Your Voice – It’s All You’ve Got

Ours is an astonishing business – truly “virtual.” We seldom ever meet a client or a candidate. Using just the phone and email we provide a service for which we are well paid. However, that places a tremendous amount of importance on something that we take completely for granted – the voice. After all, we have been talking almost since birth so we must be good at it, right? It might be worth pausing for a moment to ask “how much is my tone of voice affecting my recruiting success?”

Communication gurus tell us that 60% of communication is body language (that’s a problem, unless you are video conferencing with candidates), 30% is tone of voice, and 10% is the actual content of what is said. That leaves us, as recruiters, with only the tone of voice to get our message across. Which brings me to the important point: Have you listened to yourself lately?

I recently took a voice exam with Executive Voice Coach, Sandra McKnight. She told me to “slow down and pay more attention to final consonants!“ I often fall to be mindful on the phone because I have a lot to get done.

May I make a few suggestions for improving the quality of your voice on the phone?

  • Slow down when you speak. We talk faster when we are nervous or when we feel like we are intruding. You will “sound” more confident and be more authoritative if you speak slowly and deliberately
  • Provide good breath support. Recruiting coaches often recommend that recruiters learn to do public speaking because (correctly taught) it improves proper breath support. This means: sit up straight and speak from your diaphragm.
  • Find your best speaking range. This is best done with a piano (go ahead, visit the Steinway store!). By singing along with the notes, find the top and bottom of your singing voice range. Then figure out what is dead center within your range – that is your optimum speaking voice. It is almost always lower than your normal default tone.
  • Think before you speak. Does the person on the other end hear a warm, relaxed, cheerful smile – or an uptight, in a hurry to make a buck, recruiter? It is sometimes recommended that you have a mirror in front of you so you can “see” what your voice sounds like.
  • Be Happy! In a 2020 Forbes article, “ The Power of Connection Through Voice,” Andrea Luomas states ,“Hearing happiness in the voice of another makes us pay more attention than hearing happiness in your own voice.” Happiness affects your voice and your listener.

For more help on this topic visit these links to articles written by communication expert, Judith Filek, President of Impact Communications: