How to use your voice for effective communication is complicated. Verbal communication isn’t only about our words but also how we say them. If I laughed and called you a rotten egg, you’d most likely take no offense. However, if I called you a rotten egg with anger in my voice, you’d probably not take it well, same words, different meanings.

Saying the right words the wrong way can change the meaning and make your communication less effective.

Your tone of voice, facial expressions, and body language define your words. You could say they’re the punctuation of verbal communication. Here are a few tips on how to use your voice for effective communication.

How to Use Your Voice for Effective Communication

Make Eye Contact

People don’t trust people who don’t make eye contact, and it signals that something is being hidden or held back. Not a good message to share.

Use Lowered Inflection

Lowered inflection is what we use when we’re confident. Our voices begin on a higher note and descend. The opposite, rising inflection, is when your voice begins low, and the notes rise as you speak. Rising inflection denotes a lack of confidence or questioning.

Be Precise

Don’t ramble. Get to the point. Don’t lose people’s attention by being a bore.

Speak Clearly

Don’t mumble and do not talk while chewing gum or eating a sandwich, and that’s for virtual conversations too.

Avoid Slang

If you want people to take you seriously, speak like a professional. Verbal conversation isn’t a text.

Never Be Inappropriate 

This includes cursing or being insensitive. For example, I was in a retail store with a friend when an employee said, “Hi Beautiful!” to my friend. She walked over and said, “My name is Becky.” and walked away. She hasn’t been back to the store.

Never Be Rude

Don’t be annoyed with people or dismissive of them it shows in your voice.

Don’t Let Negative Emotions Show in Your Voice

If you’re upset or angry, don’t let it show in your voice. Keep a smile on your face and your voice in an even tone. It’s hard not to be positive with a smile on your face. Try it.

Set the Tone

By sharing a friendly smile, speaking clearly in confident tones, and making eye contact, you can win the ear and trust of others and effectively communicate.

How Can I Help You?

I like to help people and organizations, but I have three criteria I consider before taking an assignment – I believe in what the organization stands for, I know I can help, and it looks like fun. If you have any questions, Contact Me. 

Does your business have a management training plan? Many organizations, large and small, use my book, The New Manager’s Workbook, a crash course in effective management, as the basis for their leadership development program. I’m also available to conduct training.

Photo by Mimi Thian on Unsplash