To leave effective voice-mail messages, follow these tips:
- Speak slowly when leaving a message, and leave your phone number twice. The recipient shouldn't have to replay your message.
- Spell your name so the recipient gets it right the first time.
- Don't leave just your name and number; leave a message. You're much more likely to get a return call if the recipient knows what's up.
- Make it short. Take more than 60 seconds, and you risk losing your audience.
- Give your message a "headline" to help the recipient distinguish that calls are top priority.
- Enunciate. The audio quality of voice mail varies dramatically. Speak up and state your business clearly.
- Be specific about what you want. There's a good chance someone can leave the information you need on your voice mail, thus eliminating an unnecessary round of phone tag.
- Avoid "thank-you" messages. They only add to voice-mail overload.
- Keep your voice-mail greeting short. If you must have a long greeting, tell the caller how to skip it in the future.
- Don't leave repeat messages. Your second call is no more likely to be returned than your first. Try sending an e-mail instead.
Content reviewed: 3/29/2007
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