Have you ever made a phone call only to freeze the moment you hear the voicemail? You panic and think, “Oh no! What was I going to say? Quick, Say something!” You hang up 2 minutes later to realize you just left a rambling message and never even left your phone number. Ugh! It happens to the best of us.

Take a look at these 5 quick tips for leaving professional, on-point voicemails.

Prepare or Beware
CTA_Original Be Prepared webThe first step to leaving a great voicemail is preparation. This doesn’t have to take 15 minutes. A quick 10 second pause to get yourself present to the purpose of your call will save you time and embarrassment. Whether you think it, speak it aloud or write it down, take the time to clarify the “who/what/where/when/why” you are calling. This is the most critical step to avoid being known as, the Rambler.

State Your Name & Your Number

CTA_Original VM Sandwich SmileState your name and number at the beginning of the message AND at the end. By stating your name and your number at the beginning of the voicemail, the person you were calling knows who they are listening to. And if they weren’t able to write your number down the first time they listened, they won’t have to wait through the whole message again to get your number when they replay the message.

By stating your name and number at the end, you have given your caller the time to find a pen/paper to write it down.

State Your Point and Your Availability
CTA_Original Get to the point webAfter giving your name and number, get to the point immediately. Make your request and ask for a call back and by what time. If it is urgent say so. If it isn’t urgent, say so. The more critical information you provide, while eliminating the fluff, the more professional you will appear. While fluffier is best when it comes to teddy bears and puppy dogs, fluff does not belong in voicemails.

Bonus tip: State your availability for the rest of the day. This will eliminate the game of phone tag.

Be Brief
Your message should be 30 seconds or less.

CTA_Original Don't Steal My Time web

(Note the brevity of this message!)

Be Your Happy Self
CTA_Original Smile and Dial webWear your smile as you dial. How many times have you received a voicemail that sounded dull, drab and robotic? Are you excited to call those people back? Probably not.

Each voicemail you leave is a reflection of you. Speak into the recorder as if you are speaking to that person, not a machine. Spread some cheer. People like to talk to happy people. Share your joy in your voicemail; it will garner more call backs. (If you are having trouble finding your happy, check out “Where is My Happy?” for inspiration.)

Practice these 5 quick tips every time you leave a voicemail. You will receive more call backs, improve your efficiency and avoid the embarrassment of being known as, the Rambler.