I am frequently called by individuals that are concerned that they are not communicating effectively in business. They are concerned that they don’t present well, they don’t project their voice and they tend to speak too quickly. However, they forget about the telephone. When I call their voice mail to leave a message I cannot even understand their name. The following tips will help you to craft a perfect voicemail.
Keep it short: The ideal voicemail greeting should be no longer than twenty to twenty-five seconds. This is especially important in light of the fact you will most likely have many repeat callers who would prefer not to listen to a lengthy greeting each time they call.
Eliminate background noise: While you may not notice the noise around you at your work space, background noise like ringing phones, chatting coworkers, or a noisy heating system will be very noticeable to your caller. In addition to sounding unprofessional, this background noise can make your greeting difficult to understand. Find a quiet location before recording your greeting.
Project your voice: Many people don’t realize how important it is to project their voice on the telephone. Be sure to take a breath from your diaphragm to project a strong and confident voice.
Practice: In order to create the smoothest greeting possible, write down what you want to say in advance. Then, read it aloud several times before recording, so that you can say the entire greeting without stumbling or taking unnatural pauses. Most smartphones have a voice recording app on it. Use it to practice until you are quite pleased with the results.
Your message should contain the following elements: A greeting including your name, company and position; a brief statement that you are unable to answer the phone at the moment; a request for the caller to leave a message; and if possible, a way to receive immediate assistance if needed (e.g. a secretary, receptionist, or alternate department).
Slow and clear: Most importantly, take care to speak even more slowly and clearly than usual. Your first name and last name must have a pause between them. Be sure the person calling is able to understand your name and the company name. This is often the first step in getting to know you. You want to be sure to leave a positive first impression.
It doesn’t matter how well your greeting is crafted if no one can understands it!