Speaking on the phone, it’s one of those things that some people won’t bat an eyelid about, but for others, it awakens an anxiety that often, you never knew you had.
But what is it that sparks this? Is it the fear of speaking to someone you don’t know? The fear of getting your words muddled up? Or having no clues about how the conversation is going, other than what you can hear on the other end?
Whilst a lot of business communication can happen via online methods these days, getting over phone nerves is an important factor to your overall confidence. It doesn’t do any good to avoid things that you are fearful of, particularly when getting your anxieties under control could improve your business communication and opportunities.
To help you deal with phone anxiety, here are our four top tips.
1. Write something down.
What’s going to help you? Is it a short script, a list of points you want to cover, or a few questions you need to remember to ask? It’s easy to forget what you’re meant to be saying if you get flustered or distracted. But, if you have what you need to say right in front of you, it’ll make the call a lot easier.
2. Be personable and friendly.
It’s another person on the other end of the phone after all. What are they going to connect with most? Someone that’s polite and comes across as friendly, or someone that’s ringing just to get the job done? Make the call easier for yourself (and the other person), and try to make it as enjoyable an experience as possible.
3. Prepare for voicemails.
The next time you make a call and the familiar sound “welcome to the voicemail of…” rings in your ears, you might heave a sigh of relief. But don’t underestimate the impact of a good voicemail message. It can be the difference between someone calling you back, or someone pressing delete. For some professions, the execution of a good voicemail is a necessity. But, do you ever really know how you sound on the other end of the phone?
Try out this life hack and confidence booster – dial your own phone, or the phone of a friend and let it go through to voicemail. Leave your message, then hit #. On most phones, this will let you listen back to your message, and even re-record it. Ground-breaking.
Listen back to that voicemail message, and imagine yourself in the seat of the person on the other end of the phone. Do you sound convincing? Would you call you back? Listen to the tone of your voice, the volume, and the speed at which you talk. Make a mental note of what could be better, then try again.
A coach can work with you to build your confidence and reduce anxiety. Use our advanced search tool to find a professional near you.