Tone of Voice: A Practical Demonstration

A true story about the importance of tone of voice:

A colleague of my mother is a teacher. A few years ago, he was taking a large group of kids on the tube, but the next one from that platform didn’t go to their destination. He realised only as it was pulling in.

In a commanding voice, over the rush-hour bustle, he said, “Do Not Get On This Train!”

The schoolkids didn’t get on the train.

… Nor did anyone else.
The power of the right tone of voice: before and after

It’s amazing what the right words – and the right tone of voice – can do. They can make people trust you, even if they have no reason to at all.

We don’t want to make it sound as if creating brand trust – or herding teenagers – is easy, because it isn’t.

But that teacher had done nothing to earn the commuters’ trust, or even their obedience, except sounding right. Sounding like someone you should trust. Sounding like someone you want to listen to.

That’s the power of the right words, and the right tone of voice. If you can’t prove that you are trustworthy (say, because you’re new and you can’t prove you’re anything at all just yet), you can make people trust you just by sounding right. If it works on misanthropic, anti-social London commuters – and misanthropic, anti-social teenagers – it’ll work on anybody.

I hope the commuters got home OK.

If you’re keen to command the attention of some unruly schoolchildren (or, for that matter, a platform of commuters), email Chris now.