Call Centre Voices

There are over 7 million Call Centre workers worldwide.  The conditions that they work in vary from country to country.  Contacting a Call Centre can sometimes be distressing as they work straight from information on a computer screen.  Call Centre workers are trained to recognise voice and word signals in order to speed up the call, so they can answer as many as possible.  I signed a confidentiality agreement with NHS Direct and can’t say anything about their work other than that they do a great job and that they too are subject to time restrictions on certain calls.

Four  years ago Max Your Voice employed a company of virtual telephone receptionists.  They were a Call Centre but specialised in working for individuals and companies.   The feedback we received from our callers was not good.  Eventually we found out that they were working against the clock and had so many clients that they were constantly under stress to move on to the next caller.   Eventually we were allocated a team, which we then trained in voice and the telephone answering skills, suitable for our company.  The situation improved but we still had problems with people not being given the correct information about Max Your Voice, as not always the same team answered.   The team leaders were under great pressure and passed this on to the individuals in their teams.  This is widespread according to a survey of Call Centres by Unison.  The Press Association’s report on the survey includes:

“Staff in such environments were not able to protect their health as a result of target-driven and closely monitored working operations.  Seven out of ten respondents cited eye strain as an issue they faced at work, while more than half encountered problems with their hearing and voice.  Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said: ‘The results of this survey should be a wake-up call for call centre employers, and Unison demands that they act now before the situation gets even worse’.”

Voice Coaches have been campaigning for over seven years for changes in Voice Care and Use of Voice for Call Centre Workers.  We believe that Call Centre Workers, like Newly Qualified Teachers would benefit greatly from Use of Voice and Voice Care training and information.

Call Centre Coaching is available through Max Your Voice. For a breakdown of what we can do contact:
Telephone +44 (0) 20 85422777



Richard Bandler on The Jeremy Vine Show

Scot Mills likened Jeremy Vine’s show to Jeremy Kyle’s show only “more highbrow”.  I wonder what Jeremy Vine would think of that?  He certainly has the same upward intonation as Jeremy Kyle and the same slightly pushed, high register.  The interviewee is put in the position of feeling that they’re aren’t believed, that they haven’t said what is required of them and they become uncomfortable or reckless in what they’re saying in an effort to appease or please.  It’s an excellent interviewing technique if you have an audience of people who enjoy a bit of schadenfreude

On the Scot Mills show today there was a competition to guess how many times an angry Welsh lady, Maureen Boyardy (a character who could have come from Under Milk Wood)  said “Mr Davies” to the MP for Monmouth, on the Jeremy Vine show, when it was broadcast from Wales.  It was thirteen and you can listen to the clucking on this link.

I heard Richard Bandler (co-creator of NLP) interviewed by Jeremy Vine.  I’ve always been a fan of Richard Bandler, not least because he once said “everyone should have a voice coach” –  a great boost to my career back in 2000.  I especially liked a particular workshop he gave about drugs and how the human brain can “simulate” the effects of drugs without having to take them.  NLP has a substantial following and I’ve noticed this growing among school teachers.  Wouldn’t it be great if they could get this particular message across to pupils?

Richard Bandler was as usual, on good voice, but even he became slightly wobbly under the onslaught of the confusing word/sound signals of Jeremy Vine.  He got back into his stride when he was talking about his 7 day NLP Practitioner Certificate course.  Richard Bandler and John Grinder have helped so many people gain autonomy over their minds and lives.  Their overwhelming popularity of course has lead to many detractors.  I’m sure that Richard Bandler has constructive discussions with neuroscientists.  However in this instance he wasn’t given the opportunity.  The scientist who was on air after Richard Bandler had left the studio, discredited NLP and  everything Richard Bandler had said.  No right to reply here then – out of time?  You can hear the interview with Richard Bandler on this link:

Richard Bandler

Communication in Leadership, Management Course 28th and 29th July


Can Twitter sentiment analysis guide stock market investment?

My job – when I’m coaching people in Voice and Presentation and Public Speaking, is to get speakers to make sure that their audience understands everything  they’re saying.  In most cases this means an in depth search inside themselves for the absolute clarity of the meaning of their statements, phrases and words.  “Deconstruction” is what my professor used to call it.  What are you trying to say?  What do you want your audience to understand about what you’re saying?

Every time I’ve coached someone in Banking and Investment I’ve learned and understood more about the stock market.  “What?”  I once asked a director of Steel Business Briefing, “makes the steel market fluctuate so much?”   They replied “sentiment”.  In a recent paper written by Johan Bollen, Huina Mao and Xiao-Jun Zeng  it states that Twitter sentiment analysis can guide stock market investment. In this technology review you can see how an analysis of almost 10 million tweets from 2008 shows  that they can be used to predict stock market movements up to 6 days in advance.

Not so long ago I heard a French person say that instead of voting for a President they should just count up the Twitters.

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