Winning Ways to Sound Professional on the Phone

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Mary Rae Floresca|

Whether you’re a call center agent or not, you should know how to professionally interact through phone conversation. No matter what your profession is, you must sound polite and professional on the phone. If you think it is easy to be communicate through the phone, it’s not. It could be tricky, sometimes the receiver could sense your deep breathing on the phone or the way you rattle when speaking.

Here are surefire ways to sound professional on the phone:

1. Prep your vocal cords

Well, you’re not singing on the phone with a caller but at least, take care of your throat. Author of The Essential Phone Interview Handbook, Dr. Paul Bailo explained,”Having a teaspoon of honey can help to soothe your throat.”  This is to avoid coughing to prevent your voice from trailing off. No honey? Try the old school salabat (warm ginger juice) or lukewarm drinking water would do.

2. Smile while speaking

Now this depends on the industry where you are in. But if you want to exude a positive reaction by the one you’re talking to, smile while speaking. They may not see it but it will translate into a warmer tone in your voice. Your caller can still get a sense of how you interact with people based on how you speak on the phone, so next time you call or answer the phone, smile!

3. Be aware of your speaking volume.

Practice the way you speak on the phone. Identify the volume where you are comfortable with but also the person on the other line. Be sensitive to your surroundings. If it’s noisy, the default way is to call them back and transfer to a quieter place. It is more appropriate than yelling on the phone. If the line is choppy, politely say, “I’m sorry, our line is quite choppy, may I call you back?” Or wait for the caller to ring back.

4. Answer the phone politely

When answering the phone, use a proper greeting like “Good morning,” or “Thank you for calling ____, hello.” Or announce your name like “Hi, Good morning, this is Jake speaking.” Tendency is the caller will immediately introduce their self. Doing this is a polite way to communicate. Even if your mom is calling, don’t just say “Oh?” Greet her with “Hi, Mom!”

5. Speak Slowly

Speak slowly but slowly enough that the listener can hear your words clearly and understand what you are saying. This will make people tune in to what you’re saying. “Talking in a slow natural voice will help you focus on each word you are saying,” Dr. Bailo added.

6. Ditch the adlibs

You’re not hosting on TV here. You are speaking to a probable client or business partner on the phone. So remove the “ahh” and “uhm” in your sentences These filler words make you sound unsure and unintelligent. Your listener may get an impression that what you will say can be not true. If you need to gather your thoughts, you may say, “Please hold for a moment, let me double check on your concern.”

7. Just breathe then wrap up

If you’re usually the caller, just breathe in and out, relax your muscles and gather your thoughts. Notes is a big help to, especially when you’re proposing to a client. Make sure you have everything you need in front of you just in case the recipient will throw a question at you. Stay calm and wrap up your conversation accordingly. If everything was discussed, you may follow-up with “Is there anything else I can help you with?” or you may wrap up at the end of the conversation, “…Thank you, have nice day, good bye.”


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