The Baltimore Business Journal
Volume 21, Number 32
August 1st, 2003

Tip of the Week: On voicemail, take a lesson from Sinatra.

Frank Sinatra practiced voice control by holding his head under water as long as he could. His ability to control his breathing helped him become known as "The Voice."

How can you use your voice most effectively to help your business?

Work on pitch, pace and volume, says Natalie McIntyre of Image Line LLC in Baltimore.

"So much of communication is done by voicemail," McIntyre says, "if you’re not leaving messages with vocal variety, people time out."

To discover your most interesting voice, she assigns you this homework:

  1. Call your own voicemail and read a few paragraphs of the newspaper. Then call back and listen to your voice. Does your pitch go up and down? Are some words read faster or slower? Is there a change in volume?
  2. Call your voicemail again and talk about something you really like doing, such as going to the beach. Does your voice sound more interesting?

Your voicemail greeting is also important. Never say "um", she says.

If much of your business is conducted via phone, McIntyre says to keep a mirror and water nearby.