Phone Signal: strong or weak?

Communicating over the phone is an integral part of conducting business for many if not all of us. Getting your message across may depend more on your behaviors than on the cell signal.

Is your phone presence strong or are you blocking your message with unknown habits that make for a weak message signal?

Even if you are brilliant, your bad habit of breathing heavily into the mic or chewing in someone’s ear acts like a dark storm cloud blocking your message from shining through.

Do yourself a favor and have a recording made of your calls (with others’ permission). I’m sure you’ll find at least one thing in the list below to improve to become a more effective communicator.

Below are a few tips to help make your phone conversations more effective. Oh, and if you think these are basic, you’re correct. But if the shoe fits…..


  • Speak clearly and slowly.
  • Lower your voice if you normally speak loudly.
  • Keep the phone two-finger widths away from your mouth.
  • Ideally, keep the headset / phone mic at nose level, above mouth.
  • Pause to allow the other person to speak and respond.
  • Be aware of the delay noise canceling speakers/headsets can cause.
  • Introduce yourself when answering / speaking.
  • keep a distance of at least 10 feet from the nearest person when taking in public.
  • Be aware of your paper shuffling, typing, and other activities – use mute.


  • Never talk with anything in your mouth, including gum.
  • Use speaker phone for any business calls (audio cuts in and out.)
  • Put the mic in front of your mouth, below nose – your heavy breathing is distracting.
  • Speak over the other person and cut her/him off.
  • Go into a monologue – it’s a conversation !
  • Talk while driving – give the caller your undivided attention – seriously, you’re not that good.
  • Watch TV or listen to music while on a call.
  • Don’t whisper or shout
  • Don’t blame the other person for a dropped call / poor connect – 2-4% of all calls are dropped.