Mon, 25 Oct 2021

Speak right

Posted on Monday, September 15, 2008

The flourishing BPO sector has generated exciting opportunities for voice and accent trainers. Arpita Banerjee provides details on how skilled communicators can share their talents with budding BPO professionals and expect enviable monetary returns

With an increasing number of companies outsourcing their processes and services, the BPO industry is booming like never before. Since, voice and accent training is acknowledged as an essential requirement in the BPO industry, if one does develop a good command over one's speech, one can pursue a career as a voice and accent trainer with great ease. Voice and accent trainers make your voice globally intelligible. They teach young aspirants basic speech skills like when they should pause and how one can regulate the pace of speech.

Talent to talk

Although, there are no specific educational qualifications required to be a voice and accent trainer, a basic graduate degree is generally the prerequisite and a degree in English could be beneficial.
The skills required vary depending on the project and the type of business that is being handled. However, trainers need to have a natural instinct for the language, a sound knowledge of grammar and the ability to accept feedback while training. Deeksha Singh, Manager Partner, WCH Training Solutions, New Delhi, explains, "A voice and accent trainer polishes the already present linguistic skills in an employee. The trainer helps improve communication skills, trains individuals on concepts related to listening and dealing with various customer types by using voice modulation and other soft skills."

As a voice and accent trainer, one should be comfortable with the language, including aspects like pronunciation, spellings, grammar, vocabulary and fluency in verbal English. While at the beginning of the call centre boom, executives were required to be trained in a specific American or British accent, now, a neutral, global English is the accepted norm.

Another important quality is a natural ease with people, and the ability to associate with them. One also needs to be creative in order to invent ways to keep up the energy levels during the training process. Many companies prefer to hire candidates with experience. But anyone, whether it is a housewife, a fresh graduate or even a retired professional, has the option of joining can join the industry if they have the requisite skill set.

Training time

"There is no standard timeframe for training, as this occurs mostly on the job. However, it may vary between four to twelve weeks," reveals Amit Rautela, Business Manager, People Tree, the ITeS centric strategic business unit of TechTree IT Systems. He further adds, "The areas covered are accent training, syllable stress, phonetics knowledge, slang training, cross culture knowledge (mainly British and US), accent neutralisation, telephone etiquette, telesales etiquette, interaction skills, customer relationship, management skills and call centre terminology." 

Job prospects

There are many institutes, where voice and accent trainers are employed. Most large BPOs have an in-house training and development team to facilitate continuous learning. Besides call centres, one can seek employment with call centre finishing/ training schools, which have sprung up all over the country. According to Rhea DeMelo, CEO, London Institute of Corporate Training, "There are many options open to a good speech trainer today. They can join corporations, airlines, or even the retail industry, as most companies are going global and have to match those standards."

Let's talk money

The pay package differs with every organisation, and the scale of its operations. Remuneration for a trainer is fairly good: for a beginner, it starts with Rs 18,000 to Rs 20,000 per month (associate voice coach or communication coach). "A voice and accent trainer starts with Rs 22,000 to Rs 30,000 per month. Senior trainers can earn between Rs 30,000 to Rs 40,000 per month and then step further into managerial roles," elaborates Deeksha.     

Communication skills are vitally important for us as individuals, as well as for the organisations we work for or represent. These skills help develop productive working relationships. That is primarily why voice and accent training is perceived to be one of the new careers on the block, with the potential to manifest itself in the market.
Institute watch

* Ma Foi
* Mind Speed, Bangalore
* Academia, Bangalore
* London Institute of Speech and Personality Development, Mumbai
* Aaroha, Mumbai
* AccuSense Global Technologies, Kanpur
* People Tree

(Indicative listing)



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