The Voice Of...

In the past week a number of TV personalities have passed away, we noticed they all had one thing in common a distinctive voice.

The world of racing lost its voice with the passing of Sir Peter O’Sullevan aged 97. Described by many as the eloquent, velvety voice of racing Sir Peter commentated on an amazing 50 Grand Nationals including all three of Red Rum’s wins and brought 14,000 races to life, before retiring from the BBC in 1997. Even though this was 18 years ago he is still considered ‘the voice of racing’, and one of the great sports commentators of all time.

The vast majority of people would have walked straight past Sir Peter in the street and not batted an eyelid, but if he’d spoken to them they would instantly recognise him as ‘the voice of racing’. 

Similarly Cilla Black had an unmistakeable Liverpudlian twang that shone through whether she was singing or presenting in her career spanning serveral decades. In numerous tributes ‘the common touch’ has been used by friends and colleagues.

And also this week George Cole, best known for playing Arthur Daley in Minder, the Cockney wheeler-dealer, passed away. His distinctive voice was instantly recognisable to more than the 17 million viewers each week - back in the days of massive viewing figures, which no longer exist due to the number of channels and media outlets now available, but there’s a while other blog post there!

There’s currently a drive in the media to have neutral accents which makes for bland listening or viewing. As proved by the TV legends above having a voice with an edge means it’s possible to create a connection with anyone through a conversation as long as the voice they’re listening to is interesting, engaging, easy on the ear and has something interesting to say.

With this in mind how does your telephone system sound to callers?

Are they greeted by a friendly and engaging voice or a poor quality, unintelligible message that makes them instantly hang up?