Confirming Important Information on the Phone

When you are talking on the phone, what can you do if the listener cannot understand an important word that you are saying, even after you repeat it slowly? For example, your name, address, website, or city?

You might spell the word, but the listener may not hear the letters correctly. If I spell my name, “R-O-B-I-N”, the listener can easily confuse the letters. For example, the person may confuse the “B” for a “D”, the “N” for an “M”, etc. These are very common problems when we cannot see the person we are speaking to.

To make sure important words are understood over the phone, we can use a telephone alphabet, or a word-spelling alphabet. These are a list of words that represent letters of the alphabet. If I use a telephone alphabet to clarify my name, ROBIN, I could say:“That’s ‘R’ as in Romeo, ‘O’ as in Oscar, ‘B’ as in Bravo, “I” as in India, and ‘N’ as in November.”

The most well-known telephone alphabet is the NATO alphabet. This alphabet is commonly used by airports, military, and sea travel. Many other professionals who exchange important information over the phone also use it.

See the article below and learn the NATO alphabet! It can come in very handy for anyone, whether English is our first or second language.

How would you ‘spell’ your name using the NATO alphabet?

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