Ever answer the phone without thinking? Do you answer the phone when you’re annoyed or angry without taking a moment to compose yourself? A voice over client or prospect can call when you least expect it and if they inadvertently hear a tired, unpleasant tone of voice, you can do some serious damage to your career.

Here’s why.

Your voice instantly sends signals about your energy level and state of mind. If you’re feeling bored or tired, everyone you speak to will hear it in your voice unless you take steps to remedy the situation.

Those steps include smiling before pick up the phone and say hello, using a telephone headset so you’re not tempted to cradle the receiver between your ear and shoulder and sitting up straight.

It takes mere seconds (about :03) to make a vocal impression over the phone. All you have to do is say ‘Hello’ and people form lasting impressions about how likeable and competent you are. They even form impressions about the way you look.

Even if you know you can change your voice behind the microphone and call up the energy when you need it, your client or prospect doesn’t know this. And if they hear you speak with a flat tired voice after you book the job, you risk causing buyers remorse.

As a professional voice talent, you are a celebrity of sorts and you need to take a cue from entertainers and actors who know part of the job is to always be on.

Singer/actress Dolly Parton is never seen in public without her wigs and makeup. She’s never out of character, even when she’s off stage with her peers. In a backstage ladies room, singers Emmy Lou Harris and Kathy Mattea once asked Dolly if she ever got tired of dressing that way and wearing all that makeup. Parton smiled sweetly and said “Why ladies, I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

Fortunately we don’t have to bother with wigs and false eye lashes. But you do have to guard the impression you make with your voice on the phone or face to face. After all, you never know when you’ll get that important call.

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Susan Berkley is a top voice over artist and founder of The Great Voice Company, a company devoted to teaching great voices around the world how to become successful voice over actors. The Great Voice Company is an international leader in voice over training and in providing top quality voice over recordings in all languages to discerning businesses and marketers. For additional information visit

Copyright 2012, The Great Voice Company. All Rights Reserved. In Voice Over It’s Not Just Your “Microphone Voice” That Counts.