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How Clear Are Your Voicemail Messages?

HVoicemail Skillsas this ever happened to you: You receive a voicemail and have to replay it over and over again because you can’t understand the caller the first time around. Having to take the extra time to try to decipher a garbled voicemail is irritating at best and for many busy professionals not worth the trouble, and the voicemail gets deleted outright. A garbled voicemail also creates an impression of a lack of professionalism. Use the following tips to make sure your voicemails are coming through loud and clear:

  • Slow Down: Last week we talked about how a voicemail should ideally be under 30 seconds and include four key pieces of information: an introduction, your reason for calling, how you would like the listener to respond, and your contact information. Although this may seem like a lot of information for such a short time, never rush your words when leaving a voicemail. Speak even more slowly than you would in a typical conversation—without the benefit of seeing your face, your words can become much more difficult to understand.


  • Keep it Clear: Poor reception can often damage the quality of a message, and it doesn’t matter how well-crafted your voicemail is, if your listener can’t understand what you’re saying! Make sure to finish the end of each word you say, paying particular attention to consonants. Practice leaving a tiny, barely perceptible space between each word you say. Simply making this effort provides you with a cue to finish each word rather than running it into the next.


  • Avoid Confusion: Some letters can be easily confused over the telephone: for example “s” and “f”; “m” and “n”; and “p” and “b”. To avoid confusion, give example words for these types of letters when spelling important information. For example: “The email address is jbd@yahoo.com. That’s J-B as in boy-D as in dog at yahoo dot com.” Take extra care when providing a phone number as well. Pronounce each number clearly, and pause between clusters (e.g. 212 pause 555 pause 3434). Provide your phone number twice if possible; this will prevent the listener from having to replay the entire message over if they weren’t prepared to take down your phone number the first time, or if they missed a number or two.


What is your biggest hurdle when leaving a voicemail? As a listener, what makes a voicemail irritating or hard to listen to? Share your thoughts in the comments section!


For information on the New York Based Speech and Accent Reduction services offered by Corporate Speech Solutions please Give us a call at 212-308-7725 or visit us on the web at www.corporatespeechsolutions.com.


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