A friend who worked in radio once told me how she achieved what she called her “radio voice.” As soon as she entered the studio, “I said oh, this’ll be fun, and started smiling,” she said. She kept the smile in place so her face felt relaxed, no matter what the content of the news or feature story she was about to read into a microphone.
“The audience can’t see you, so that’s a great advantage in working on how you sound,” she said. “I listened to tapes of myself speaking on the air and I always sounded better if I was smiling. Tension or fatigue comes through in your voice, either on the air or on the phone. If you smile, you can rise above that.” The very act of smiling sends a message to your facial muscles, and your mindset instantly improves: something fun is afoot!
How often have you made a phone call in a hurried manner and the person on the other end says, “What’s the matter?” Your tone, your distracted mindset, travels loud and clear, whether via Verizon, AT&T or even a string and tin cans. It’s not natural to smile all the time, so we don’t. But the smile in your voice warms your tone, relaxing your listener, inviting real attention. Something to sell? Great, they’re on board. It takes energy, especially if you’re tired, or dreading a call, or distracted by something unrelated. Do what my radio friend did: wave a hand in front of your face, to symbolically banish everything else but this.
Think fun, put on that megawatt smile—you’ll sound like a friend. And your customers will stay tuned.