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Presentation Training for Business

Unified Communication - The Power of Voice

Why did we create Speech Impact?

Speech Impact was created in collaboration with industry leading headset headset manufacturer Plantronics. Technological advances in microphone design, noise cancelling and intelligent compression mean headset quality is massively improved in recent years.  Add to that increased transmission bandwidth available via web based telephony, wide area and broadband networks and you have a very effective communications channel.  This has resulted in call clarity that allows the nuances of speech to be detected on private and conference calls.  

Philip Vanhoutte

Dave Austin & Tony Crawford

Why is it important?

40% of managers in large organisations participate in 4 conference calls a day and 43% of managers are doing more than last year and it's increasing.  Conference calls, net meetings, and videoconferencing are all increasing at a fast rate. Yet expectations are very low. How effective are most of the calls you experience?

Crawford's client survey on conference calls revealed that at BEST just 1 in 3 are effective.

Most business people said it was 1 in 10!

Most said conference calls are boring, and participants admitted to spending lots of time whilst in those calls doing other things like email or browsing the net.  If this sort of productivity was in manufacturing, it would not be tolerated!

What difference can Speech Impact make?

There are three elements to the transmission of a message. Being heard, what we say and how we say it.  

Being heard over today’s transmission systems and great headsets is pretty much guaranteed.  What we say depends on our role. It could be sales, reporting, interviewing, technical information or a call centre representative.


Speech Impact focuses on how we say it.  

By considering tone of voice and telling a story that engages, is understood and remembered by the listener.  

Your voice signature should have Speech Impact!

Philip Vanhoutte, Plantronics Senior VP and MD for EMEA, contacted Tony Crawford to investigate what we could do to improve the way people used their voices to maximise the quality of Plantronics headsets.

Philip has written about the course in his book ‘The Smarter Working Manifesto.’

Crawford research identified that the human performance often detracted from the quality of calls. Tony Crawford and Dave Austin filmed and interviewed figures from various industries to ascertain what the problems were with the way people used their voice.  What emerged was that clarity of speech and tone of voice were often ill considered by many on individual and conference calls. The comments most heard were ‘too quiet’, ‘monotonous’, ‘droning voice’, ‘talking over each other’ and ‘lack of enthusiasm’  

Clearly there was work to do and so Speech Impact was born.