Chapter 3 - Building Rapport With Tonality

Building Rapport in Business - The Definitive Guide

Quick question, when someone talks to you for the first time over the phone, can they see you? Believe it or not, the answer is an absolute YES.

Think about it for a moment. A person’s tonality creates a vivid image of what they look like by hearing their voice. Amazing, right.

Wouldn’t it be great if every time someone spoke to you over the phone they felt like you were an amazing and beautiful person?  

In this chapter, you’ll uncover how your tonality coupled with word emphasis (how you say it) can create strong emotional connections like sincerity, enthusiasm, and empathy at the subconscious level which enables you to build rapport in seconds. 

When it comes to the tonality you should consider it your secret weapon for building rapport.  

Your tonality is made up of the following components:

  • Pitch – The highness and lowness of your voice.
  • Rate – The speed at which you say words
  • Volume – The loudness or softness of your voice
  • Inflections – Change in pitch or tone
  • Timbre - Quality of a musical sound or voice as distinct from its pitch and intensity.
  • Tempo - is a measure of the number of speech units of a given type produced within a given amount of time.
  • Vocal Variety – Changes in your rate, pitch, and volume that gives your voice variety and expressiveness

Key Vocal Emotions: 

  • Certainty - Vocals speed up with enthusiasm
  • Importance - Emphasize the word that is important
  • Telling a Secret - Emphasize the word with a lower voice
  • Enthusiasm - Vocal variety increases with excitement
  • Sincerity - Slow down vocals to show empathy

Keys things to remember about tonality:

  1. People will comprehend your words logically.
  2. People will comprehend your tonality emotionally.

When researching how to build rapport with your tonality, there weren't many practical examples to choose from. The video above is from Jordan Belfort's Straight Line Persuasion Course. Jordan Belfort is also the real Wolf of Wall Street. I'm not sure how long this video will be up. Although Jordan's teaching style is a bit abrasive, his content on tonality is excellent.

In Jordan Belfort's Straight Line Persuasion course, he talks about how he discovered 29 tonality patterns but states you only need to focus on 8 total.

  1. Scarcity
  2. Reasonable
  3.  Absolute Certainty
  4. I Care
  5. Using a question when it should be a declarative
  6. Series of up-Tones
  7. Presupposing Tone
  8. "I really want to know" Tone

For more info on these tonalities check out slides 13 and 14 of this presentation on Linkedin.

How does your personality style affect your tonality?

  1. Outgoing personality types (D's & I's) generally speak faster naturally.
  2. Reserved personality types (C's & S's) generally speak slower naturally.

In order to build rapport faster, it's important to identify their rate of speech and match it. The fastest way is identifying their personality. We'll explore this in more detail in chapter 8.

How to Instantly Sound More Sincere

Have you ever talked to someone and instantly felt like something just wasn't right about them? Maybe you felt like they were hiding something from you, maybe they weren't sincere, or maybe you felt like they were lying. 

This tends to happen more in men than women because women are more in-tune with their emotions naturally.

The reason why this usually occurs is due to a disconnect with the person's facial expressions, tonality, and words.

This is an amazing thing that happens at the subconscious level that determines how we feel about someone instantly.

To synchronize these three critical communication components I'd recommend reviewing chapter two to maximize your positive facial expressions. Second I'd recommend working on how to use your tonality more efficiently. Lastly, work on word emphasis which will instantly make you appear more authentic and sincere instantly.


Keys to Building Rapport Faster with Your Tonality

  1. It’s important to understand what we say (the actual words) are processed logically and how we say it (our tonality) is processed emotionally. In chapter 4 we'll discuss persuasive words, to maximize what you say.
  2. Always match the rate of speed of the other person. How? If they’re a fast talker then you speak faster. If they’re a slow talker then you speak slower. D and I type personalities tend to speak faster, while C and S type personalities tend to speak slower.
  3. Emotions are contiguous. When you speak with enthusiasm and excitement it can affect how someone feels subconsciously. Their state of mind can instantly be put in a better mood.
  4. Always look to use voice inflections to emphasize important words
  5. Always ensure your facial expressions match your tonality and words

If you want to study more in this area, check out Susan Berkley's (former voice over for AT&T) voice over training program.

Now that you have a better understanding of what your tonality is saying, it’s time to dive into chapter 4 and understand how to utilize small talk to build rapport faster.

Effective Business Communication Skills