by Gilda Bonanno
Presenting over the phone is a common occurrence in business today, whether you are doing a sales call, conducting a meeting or connecting with clients, partners or vendors.
The challenge with phone presentations is that your voice is the only element of body language that you have to support your words. So your voice becomes even more important than when doing in-person presentations since it can broadcast your lack of confidence to your audience.
Here are six strategies for how to sound confident when presenting over the phone:
1. Breathe. When you take short, shallow breaths, there is not enough oxygen to fuel your voice through the end of the sentence. You literally run out of air by the end of the sentence and your voice trails off, which makes you sound less confident. To prevent this from happening, take full, deep breaths which will energize your voice. (And keep your voice well hydrated).
2. Speak loudly enough to be heard clearly. How loudly depends on the audience and the phone connection. And technology such as cell phones or speaker phones can also make it harder for people to hear you.
3. Confident people don’t mumble. Enunciate your words so each word can be understood easily. (Often this requires you to slow down and pause more, how slowly is "slowly enough" depends on your audience).
4. Avoid using a monotone. Vary your volume, rate of speed, pausing, tone, etc. to keep the audience’s attention and help communicate your exact meaning. Variety also demonstrates that you are confident about your content.
5. Energize your voice. Overall, your voice is more important on the phone than it is in person, and so it must be more energized than it would be in person. An energized voice projects confidence and authority. Speak standing up, which gives you better posture and energizes your voice automatically. Also, remember to smile when presenting - yes, the audience will be able to hear it in your voice.
6. Practice. Do a practice presentation over the phone and record yourself (your phone or laptop recorder will do). Listen to the recording from your audience’s point of view. And work with a coach to make rapid progress towards improving your skills.
If you follow these six strategies, you will sound more confident when presenting over the phone, which will help you connect to your audience and communicate your message effectively.
For more help with this topic, check out my course Virtual Presentations: How to Develop and Deliver an Effective Presentation Over the Phone
Gilda Bonanno's blog www.gildabonanno.blogspot.com