Posted on: 30 October 2015Share
We live in an increasingly globalised world—one where lovers meet over the internet, family members don't live in the same neighbourhood, and friends and acquaintances are scattered across different continents.
People used to write snail mail to each other, waiting for ten, twenty, thirty days before they could finally hear news, good or bad, about their loved ones. Nowadays, things are much more instantaneous than that due to internet chats, text messages and phone calls. Yet the ease of keeping in touch doesn't immediately translate to actually keeping in touch.
Many people express anxiety making phone calls (there are plenty of web pages dedicated to it), even though, rationally, they know that there's probably nothing to be worried about. Luckily, distance needs not be an issue in building and maintaining your relationship with family and friends even though you're separated by thousands of miles. Here are some tips to ensure that your live phone chats are as smooth and painless as possible:
1) Make a list of conversation topics.
In-person silences are already awkward, but phone-call silences? They can be terrifying.
Making a list of conversation topics is incredibly helpful when you're calling someone you're not too close to—maybe a distant cousin you've only talked to once to wish a happy birthday, maybe a friend you haven't seen in years—and it doesn't have to be complicated, either.
Think about what you already know about the person you're calling. What are they interested in? What will they want to know? Additionally, take a note of things you want to share with them, be it something from the news or something personal about yourself.
2) Prepare yourself.
Think about what you're going to say. What do you start with? Who are you going to ask for? Why are you calling? If you think it'll help you, you can even write down a script so you can quickly refer to it if your mind blanks out.
Before you pick up the phone, take a deep breath and envision yourself having a successful conversation with the other person. A little optimism can go a long way!
Even though the other person can't see your face, a smile makes a difference in your voice intonation. So the next time you make a call, smile! It relaxes you and instantly makes you come across as friendlier over the phone, putting the other person more at ease.
4) Practice makes perfect.
The more you talk on the phone, the more comfortable you become. You can start small by calling people you're comfortable with and then build your way up to eventually calling acquaintances and even strangers. Eventually, you'll become a natural.