Producer’s note: Someone on Quora asked: How can I make my voice sound more confident on the phone? Here is one of the best answers that’s been pulled from the thread.
1. Speak more slowly.
Talking quickly has a lot of negative implications. It suggests that you are nervous, or that you think you’re going to be interrupted, or that people will stop listening to you if you don’t get them your information quickly enough. Speaking at a slow, relaxed pace conveys confidence and status.
2. Use fewer words.
Since you’re speaking more slowly, you will irritate people if you don’t get to your point quickly enough, or if what you have to say isn’t valuable. Express your thoughts in as few words as possible.
Pause before you start talking and pause at important moments while you are talking. Speaking is essentially less structured singing, and “rests” can have as much impact when speaking as the things you say.
4. Speak in your chest voice.
For men, deeper voices come across as more confident and masculine. You have two (maybe three) registers of your voice – your chest voice, and your head voice. They are so named because of where the sound resonates. Try doing a little vocal run from the bottom of your range to the top and back down, the top being where your voice crack. About 20% higher from the bottom, that’s where your speaking range should be, and you should feel a rumbling in your chest when you are speaking in that range.
5. Avoid nasal tone.
Some people have a habit of speaking with a very nasal tone. This is caused by a drooping soft palate. If you move your tongue along the top of your mouth back towards your throat, your soft palate is the spot where the top of your mouth goes from being hard to being soft and flexible. To raise your soft palate, practice the beginning of a yawn, and then speak. Think of doing a John Kerry impression.
6. Listen more than you talk.
Most people like to hear themselves talk, or at the very least, to be the center of attention. As a result, for most folks, “listening” really amounts to “politely waiting for the other person to finish so I can start talking again.” Instead, suspend your agenda while the other person is talking. Make it a goal to learn what they have to say and inquire more about it. They’ll think you’re the most amazing conversationalist in the world.