How to Change Your Tone of Voice to Improve the Delivery of Your Message in Communication
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Learn how to change your tone of voice to improve the delivery of your message in communication. Tone of voice is important because tone is imbued with feeling. If we want to be a better communicator and effectively communicate our message, we must improve our tone of voice! I teach you how to change your tone !

Have you ever heard the phrase “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.”

Or what about the phrase “watch your tone.”

They’re both getting at the same thing here. Delivery of the message, meaning the way it’s packaged and presented can often even be more important than the message itself.

Maybe you’ve had someone tell you that your tone upset them, or maybe you found someone else’s tone bothersome, making it difficult to communicate with them.

And in communication, tone is very important. In fact, Professor Albert Mehrabian discovered that 38% of meaning is communicated through tone of voice alone. What about the rest? Well 55% of communication is conveyed through nonverbal communication such as body language and facial expressions and only 7% of meaning is conveyed through our words. This is a theory known as the 7-38-55 rule.

So now it might make more sense why the phrase “it’s not what you say but how you say it” is applicable.

Tone is important because it can be the difference between getting your point across and not. If someone takes issue with your tone, particularly the auditory communicators, then they will not even hear your message. And good luck trying to get them to listen or even communicate with you in the future.

Whether you’d like to change your tone or want to help someone change theirs, today I’m teaching you how to improve the delivery of your overall message by enhancing your tone of voice.

Let’s get right to it then.


Check your Emotions

When emotions are heightened, one of our first things to be affected is our tone. Just try it yourself. Say the following phrase (put on screen) out loud first in a calm tone and then in an angry tone.

I’ll try it with you.

Ok first in a calm tone:

I’m going out to buy some eggs.

Ok now in an angry tone:

I’m going out to buy some eggs.

Big difference, right?

So, the first thing to do is to check your emotions. Try to adopt a calm mindset before responding to avoid being reactive and regret how you said something.

Even banal phrases like “I’m going out to buy some eggs” can have emotion in them if you imbue them with feeling. So, the point is to try and be as calm as possible when relaying a message, making a request, explaining a situation, or whatever the speech act is.

If you need to take a moment to breath in through your nose and out through your nose and collect yourself. Keeping your emotions in check by adopting the right mindset with translate into the tone of voice you use.

Relax Your Face

We hold a lot of tension in our jaw, in our brow line (the space between our brows), and in our faces.

One good way to relax your face is to smile. Even better, laugh.

This will immediately dispose of the pent-up tension. 

Now, if you are in the middle of a heated debate or argument it’s probably inappropriate and even bewildering to the other person if you burst out laughing or smile, I think we can agree on that.

And if that’s the case, then you can call a time-out, excuse yourself and go somewhere private like your office or the restroom and try to relax your facial muscles. 

If you’re not in a heated situation and maybe you’re having a conversation with a friend but either you or they notice your tone is off, then you can absolutely smile or laugh if appropriate.

The important thing is to respect the tone of the conversation. Meaning, are you having a serious conversation or a light conversation? If it’s serious, excuse yourself go and relax your face and then come back to the conversation, ready to interact with a calm expression and tone of voice.

Be Patient with the Listener

This goes for when you’re trying to explain or teach something to someone. Teachers out there know what I’m talking about, as our profession requires a lively dose of patience 😊 and even if you’re not a teacher we still exchange and share information with one another, and people learn from each other.

Patience comes through in your tone of voice.

If you’re impatient you’ll be quicker to get annoyed or frustrating, then deliver your message in a curt or exasperated tone. 

Try saying this phrase in a calm tone versus a patient tone:

You know the drill. Let’s say this in a calm, patient tone first:

(Calm tone) Time-Restricted Feeding is not the same as Intermittent Fasting, though they often get confused by mainstream media

(Impatient tone) Time-Restricted Feeding is not the same as Intermittent Fasting, though they often get confused by mainstream media

It’s important not to adopt a mindset of “I know so much more than you, why aren’t you pick up what I’m putting down. How does this not make sense to you?” 

Instead adopt the mindset of “Let me see how I can make this ambiguous abstract concept as clear as possible. If the point is not getting across, it’s on me to change the way I’m communicating this to you.” So, the onus is on the communicator. The person responsible for clearly conveying the message is the speaker. 

You have the control to make the message as clear as you can, largely in part due to the delivery, or the packaging.   

Slow It Down

You may need adjust your speed and pacing. It is possible that you got overly excited or carried away talking about your favorite subject but have now been rambling on, but the listener is lost.

I catch myself talking a mile a minute when I get passionate about something and want to convey that to the listener. Of course, you can still convey your interest in a subject without speaking quickly, same goes for tone. 

Slowing things down will also allow you to hear your tone better. 

Adjusting your pacing might be all it takes to adopt that warmer, more pleasant, and friendly tone.

And you might say, but MD, what about in business settings where I want to assert myself.

You can absolutely assert yourself and display your confidence with a warm an pleasant tone. It doesn’t have to be contrived, overly saccharine or even ebullient, but it can still hit those dulcet tones. Because those melodious tones are way more soothing and pleasant to the ear. And if they’re pleasant to the ear, you can bet that that listener will hear you better. In fact, they’ll want to listen to someone who’s in charge of their tone and can control it, without letting their tone get the better of them or control them.

Get on their Wavelength 

There are three types of communicators: Auditory, Kinesthetic, and Visual. We are all a blend of all three with one being dominant, then secondary, and finally tertiary. 

Which type of communicator tends to be most affected by tone of voice?

You guessed it…Auditory communicators.

So, if a Kinesthetic or Kino communicator is using an unpleasant tone with an Auditory communicator, you can bet that the auditory communicator will be negatively impacted by their tone of voice. And what’s also likely is that the Kino will not even pick up on the fact that they’re using a cacophonous tone. 

Therefore it first takes some self-awareness before getting on anyone else’s wavelength.

First figure out what kind of communicator you are. Which of the three types of communicators is your dominant style? What’s your secondary style?

Do tones affect you? You’re probably auditory then.

Once you’ve assessed your own style figure out the style of the person with whom you’re communicating.

This will make it possible to get on their wavelength.

Just as a fun social experiment. If you’re communicating with someone who’s completely unaware of the egregious tone, they’re using you can try adopting the same tone and see if they hear it too. Meaning, does it seem to affect them? Just try it out and see how they respond to it. 

In some cases, people might not hear the tone of voice they’re using, but when someone else is speaking to them in that tone they hear it.

Anyway, that little mirroring exercise would be a fun experiment to try on a family member or close friend. Probably not the best to do with a boss or colleague. 

Understanding both your own style and the other communicator’s style will make it possible to get on the same wavelength as they.

And once you’re on the same wavelength, you’re 90% more likely to successfully transmit your message!


Those are the five ways you’ll be able to change your tone of voice. We’re aiming for pleasant sounding tones over the aggressive cacophonous ones.

To recap, we want to keep our emotions in check, relax our face, be patient with the listener, slow the pacing down, and get on the same wavelength as the listener. 

Because tone of voice requires you to hear your tone of voice, what will help tremendously is recording yourself. Doing that will allow you to hear what you sound like. Try practicing saying the same phrase in different tones. Do this will a range of emotions. It’s both fun and informative. 

You’ll get all the self-awareness you need about your tone right there and then.

So, if anyone’s ever complained about your tone or if you’ve been accused of not what you said but how you said it that upset a person you know have five strategies to remedy that! 

And if you’re watching this for a friend, then feel free to send this lesson to them. It could help nudge them in the right direction. 

As always, practice these strategies, have fun experimenting, and make them your own! That’s how you’ll make them part of your communication toolkit.


Alright Explearners, that’s it from me today. I hope you enjoyed this lesson. Which strategy is your favorite? And share with us a time that you encountered someone with a pleasant or off-putting tone of voice, how did that make or break the rest of the conversation? Share this lesson with someone who you think would benefit from it and don’t forget to subscribe and turn notifications on.

I’ll see you in the next Explearning lesson where I give you communication strategies to thrive in the social world. Until then, happy Explearning! 

About the Author and the Explearning Academy:

Mary Daphne is an expert in communication, executive interpersonal skills, and personal development. She is the founder of the Explearning Academy, a platform dedicated to helping individuals enhance their social fluency, boost their careers, and elevate their social game. Through immersive group coaching programs like the Executive Communication Lab and self-guided journeys, participants gain the social superpowers and career catapults they've been searching for. If you're ready to take your negotiation skills to the next level and connect with like-minded individuals, visit and explore the various plans available. Join the Explearning Academy community and unlock your full potential.

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