Polish Professional Presence with Talking Gestures

How to Prepare for a Phone Interview

Did you know people tend to lose 30% of the energy in their voices on the phone?

Your body language and facial expressions comprise more than half of your personality, yet the minute you get on the phone, part of it is lost. This can be especially problematic for attorneys who are trying to attract new clients or simply network with a contact.  A phone conversation just isn’t the same as face-to-face interaction. Attorneys must be able to get their personalities across on the phone by translating their emotions into sound. Think about it. Radio personalities do it everyday. So can you with a technique called “talking gestures.”

Here’s how:

  1. Punctuate your phone conversations. Lawyers can make up for lack of eye contact by punctuating phone conversations with simple acknowledgements like “Yes” or “I hear you.” This will give the listener the impression that you are engaged in the conversation. Also, you can verbalize approval with words like “I see,” “Oh that’s great,” and “Tell me more!”
  2. Smile verbally. Attorneys can let their listeners know they are smiling with sentences like “Wow, that’s funny!” If you actually SMILE as you talk, your listener will hear your smile.  Of course, a real laugh works every time too.
  3. Use the caller’s name. Replace eye contact by using a listener’s name more often in the conversation. Again, this will let them know that you are engaged in the conversation and want to hear what they have to say.

Obviously, you’ll want to choose phrases that match your personality but ALWAYS make sure the phone listener can hear your emotions.

In the end, you want phone listeners to get to know the real you – and like you for it.


Jacqueline Hill, Esq.

This post was written by .

Jacqueline Hill is a partner at Lexacount Search, where she places top senior-level and other legal talent with law firms and corporate legal departments across the United States. She has been writing about careers, lawyers, attorney professional development, and the legal industry for more than a decade. She can be reached at jacqueline.hill@lexacount.com or 215-740-0104, extension 101.

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