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February, 1997 Page 208

How To Choose The Voice

Of Your Company

That computer telephony system you have in the office probably has the
"voice" most heard by your customers. That makes it a powerful member
of your company.
     Here are some things to consider when you select the voice for it.

Does the voice project the image of your company? Your company has a personality. A voice can communicate that personality to your customers. The voice representing a bank shouldn't sound the same as that of a cruise line. Trained talents are usually better at projecting personality than somebody you'll find in accounting or the president's wife.
  • Look for a neutral accent. This might depend on your app. If you're only
    fielding calls from a particular region, an accent might not be a problem. For
    national or worldwide apps, it can turn callers off.
  • Pick a voice that sounds professional, clear, friendly and caring. Since
    words are limited, the voice must carry these impressions to the customer.
  • Find somebody who speaks rhythmically. Flowing speech is easier to
    take and understand than choppy speech.
  • Look for inflection. A voice with expression will engage callers. A monotone
    voice will bore them.
  • Select a voice that clearly enunciates all of the consonants and vowels.
    Listen carefully, especially if you're not using a trained voice.
  • Make sure the ends of sentences aren't thrown away. Sometimes a
    sentence will start with great inflection and then taper off. You lose the
    customer with the lost end of the sentence.
  • Avoid nasal, monotone, mumbling, too slow, too fast, harsh, loud, very deep
    or very high voices.
  • Listen to the voices on tape or, better, in a test run in your computer
    telephony system.
    Some voices do not sound the same recorded as they do live.


      — Sandra McKnight, president of Voice Power Studios (Santa Fe,
  NM — 505-466-6500); Sandra will be one of the speakers for the CT Expo
  '97 seminar presentation titled "Artistry & Sound Production: Rock Solid
  Success Tips From the Experts" on March 6th, 1997 at 11:30 AM, Track Six.