How can tone of voice affect communication?

Would you do business with yourself?

Have you ever recorded yourself on a sales call? In my previous careers, I’ve had to video myself and do self-assessments on how I perform and the language I use on numerous occasions. It’s such an eye opener!

How can tone of voice affect communication?

Your tone of voice can make your interactions highly engaging or incredible off putting.

I’m an avid podcast listener and over the past few months, I’ve been acutely aware of habits some people have when they’re talking. I’ve been listening to quite a few interviews where the guest has had one particular word or phrase which they’ve repeated again and again to the point it’s off putting (they have no idea they’re doing it). There’s one podcast I can’t listen to anymore because the presenter does the same thing.


Your tone of voice can make your interactions highly engaging or incredible off putting. Share on X


I sometimes have to critique business owners on their language while they’re working with clients. Most people have no idea of their little idiosyncrasies and habits until it’s pointed out to them (myself included!).

Are you game to listen to yourself?

If you’re game, why don’t you record a sales call or have someone else assess you interacting with a client. I know some of you have a podcast. Have you ever critiqued yourself?

It’s important to be yourself but it’s also important to come across in the way you want to. I’m sure you’ll agree, in business, it’s vital to be effective.


It's important to be yourself, but in business, it's vital to be effective. Share on X

Here are some tips for assessing your tone of voice during your sales conversations:


Can you be heard? Is your voice loud enough?


Is your speech clear? Do you enunciate well?


What language are you using? Is your language appropriately representing your business and brand? Do you have a wide vocabulary or do you repeat the same word again and again?


Do you match the rate at which the other person speaks. This helps get you in sync with the customer, although speaking in a cadence that’s too slow can make you seem uninterested.


Do you vary up your, rhythm, volume and pitch or do you sound monotone?


Does your tone match the nature of the information you’re sharing?


Is your breathing controlled?


Do you sound confident and knowledgeable?

Down / up tones

Do you go up in tone or down in tone at the end of a sentence? A down tone is important to display confidence and authority.

Bad habits

Do you have a lot of “ums” and “ahs”? Other bad habits? Silent pauses and breaks are ok.


How can tone of voice affect communication_

Wrapping up

Why not have someone watch or listen in on your next sales conversation. Alternatively, you could record your conversation (with the customers permission of course) and listen back to it. Perhaps you could encourage your entire team to conduct a peer challenge amongst themselves.

Your communication will become so much more effective if you are continually willing to learn and improve. There is so much to be learnt from hearing yourself in a real life situation. Give it a go!

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