Please help me be less loud on the telephone
March 3, 2010 10:53 AM   Subscribe

What are your tricks for having quiet phone conversations?

I spend a lot of my day at work on the phone. I speak in a normal volume, but everyone in the offices near me can hear me. I don't think I'm exceptionally loud, as I can also hear everyone in adjacent offices on the phone.

I know some people (especially skilled receptionists) are able to have a phone conversation where the person on the other end of the phone can hear everything but someone standing a few feet away cannot. If you have this skill, what are your tricks?
posted by Sheppagus to Grab Bag (5 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Turn down the speaker volume on your headset. People have a general tendency to speak about as loud as the surrounding volume, so if it's a quiet office and you can hear the other party at a lower volume level, you'll speak more softly naturally.
posted by explosion at 10:56 AM on March 3, 2010

Try speaking in a lower register, from the diaphragm. Not only will this help you get the effect you're looking for, but it will also lend authority/professionalism to your tone, as well as help you get through a long day on the phone without growing hoarse.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 10:59 AM on March 3, 2010 [1 favorite]

Do you have a headset? If you don't, get one. If you're speaking directly into a microphone in front of your face, you can be a lot quieter and still heard.
posted by jacquilynne at 11:08 AM on March 3, 2010

+1 explosion. I talk loud on the phone because all I hear is the person on the phone and they're right-in-my-ear loud. Turn down the phone volume & you'll naturally turn down your own volume.
posted by MesoFilter at 12:11 PM on March 3, 2010

I have a headset, as do the other loudtalkers in my vicinity. I will try the volume trick. It figures that no one has called me since my question was posted.
posted by Sheppagus at 12:21 PM on March 3, 2010

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