In this digital age where we spend so much time communicating though emails, text messages and social media, it often seems like the humble phone belongs to a bygone era. As wonderful as these alternative ways to talk to people are, they’ve also provided a great excuse to avoid conversations over the phone meaning that speaking to people, especially those you don’t know, can seem daunting and phone etiquette has fallen by the wayside.

We’ve put together some handy hints to help you take control of those conversations and boost your confidence on the phone.

1. Smile!

It might sound silly and of course the other person can’t see your smile but trust me when we say that they will definitely be able to hear it! No matter what the situation, make sure you have a quick smile before introducing yourself, you will seem warmer and more enthusiastic

2. Speak Clearly

This is an obvious one but if not done well, it can be off putting and extremely frustrating for the person on the receiving end! Make sure you’re holding the receiver close to your mouth so they can hear your clearly. There is nothing more awkward than having to ask someone to keep repeating themselves, so be professional and try not to mumble – the person on the phone may be your future employer so make sure you impress them!

3. Use the right language

Ever get nagged from your parents and teachers for saying “yeah” and not “yes” and saying “um” after every few words? It’s really important that you enunciate your words, if you don’t it can come across as if you are uninterested, bored and almost as if you are unsure about what you are talking about!

4. Introduction

When answering the phone or making an outbound call, always introduce yourself and the company first before anything else. It makes you sound confident and professional. There's nothing more off putting than being on the end of a grunted 'yeah'!

5. Phonetics!

This might seem so old school, but the phonetic alphabet really can help when spelling the name of your business or colleague. You can learn the whole alphabet here: This is also likely to save the embarrassment of thinking of random words on the spot (G for… Goats Cheese??)!