Word Of the Week #13: Tone of Voice

April 20, 2009 by  

Tone of Voice: style or manner of approach in speaking.

Tone of Voice

Little Girl, Big Voice

Did you know that only 7% of your message is communicated with words, while 38% is relayed by your voice? That includes your tone, rate of speech, accent, inflection, pacing, projection, and so on.

The words you choose to speak are important, but they are just part of your message. Your customers, members, guests, (and even loved ones), will always go for the visual signals over the verbal ones. Remember, you are the message!

Did you also know that your tone of voice and pitch will raise and your voice will tighten if you are not telling the truth when asked a question?

For those of you who spend a lot of time on the phone, your tone of voice becomes your eye contact! Stop and think about how fast you are speaking and how sincere your tone of voice is coming across.

This week focus on your tone of voice, rate of speech, accent, inflection, pacing, and projection. See if you find yourself connecting at a deeper level with those people you come in contact with.

Reader Responses

“Susan, great stuff! Never heard this before: make your voice your eyes, so very true. What is the value of a conversation without eye contact? It’s like winking in the dark, nobody notices. ” — Kurt Bishofberger

“Some of the things you mentioned I don’t spend time thinking about. I know my wife reminds me to keep my voice down on the phone because I tend to get loud, especially when I talk to my dad. I get a little excited. I use my hand and arm movements judiciously when making a point. I would have to say that I am conscious of my movements but confident in how I use them. Maybe because I have had experience in public speaking. I am more conscious of the loudness of my voice at work than at any other location. Mainly because my voice carries. Thank you for the reminders. — “Warrior” Joe Moran.

“Thanks for this confirmation! I’m so guilty of not watching my tone with my family. I do it all day long with business….but family WELL that continues to be my daily challenge! Thanks for your encouragement and words to live by.”
— Cathie Capolino

“Boy is this WOW aimed right at me! My daughter and granddaughter are always jumping on my case about my tone of voice. We get in more “discussions” because of how they perceive my tone of voice. When talking with clients or prospective clients, though, I make it a point to smile when I’m talking, and make sure that I am projecting a pleasant tone.” — Terry L. Green