Now that you're all at home on the phone, that phone interview, or on that webinar...
Thought I'd share an article I wrote for LinkedIn.
COVID-19 has thrown our world and work routines into a whirlwind of changes. One of the biggest changes, in terms of work life, is the increase in phone and online communication. For people who don't have to speak or present for a living, that can prove challenging. I've been privy to some webinar intros that, well, don't sound very engaged or engaging.
So! What do to about it.
I've been a professional actor and voiceover for 25 years, and a voiceover instructor and coach for 10. Among the hopefuls who've come through my classes over the years are businesspeople who just want to learn how to communicate in a more effective manner. Often, I see faces that look confused at first, and then the lightbulb goes on as they listen back to their work. It's fun and gratifying to see!
What do I tell them to do?
The first thing I tell my beginner students to do before reading their script is to put their hands up. And then I tell them they're not under arrest because invariably, that's how they'll put up their hands. Then, after we're all done chuckling, I'll tell them why.
Using your hands and gesturing while you're speaking helps to add energy and oomph to what you're saying. Heck, on a phone call or webinar, no one is looking at you, so you can gesture to your heart's content! Try it! You don't talk with your hands, you say? Have you looked in the mirror while having a conversation? Yes, most of us talk with our hands.
The other most important part of the equation?
A smile. Yes, a smile. A big, physical smile. Not just with your eyes. No shortcuts. But, a big smile on your face. I'll have my beginner students read a script in three different ways. The first time through, no smile, no gestures. The second time, just a smile. The third time, a big smile accompanied by gestures. Then we'll listen back and, again, there goes that lightbulb.
Try it for yourself and record it. I guarantee you'll hear the difference!
Stay healthy, stay safe, and stay home.
Kathleen Puls Andrade is the Beginning and Advanced Voiceover instructor for the Second City Training Center, Chicago. She's also worked with Discover Card coaching their eLearning group, coached numerous individual clients, performed with Second City Bizco, and has worked as a VO on Allstate, Quaker, Morton, and many more.
Visit Kathleen's website at GingrWorks.com for more information about coaching and training, and for quotes on individual coaching, and coaching webinars for groups.
Kathleen is represented for VO by Grossman and Jack Talent, Chicago.