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Tone of voice & body language


I have just been tasked with putting together an internal training course that covers tone of voice and body language in two seperate sessions. I will be training IT support staff who are constantly on the phone to clients so I am thinking about adding the usual stuff like smiling down the phone and posture etc. I could really do with any advice or tips from anyone who may have run a similar course in the past. I want to make the sessions as fun as possible and try to use some really exciting exercises. If anyone knows of any good books on the subject please let me know. Thanks guys.
Russell Williams

6 Responses

  1. not an exercise but..

    there is a useful download at called the PEOPLE mnemonic, it summarises quite nicely the non-verbal factors, (though it isn’t too good for tonal influences)

    Whilst you are on that site you can also go to the Sebastians Action Trust page and make an intellectual contribution to the e-book as a payment for the free download!


  2. In or Out of the Course?
    Can I ask you a question around this topic? Has your internal client stated specifically or have you established precisely what they expect or want as organisational outcomes as a result of this training? Rather than them stating what they want ‘in’ the course have you got them to clearly establish what they want ‘out’ of the course, in other words, the results and business outcomes? I ask this simply because I recently had a client who asked for a very similar programme where they stated what they wanted included in the programme’s content. When I explored what they wanted in terms of results, it quickly became apparent that their analysis of requirements was done based on very meagre information and not in the form of any reliable ITN and their expectations were strongly at odds with prospective results, based on their definition of requirements.

  3. Idea on fun approach
    You could try getting pairs or small groups to practise and present pieces of dialogue “in the style of”
    Get others in the group to guess their style. This helps to identify what appropriate and inappropriate looks and sounds like. This can be adapted for both tone and body language.

  4. 2 sessions??
    Hi There,

    I am wondering why you would be seperating these areas??

    The Physical impact of Body Language greatly affects the vocal element of communication and I have always included as part of the one whole session?

    What are the objectives you have been given/have assessed as needed by the delegates??

    I have delieverd many session on successful telephone comm’s over the years and would happily share content …mail me if you would like to discuss further, [email protected]

  5. Role Play & Critique
    Suggestion: Set up role-play telephone conversations. Have your simulated rep & his simulated customer sit at front tables removed as far as possible across the room, on real phones with each other but screened from each other’s view, but in full view of other participants. Have them discuss a simuulated IT scenario.
    At the conclusion of scenario have each role-play participant explain to the group what they think thay ‘saw’ in the other’s ‘body language’ and ‘voice tone’.
    Debrief the audience participants as to what they actually saw. Discuss areas for improvement.
    Give as many as participants as possible the opportunity to do a similar role-play, different problem.


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