Tuesday, March 9, 2010

7 Tips To Give Good Phone

Being able to convert an online email exchange, or a fix-up from a friend, into a face-to-face date often hinges on something you probably haven't thought much about: having an alluring phone personality. Below are my 7 tips to make him want to meet the faboulous woman behind the phone voice:
1.Sound upbeat: Use a cheerful voice, even if something annoys you, or if you've had a bad day. No body likes a Debbie Downer.
2.Give Intentional Responses: If a guy asks you a generic or vague question such as "How are you?", remember that he is not inquiring about your health or your mood. In the early stages of a relationship, he will use everything you say as a clue to project what type of person you are. "How are you" actually becomes a Rorschach test! Leverage his generic question into giving an "intentional response"by sharing something about yourself that you want him to know. For example:
He asks, "How are you?"
You say, "I'm great! I just returned from an exhilarating run in Central Park with my best friend from college."
What does this tell him about you? That you are fitness oriented (you run), you're the type of person who has sustainable relationships (you've maintained a friend for 20 years since college), and you're an energetic, positive person (I'm great!)."
Obviously don't make anything up (i.e., don't say you went running if you really didn't!), but proactively think of something positive about yourself that you want him to know when he asks a mundane question.
3.Get him talking about himself:Follow up your "intentional response" with a related question that lets him talk about himself, such as "So do you run, or what kind of exercise do you like? " or, "How about you, do you have an old friend you spend time with?"
4.Don't interview him: Finding a "conversation bridge" from something you said ("So, speaking of running…") also helps you evaluate him in a casual way to see what type of person HE is, without making him feel as though this is a job interview and you're ticking off a checklist of requirements (Do you exercise? Check! Do you have long term relationships? Check!)
Getting him to talk about himself is not the same thing as peppering him with mundane, mind-numbing questions. Don't grill him with boring questions, even if he asked you a boring question first (e.g., How are you? What are you doing? How was work? Was the traffic bad?).
5.Ask "fun" questions: If there's a lull in the conversation flow, try to be fun and spark some banter. Pick a neutral topic that has nothing to do with either of you, and make a comment (or ask a question) about it. For example, "Hey, did you happen to see David Letterman last night? He did the Top Ten Reasons for things overheard waiting in line to see Avatar…. Guess what #1 was?"
Asking a guy to guess something is a great way to flirt and keep things interesting. And raising a 3rdparty topic (e.g., The David Letterman Show) will make you seem easy-going because you aren't like all the other girls probing to find out if he's Mr. Right (What do you for work? Tell me about your parents? Do you golf?).
6.Make him feel relaxed and confident: By acting happy that he called and giving him positive feedback on his conversation skills (even if his phone skills aren't great—the shy or awkward ones initially usually make better husbands in the long run than the instantly suave, charismatic ones!), you'll make him feel like a million bucks. For example, tell him, "I had a rough day at work, but your call cheered me up!" or "Oh, that's an interesting question…"
7.Know when the party's over:When you feel the conversation winding down or sense his energy level drooping, immediately end the call so you leave things on a "high" note. But blame it on an external factor rather than making him think you're bored. For example, "Oh, I just realized it's 10pm and I didn't call my grandma yet to wish her happy birthday today! So sorry about that, I was really enjoying our conversation…. But good luck on that big presentation tomorrow, and I hope to talk to you soon!" This says 4 things: you're a family-oriented person (you're calling your grandma, awww: that's sweet!), you're boosting his confidence so he feels good being around you (you enjoyed the conversation, you hope to talk to him soon) , you're a good listener and thoughtful person (his big presentation tomorrow), and you're not too needy (you said "hope to talk to you soon" rather than "when will I see you? Will you call me tomorrow?).
More Guidelines for "Good Phone" Success:
a)Phone Call Duration: 15 minutes is usually a good amount of time for early stage getting-to-know you calls, while 30 to 60 minutes can reflect deepening intimacy as the relationship grows. Anything longer than that should be saved for in-person on the next date: always leave him wanting more and feeling anticipation to see you again.
b)Land Line Versus Cell Phone: try to speak on a land line whenever possible. There's nothing more irritating that spotty reception and always saying, "What? Sorry I couldn't hear you…."
c)What Never To Do: While talking on the phone, never chew food or gum, never go to the bathroom or flush a toilet, even if you mute the phone (how many times that mute button doesn't work, I can't begin to count....), never multi-task while you're on the phone by checking email, loading the dishwasher, etc. (give him your full attention: it makes a huge difference!)
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