In the modern day and age, it is simpler to email someone in a moment than to pick up the phone and call them . Leaving a proper professional voicemail has become a forgotten art. We have all had that moment of panic after the "BEEP" and rambled and stumbled through our introduction and message on the phone, so we should all recognize the need to master the skill of a proper voicemail.
Whether this is part of your daily workflow, or if this is a once in a while task, here is the breakdown of a great voicemail.
Get to the point and then hang up...
First thing first, you need to pin point the exact reason for leaving a voicemail in the first place - to get a call back. There is no need to fluff here. This is a case of stating who and why and leave the rest for the call back when you're both on the line ready to discuss.
After the "beep" is your moment - state your name and contact number with a, "Hello, this is [NAME], I'm calling you from [YOUR JOB] to [REASON FOR THIS CALL]. My number is 555-555-5555." Restate your name and contact info once more at the end to wrap it up and you've successfully left a concise, professional, to-the-point voicemail worthy of a call back.
"As Tori Keith wrote for the women lawyer’s advocacy group Ms. JD, “A good rule of thumb is 40 seconds. Anything longer risks getting deleted or ignored. Repeat your name and number at the end of the message too, as sometimes a message will cut out or be hard to hear.” - Source
Smartphones today now have a handy feature that automatically creates a transcription of your call, so avoid awkward "uhhs" and "umms". Practice recording your voicemail message so you can nail it when the time comes. It may be easy to get nervous when it's a one way conversation with no one to cut you off, so it can be helpful to write down your message, practice, and read off your notes. Check the speed of your voice and make sure to speak clearly at a slow pace (but not too slow).
Proficiency in the art of the voicemail will be key at any stage of your career and life. The key is being considerate to the receiver of the voicemail. You wouldn't want to receive a voicemail that drags on with no meaning, so be thoughtful when leaving voicemail messages.
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