At a time where text, email and other messaging apps dominate our communication habits, have we lost the art of leaving a good voice message? As we rely more and more on text-based communications, you may have noticed it’s becoming harder for people to verbalise complex thoughts, or even articulate simple information.
While I still receive numerous voice messages on my work phone, it surprises me that few contain a clear and concise message.
The purpose of a voice message
You want to let the caller know that you have called and that you would like to be called back. So what information does a person need to call you back?
- Your first and last name, and if appropriate, the organisation you are calling from
- Your contact phone number
- In brief, the reason why you are calling and the information sought from a return call
It sounds simple enough, however there are other important things to consider when leaving a message:
- Length of message – keep it to 10-20 seconds if possible (some voicemail services will cut you off after 30 seconds)
- Pace of speech – remember the person receiving your message may be unfamiliar with your voice and needs to capture the information, so slow down and speak clearly, especially when saying your name and your phone number
- Tone of your voice – it may be the first time you have made contact, so it’s important to leave a good first impression
Be ready for the call back
Now that you have left your message, it’s important that you are ready for the call back, especially if you have initiated contact with the person receiving the message. This is your opportunity to make the most out of the conversation.
Tips for jobseekers
Many professionals send and receive hundreds of messages every day. As a consultant, I prefer to pick up the phone when replying to candidates – it’s more personal than a text or an email and allows me to return calls efficiently. Here are my tips for successful voice messages:
- Make sure you have your voice message service activated
- Have a professional or standard voice message greeting on your phone to receive messages
- If you’re restricted to talk to text or a shorter message service, consider changing to a full voicemail service
- Speak clearly, be prepared and leave a good impression
- Return your messages as soon as possible
I’m hoping for better voice messages in the future… and it’s not too late to add this one to your list of New Year’s resolutions!
What other tips or stories do you have to share on voice messaging?