Speak with Impact on the Phone

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Learn how to communicate effectively in phone conversations for business meetings, interviews, and calls with colleagues. I teach you how to speak with impact on the telephone so you can perform your best.

Today, I'm sharing five ways that you can speak with impact over the phone and also communicate more effectively in phone conversations and in meetings that happen over the telephone. All right. If you're ready, let's get started. All right. So the first big tip here, prepare for the call. It goes without saying, whenever you are about to interface with people on the phone or you are in a conversation that you know is going to happen, it's planned.

It's on the calendar. It's on the books. You want to make sure that you have spent at least 10 minutes preparing. And of course, the preparation time will be contingent upon how important the call is, how high stakes it is. So we're talking about not only in business settings, but also in more casual settings as well. Of course, this is very important to do if you are in a business setting where you have a telephone meeting or you have a high stakes call, it could even be an interview or a call with a potential boss or collaborator or employee.

So these are really important to prepare for. And the way you do that is you think big picture, like, what do you want to get across in this call? What is the purpose of this call? In other words, what are the goals and objectives here? And then because you've prepared for the call, you're able to express that to the person that you're having this conversation with.

So at the get go, as soon as you exchange. Hi, how are you? And maybe some small talk, then you're going to get right into it and you're going to say, you know, Peggy, today I want to talk about X, Y, Z or Joe. Today on the agenda, we have one, two, three. And that way you can give them a roadmap so that they know what to expect.

And then they can also be using some of their brainpower to think about the points that you are going to be going over in that call. And maybe they're also on the same page as you and they already know a lot of the items that you want to discuss because there could have been a prior communication, say, over email, which is maybe the reason why you're having the call in the first place to get to move from email to the phone.

Right. And so in that case, sharing the agenda with them will be an even better way to get them refresh. It'll be a nice refresher. So that's really important as well. So not only preparing, but being able to state the purpose and the agenda at the beginning of the call. All right. And as you are communicating, you are using positive body language and you might be thinking, well, why am I doing that?

They can't see me. This is a phone conversation, right? Well, the reason being is that when you use positive communication, that comes through to the other person because it changes the way your voice carries. It changes the way you pace. It changes the way you speak. It changes the tone. And when you are communicating in a way that is making use of your nonverbals.

The way of emphasizing is also going to come across much clearer to not only you, but also to the person on the other side of the phone. And that's very important because we don't have a lot to work with when we're on the phone. It's just audio. We just have intonation and word choice, really. Right. So we are lacking the facial expressions, the para linguistics, the nonverbal, and that's what makes phone conversations a little bit more challenging.

So if we adopt positive body language and preferably if we are standing up when we take this call, our voice is going to come out much clearer. We're have more confidence. It's going to be easier for the other person to catch every word we speak. And also it's just going to make for a better type of social interaction, more positive.

And that's really what we want as well. All right. The next one is to listen actively and while you're listening actively, you're not interrupting. It's very easy to interrupt someone over the phone because, again, we don't have them right in front of us. We don't know when they're about to finish their conversation or their point that they're going to make.

And we don't know when they're going to jump into the next thing because we can't see them. But with their intonation, we can sort of understand when they come to a possible completion point, a PCP, which is when their voice will go down towards the end of a sentence. If they want to continue, their voice will remain elevated.

It's not up to talk, but it is a way of continuing into the next sentence. And this is important to be aware of because especially when you don't see the person, you have to be all ears to be able to listen for those inflection points and to understand the inflection patterns and to know when to let them keep speaking.

And when is your time to interject or chime in? And you want to be really careful not to interrupt because that can just break the flow of the conversation, especially if there is a delay. Right. If you're taking the call over wireless, there is probably going to be a little bit of a delay, a couple of seconds, maybe milliseconds.

But the point here is that when you are listening actively, not only are you getting what they're saying more clearly and to a better understanding of their points, but also you are avoiding those moments of overlapping speech which make for just a mess over the phone, because as they're speaking, they don't know at what point you started talking over them and then they don't know how much to have to restate and they don't know what you got and what you didn't get.

And then if you're talking and you chime in when you shouldn't be, they might have answered your question, right, if you just let them speak. So please be mindful of this. It happens more often than I think people would like to admit. So the way to prevent that is to start to slow down your speech and the other person will probably match you if they're doing mirroring properly.

If they're speaking too fast, you might be in the position to say, Do you mind slowing it down a little bit? Or My cell connection is not great here. Would you mind if we spoke a little bit slower? Now, granted, that's not the easiest request to make of someone, particularly if this is a high stakes business call. For example.

But the way to almost telepathically even convey this, where they start to be attuned to maybe their cadence and how fast they are speaking, is to model it for them. Right. So if you are someone who's generally a fast talker and in person, you, you, you know, speak a mile a minute, that's one thing. But if you notice over the phone that the person is not being as articulate as you would like because you can't really understand and follow the conversation as best you want to, then the situation is, well, okay, let me slow it down for them and model it.

So you're slowing down your speech in a way to model it for them. And if they're savvy communicators that know how to mirror, they are going to catch on to this. And it works most of the time at work, so just try it out. Of course, everyone is different, every communicator is different. We all have different styles of communicating.

So try to leverage your strengths as a communicator and have that resonate with your conversation partner over the phone. Okay. And the last thing that this allows you to do with speaking slower is it allows you to choose your words more wisely. Now, words carry a lot of weight when we are using the telephone as a communication medium.

So it's really important to be able to have that thinking time. And what the thinking time also enables for the listener is that they can use that to process, right? Because it's not as fast of a processing time for them if they can't see you in high definition. So that's again what makes the telephone a little bit more challenging and particularly for business calls or high stakes calls.

You want to be super mindful of this so that you can really speak with more impact. And each word you communicate has more gravitas. So that's the idea here with these strategies. I hope that you enjoy them. I hope that you implement them and try it out as soon as your next phone call and be sure to add these incrementally so they don't feel like you're just overloading your system all at once.

So start out with a few. Get used to doing that, really hone them and then move on to the next and then before you know it, you're really going to be a very effective communicator driving impact over the phone. All right. Thank you so much, Explorers, for joining me for this exploring lesson. I hope that you enjoyed it.

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And if English is not your first language, then I would also recommend that you check out our other channel and podcast called Advanced English, which you can easily find here on YouTube just by searching Advanced English with Mary Daphne. Or you can find us on anywhere you listen to podcasts as well. And the website for that is Advanced English Echo.

We have hundreds of lessons focusing on language and communication for advanced learners of English. All right. That's it for me today. Thank you so much for joining me and I will see you in the next explaining lesson. Bye for now. Happy learning, everyone.