Using your voice

Last updated: Tuesday, September 20, 2022

The way you interact with someone can change completely according to how you use your voice. You can vary the tone of your voice, the pitch (high or deep), the volume, and the speed at which you speak. You can also choose which words to emphasise.

To show how your voice can work for you, consider the sentence: “This patient has medicines that have not been prescribed”. Try saying it in different ways:
      • As a statement of fact
      • As an accusation: show them you’re annoyed!
      • As a question: you’re seeking information.
      • As an apology: it’s all my fault!

Exactly the same words in the same order, but the meaning is very different. And the way someone will respond to you is very different too.

Here are some things to think about:

Try to vary the tone and pitch of your voice to make what you say interesting. Without thinking about it, we can often slip into a professional ‘drone’ especially if we end up saying the same things repeatedly during the working week. Try not to do this, and to treat every conversation as a personal event.

Don’t race through everything you have to say at a gallop. Pause occasionally to allow the other person to ask questions or interrupt you.

If you know you have a strong accent or tend to speak quickly, then make an effort to speak more slowly.

Try to emphasise key words to help people focus on the most important aspects of what you're saying: "Just to confirm that you can take this medicine when you’re pregnant. It won’t harm your baby. You just have to take one tablet twice a day."