Telephoning can be more difficult than other speaking situations, as you can’t see the other person’s face. It also takes time to process what the other person says, then think of a suitable reply.
Use these tips to help you have better phone conversations.
Use please at the end of your request to show the other person you’ve finished.
“Could you put me though to the Manager, please?”
“Could you take a message for me, please?”
Don’t speak too fast!
Give the other person time to understand and reply to what you are saying or asking. It’s especially important to slow down if you’re on a mobile phone with poor reception, or if there’s background noise.
Plan what you need to say.
What’s your “message”? What do you want the other person to do? Often the biggest problem people have on the phone is saying too much. Keep what you say simple, direct, and brief.
Keep useful phrases handy
Some telephoning phrases are “standard” – you’ll hear them time and time again. Either practise them until you feel confident using them, or print out a few to keep by the phone.
If you smile on the phone, the other person can hear it! Smiling puts some life into what you say, as well as making you sound more friendly.
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