©, 2008 -



Learn the importance of using the right word at the right time, how to emphasize words while you speak, and how to plan what you are about to say.
With the advent of computers came the tool known as the Word Processor. It has almost completely replaced the typewriter. Why is the word processor a much better tool than the old typewriter? With the typewriter, once you typed the message with your fingers it was transferred directly to the paper. If you discovered an error or wanted to change the way something was worded it was nearly impossible. Whereas the word processor lets you proofread what you have typed before it is transferred to paper. You have the opportunity to examine what you have said and easily make changes to it before it is printed.
The purpose of this lesson is to help you, as a good customer service representative, to process your words, mentally, before sending them onward for your customers to hear. If you are like the rest of us you can recall times when you have said something to someone and, afterward, wished you had not spoken those words. You may even be able to recall times when it has bothered you for hours after speaking the words - wishing you had spoken the message differently. The purpose of this lesson is to help you prepare your messages beforehand in order to avoid saying the wrong things to your customers.

We know that 55% of a first impression is non-verbal. That relates to our eye-contact, facial expressions, etc. Thirty-eight percent of the first impression is based upon the tone of your voice. It's not what you say, but how you say it! More than one third of what a customer thinks about your business is based simply upon how you speak. That's an impressive number and should make us want to stop and think - at least, before we speak.

This is especially true if you use the telephone in your business. Your customers cannot see you when you speak over the telephone. They may be looking at the kitchen counter, or watching something on the television screen, or just looking out of a window while listening to you. Their minds are open to the words you use to convey your message via the telephone line. By choosing your words carefully you can keep their attention on your conversation, cause their mind to wander, or even make them angry.

You can learn to speak in such a way that your customer will turn their mind totally toward whatever you are saying to them. The easiest way to draw attention to what you are saying, whether on the telephone or not, is to place emphasis on the words you want the customer to remember. As a simple example look at the following sentence:

These items sell for only $9.95.
Read the above sentence out loud without emphasizing any words and listen as you speak. Without emphasizing words your voice sounds pretty monotone - boring. But if you want to capture your customer's attention place emphasis on the underlined words:

These items sell for only $9.95.
As you read the sentence this time, placing emphasis on the underlined words, and as you listen to yourself, you must admit that your message has much more meaning. Emphasizing adjectives and adverbs while you speak makes your message much more meaningful. The minds of your customers will seem to hang on the emphasized words and they will be much more receptive to what you have to say.

For those of you who need a quick review of English, an adjective is a word that adds to the meaning of a noun (person, place or thing). An adverb is usually a word that adds meaning to a verb (the action word of a sentence). For more help in reviewing your English visit MrKent's English Tutorial.

Before you can effectively communicate using emphasis on key words you must practice everywhere you go. Don't try it while you are on the job until you have practiced at home and in general conversations with others. If you try it you will find it to be an enjoyable exercise. Once you have become comfortable with the concept you should use it on the job. Of course, you should also be cautious not to over-emphasize words to the point that your message no longer sounds sincere. Simply add small amount of genuine emphasis to the appropriate words and you won't scare people away.


During the next 24 hours practice emphasizing various words (especially adjectives and adverbs) as you speak. You will even find it interesting and fun to practice while speaking with your family and fellow employees. By forcing yourself to emphasize these words you will be practicing word processing at the same time. Think before you speak.