Yesterday someone phoned me with a difficult language question and had his telephone on speakerphone. I found it very annoying. I didn’t know how many people were listening in at his end, and I felt as if I were in some kind of examination situation.
Also, I couldn’t understand him properly because his voice was echoing. So I mentioned that I found it disturbing. Politely, of course, I said:
- Do you have your speakerphone on? I’m having difficulties understanding you.
He immediately turned it off. In my opinion, he shouldn’t have had it on in the first place, and I would like to encourage you to always ask permission before you put someone on the speaker.
Also, it’s polite to say why you want to put it on. This is what you can say:
- Mr Barry, I need to look something up on my computer. Is it okay if I turn the loudspeaker on? I need to move away from my desk.
- Would you mind if I put you on speakerphone?
- I would like my colleague, Annette, to hear this. Is it alright if I put you on speakerphone?
People will rarely turn down your request to be put on speakerphone, but you should always ask them.
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