Section 9.4

Using a Speakerphone

A speakerphone can be very useful when multiple people in a room need to participate in a call. However, a person on the other end of the call may not always be able to hear you clearly when you talk into a speakerphone, so if you’re alone in your office and don’t have a good reason to use one, don’t; pick up your handset instead. Unnecessary speakerphone use can convey self-importance and a lack of respect for listeners.

When you do use a speakerphone and you have others in the room with you, say so right away. It’s not only polite but also ethical to make sure all participants in a call know who their audience is.

With a speakerphone, you’ll often have two sets of listeners — one set on the other end of the phone and one in the room with you. Avoid hunching over and staring down at the phone as you speak. Sit up, or stand up, project your voice, and look at the other people in the room (see Chapter 2 for more on eye contact). But don’t wander too far from the microphone or you may make it difficult for your listeners on the other end to hear you.

If you use the mute button, use it carefully. Confirm that the feature is actually working on your phone by saying, “Can you hear me?” or something similar. Only after you are sure the phone is muted should you say anything you wouldn’t want listeners on the other end to hear.