voice inflection

On the first morning of the convention, dozens of agents sit in a ballroom while Jeannie Davis conducts a seminar on telephone imagery. She gives them shopworn advice, such as putting a mirror near the telephone to make sure they’re smiling when talking to customer, since the person on the other end of the phone will be able to tell the difference in the sound of their voice.

She talks about the importance of inflection, repeating the same sentence—”I never said you stole the money”—six different times, emphasizing a different word with each pronunciation; as her inflection changes, so does the meaning.

It’s a reminder that just as a jazz trumpeter must learn to master his instrument, every good real estate agent must learn to command the sound of his voice to effect sales.

Related: “I will sell this house today.”

McGinn, Daniel. House Lust: America’s Obsession with Our Homes. New York: Currency Doubleday, 2008.


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