Jan 30th 2019

Vocal training at MWC – something to shout about!

Megaphone

In less than a month the telecoms world will descend on Fira de Barcelona for Mobile World Congress. The industry’s largest tradeshow will play host to around 100,000 attendees, in what is expected to be the biggest event in the show’s history.

With so many brands now competing for headlines, standing out from the crowd and getting noticed by media and analysts is harder than ever. For this reason, companies ramping up activity around MWC this year need to take a more intelligent approach to influencer relations.

Paying attention to the details can make all the difference between success and failure. From messaging development to content creation to outreach itself, there is little margin for error when seeking to capture the attention of the media. However, one aspect that is often overlooked is how we use our voices to deliver our message.

“I’m calling about MWC…”

Journalists receive hundreds (if not thousands) of emails a day. In the run up to events like MWC, this number is likely to multiply dramatically. And this doesn’t even account for the hundreds of occasions each day when a journalist’s phone will ring. That’s a lot of noise to cut through, so making the most of our communication with journalists is paramount to success.

Poorly written email pitches have long been cited as a cause of great ire by the media when it comes to dealing with PRs, but a poorly delivered phone pitch can be just as frustrating and equally ineffective. When you consider these shortcomings, it’s little wonder that the media are becoming ever more difficult to pin down, particularly at the top-tier business and national publications. As a result, when you do speak to a journalist on the phone it is critical that your pitch is engaging and relevant, and delivered in the right way.

The perfect instrument

German composer Richard Strauss once described the human voice as “the most perfect instrument of all”. In this instance, Strauss was referring to voice in the context of opera, yet his words are also applicable to the art of media relations. Utilising voice as a tool is the key to engaging pitching.

We all know the value of a well-rehearsed pitch, and it is foolish to suggest that the words we speak are not important when speaking to journalists. However, it’s not good enough to simply recount the content of a pitch word-for-word. It’s equally, if not more, important to be aware of your tone of voice, taking into consideration volume, inflection, pitch and pace. In fact, the 7-38-55 rule, a research finding posited by a professor from UCLA in 1971, dictates that “55 percent of what you convey when you speak comes from your body language, 38 percent from your tone of voice, and a paltry 7 percent from the words you choose”. With this in mind, it’s clear that the tone of your voice far outweighs the words you use when it comes to relaying meaningful and clear messages.

The Babel team recently took part in a vocal training workshop and it was surprising to hear how quickly people naturally speaks. The average speed of conversation is a startling 200 words per minute! That’s a lot to take in if your job involves answering the phone more than 50 times a day – as is the case for many journalists. When you combine this with the fact that the average human attention span is allegedly a mere eight seconds, it’s not hard to see how tone of voice and pace of delivery can make a significant impression, particularly when fine margins are the difference between a successful pitch or an unsuccessful pitch.

History is a good indicator of the power of voice. Famous orators from Martin Luther King to Nelson Mandela, Barrack Obama to Winston Churchill, are all renowned for their ability to vary tone of voice and pace to great effect. When it comes to outreaching for MWC, an impactful pitch, delivered slowly and by employing varied tones and appropriate pauses, stands a much greater chance of resonating with your audience.

Babel has a long history of supporting businesses with their MWC PR campaigns. The event can be instrumental to raising companies’ profiles, driving leads and building relationships with media. If this is something you’d like to learn more about, do get in touch. Babel can help your company navigate the increasingly crowded and competitive landscape at the show and help ensure your voice is heard amongst the crowd.


Ed Cooper