What to Talk About on the Phone

Talking and interacting with people is part of everyday life. It’s a fundamental aspect of living that helps us to connect to people in our immediate and extended environment. Imagine a world where humans can’t talk – to say the truth, that’s unimaginable! 

Thankfully, owing to advancements in technology, talking with a loved one who is several miles away; conducting a job interview with a prospective employee without physically interfacing and other forms of communication was made possible. Suffice to say, with phones came the endless possibilities to communicate. 

Although what you decide to talk about over the phone is your business, this guide only aims at helping you become a good conversationalist by suggesting areas your interaction can cover over the phone. *Tip: If you want to practice the tips we’ll provide in this article, our friends at phonechatlines are gently offering free trial chat lines to test your speaking skills. 

Let’s cut to the chase by taking a peek at the types of conversations that you can have over the phone. 

Types of Phone Conversations

Usually, what determines the nature of a conversation is the parties involved. For instance, how you’d talk to your friend or mum on the phone is different from how you’d address your boss. So based on this, phone conversation is classified into three; formal, semi-formal and informal phone conversations.

  1. Formal Phone Conversation 

This type of conversation happens between people who are unfamiliar with each other. For instance, a job interview over the phone, a business discussion with a client or business partner, a superior-subordinate conversation (the type that happens between your boss and you) and more, are examples of a formal phone conversation. This conversation requires you to communicate precisely, and as concisely as possible. You can’t use a groggy voice, rather, your voice has to resonate in an unmuffled manner. 

  1. Semi-Formal Phone Conversation 

You hold a semi-formal conversation with people you are meeting for the first time or people you are just getting familiar with. For instance, when scheduling a first date appointment with someone you just met; or, when making a booking over the phone for anything whatsoever, you indulge in semi-formal conversations. 

  1. Informal phone conversation

This is the most common type of conversation we hold in everyday life. It’s the kind of talk that happens between people we are familiar with. For instance, best friends, mum, dads, siblings, girlfriends/boyfriends, neighbors, and so on. 

Having looked at the three types of conversations, let’s consider what exactly to talk about when communicating over the phone. 

What To Talk About in a Formal Phone Conversation 

Typically, this conversation has a goal it intends to achieve. Both parties involved in the conversation are bound by an obligation to keep it strict. Here are some things to talk about during a formal phone conversation: 

  • Job interview

Interviews can be conducted via phone at times. When this happens, the recruiter expects nothing but decorum from the job seeker. This conversation is sensitive in that it can determine if the job seeker would get the job in the short run. Any miscommunication or misinterpreted verbal cues can lead to outright disqualification. So, if you are the job seeker in this context, you have no option than to keep it tight. Most times, you may have to give replies to questions asked by the recruiter, so, you have to listen attentively. Both parties have to be audible.

  • Presentations 

Different presentations can be done via phone. For instance, proposal presentation. Hybrid employees do this often because some of them work remotely from the comfort of their house while others work at the office. So, a phone conversation of this nature cannot be taken with levity especially if you are the presenter. You have to ensure that your voice is clear enough. Both parties are in for serious business, so when having this conversation, the right language has to be used. 

  • Assigning tasks 

Tasks can be assigned over the phone to junior subordinates. You can call them to quickly give them an update on what they are expected to do. 

  • Supervisory roles

You can call in to get updates on the present status of a task or job that you’ve initially assigned to your junior delegates. You don’t have to wait to see them to get details about the job and what they’ve been able to achieve so far. 

What To Talk About in a Semi-Formal Phone Conversation 

  • Schedule an appointment

A patient can call his doctor to book an appointment. This kind of talk doesn’t have to be uptight. Its purpose-driven but might accommodate some degree of humor. The point is both parties can talk normally without showing any sign of disregard. 

  • Make a booking 

Calling in to make a booking is also a semi-formal conversion that can be done over the phone. You can call a hotel receptionist to make a booking or a cinema to book a ticket to see a movie. You must be polite when having this conversation if you don’t want the other party to have a wrong impression of your personality. 

  • Seek clarification or direction 

For instance, a student may call his teacher to seek clarification about a subject taught in class. This is semi-formal too. When conversing about this over the phone both parties have to be audible and detailed. A little humor from the part of the superior is allowed too. 

  • Congratulating a superior or boss 

If your supervisor just gets promoted, you can call in to say words of congratulation. This doesn’t have to necessarily have to be a long conversation. Make it as short as possible. However, if the person at the other end raises a new topic for discussion, you should 

What To Talk About in An Informal Phone Conversation 

As said earlier, this type of conversation over the phone is the most common. Here are most things that can be discussed in an informal conversation: 

  • Pleasantries 

Friends call their friends just to check on them or say hi. This is what most people do. With nothing specific to talk about, they just pick up their phones and dial a friend’s number just to exchange pleasantries. You can call your friend on the phone when bored to greet them or say nice things to them.

  • Chit chat and gossips 

Close buddies do this a lot. When they call each other, they transcend from one discussion to another talking generally and specifically on different issues as they deem fit. This phone conversation is usually a lengthy one as the parties involved are reluctant to let each other go. You can do this too if you have the time. 

  • Catching up 

If you miss an important event, game, or any activity, you can call a friend to catch up on these developments. This is something to talk about in an informal conversation. Of course, this kind of conversation is usually with someone you are familiar with, so, feel free to ask questions and get updated. 

  • Jokes 

You can call your crony just to share jokes with them or laugh with them about an issue you find awkward. You should do this just to pass time or when bored to feel alive again. 

  • Compliments  

If you like what your friend put on to an event but didn’t get a chance to appreciate them, you can put a call through later to compliment the dress. 

What You Should Not Talk About Over the Phone 

While there are many things you can talk about over the phone, there are crucial discussions you can’t have over the phone. This is important for your safety and to protect your integrity at certain times. Here are things you should not talk about over the phone:

  • Sensitive details 

Never reveal a secret whatsoever to another person over the phone. This is inappropriate. You should avoid sharing sensitive information on the phone because you never can tell who else is listening to the conversation. A lot of people have landed in trouble because they spilled the beans on what they should have a secret over the phone. You shouldn’t make this mistake.  

  • Derogatory remarks 

You should refrain from passing derogatory remarks or comments when talking over the phone. it’s a bad attitude. How people perceive your personality is important. Never compromise your personality by saying inappropriate things. 

Tips On How to Have a Perfect Conversation Over the Phone  

If you want to be a good conversationalist over the phone, the following tips would help you: 

  • Be mindful of the receiver at the other end. 
  • Be audible and clear 
  • Be conscious of your tone and language 
  • Only say what’s needed to be said, nothing more.  
  • Avoid employing the wrong verbal cues. 
  • Ensure that the person at the other end understands you perfectly. 
  • Listen attentively 
  • If you don’t understand what has been said, politely ask the person talking to repeat what they have said so that you’d understand perfectly. 

Wrap up 

The importance of communication cannot be overemphasized, so when you are talking on the phone, ensure that the purpose of the conversation is achieved. Know that miscommunication over the phone can happen because of a network glitch. Regardless of what the conversation is about, ensure you don’t miscommunicate and also that the person at the other end understands you too.