Etiquette Boss: Speaking of speech

BUSINESS ETIQUETTE – 21st Century Vocal Etiquette

Our vocal tone and pitch are very important in etiquette. Our parents taught us that “quiet speech is a sign of refinement,” and small children are now taught in school that they have two voice tones: their “inside” voice and their “outside” voice. They are told that the voice they use while running and shouting for their friends in the playground, is not the same voice that they should use indoors. Many parents now quietly whisper to their toddlers, “use your inside voice” if the child’s voice start going up above acceptable levels while indoors.

However, adults are not completely left out of vocal etiquette training. In this 21st century, vocal training for adults focuses their attention on how ‘vocal pace’ can affect business or social progress just as much as vocal tone.

For example, when attending an interview or speaking to clients, take note of their vocal pace. Note whether they speak more quickly or more slowly than you do. To build rapport, never speak at a faster rate than the other person, as studies have shown that a person’s speed of speech generally matches the rate at which their brain processes information.

The aim is to have them relax into conversation instead of feeling pressured to process your words more quickly than their brain can comfortably allow. Therefore, try consciously to speak at the same rate a bit more slowly than they do.

This tip is also critical for anyone who uses the telephone for business, as vocal pacing can be the difference between failure and success when the telephone is the only medium of communication.

Beauty Tips

Winter is unkind to the youngest of complexions as the skin is often buffeted by drying cold temperatures combined with artificial heat indoors. What can we do to avoid looking like the proverbial prune?

Moisture within cannot be overemphasized. In addition to adequate water intake, cod liver oil capsules or fish oil would help to keep your complexion plump. Instead of a nightly cream, use a serum for greater absorption. Vitamin C serums with at least 10 percent Vitamin C will help promote a glowing and youthful complexion.

Phillipa Morrish is the president of Etiquette Training International.

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