Even if you don’t think you have a great voice or pleasing phone manners and trip over your words, you can enjoy the process of becoming increasingly confident on the phone.
It’s important to accept where you’re at, flaws and all. It makes it easier to be willing to practice so that you become a more confident speaker and better listener on the phone.
While it’s important to accept rather than be upset by your flaws, it’s also important to acknowledge and feel good about your strengths.
What are your strengths? Are you eloquent or a good listener?
Being honest with oneself doesn’t mean being hard on oneself but accepting the good, the bad, and the ugly.
The more you practice on the phone while accepting yourself, the more confident you’ll get.
Practice Makes Perfect
So after I made my first phone call nearly a month ago to express support of a bill, I felt more comfortable making another phone call a few days ago to support another important animal legislation. Instead of writing a script this time, I simply jotted down the following notes:
Support legislation to cut federal funding for VA’s painful and wasteful dog experiments.
Then without further ado, I picked up the phone and called the number to reach Senator Dianne Feinstein’s office. As expected, Sen. Feinstein wasn’t the one who answered the phone. Instead, it was an assistant.
Without worry or hesitation, I identified myself (my name and where I’m calling from), and then I stated the purpose of my call which was to express my support for the “legislation to cut federal funding for VA’s painful and wasteful dog experiments.”
The person on the phone had a cordial tone in her voice when she responded to me, and that made me feel good. However, I try not to allow others to influence me too much.
What made it easier this time around calling a political representative’s office is that I learned from the first time around the following:
- The assistant will be the one who picks up the phone, at least that’s most likely. Knowing who is going to pick up the phone helps me know what to say.
- I know the procedure. That is, it’s a simple and very brief phone conversation. I just state my support of a legislation and ask the assistant to relay the message to the senator. The only thing I’ll get asked (if I haven’t already told them) is what my name is and where I’m calling from. So there’s no pressure or expectation to chit-chat.
So How Do I Sound?
These days when I’m on the phone, I deliberately speak louder and with more inflection. By speaking louder and with more inflection, I feel more self-assured, and when you feel self-assured it’s more fun to speak and listen to people.
I’m sure I don’t have the voice of a good phone operator or receptionist yet, but I’m making progress and feeling more confident. As Tony Robbins says, “Progress equals happiness.”
To make further improvement on my voice and confidence, I’ll have to record myself.
I bet I’ll cringe when I hear my voice for the first time on a recording. But I need to make a recording of my voice because it will give me something objective to work with.
I can then adjust my voice, such as adding more vocal variety.
The reason I haven’t recorded myself before isn’t because I’m afraid to face the facts of what I might sound like. It’s just that I need to figure out how to use a recording device like Screen-O-Matic. (I’m not a technical person.)
Confidence comes with more self-knowledge. Part of the reason for insecurity is because one isn’t sure how one comes across.
So once I figure out how to use Screen-O-Matic, I’ll try it out. In fact, I’ll put the recording on this website as well as YouTube. I’ll make both “Before” and “After” recordings. It will be my own vocal makeover.
Similarly, I got over camera shyness by “recording” myself again and again. That is, I took lots of selfies with a digital camera. So now I feel comfortable in front of a camera because I’ve done it many times and have more self-knowledge and acceptance of my visual image.
Unlike using digital camera, with Screen-O-Matic, the focus will be on the voice rather than visual image.
Depending on what I hear on the recording, voice improvements can be made in the following areas:
- General Expressiveness
Yes, I’m sure I won’t like it when I hear my voice on a recording for the first time, but I’ll deal with it. It will be interesting to have a “Before” and “After” version of my voice recorded.