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November 12, 2005

How to leave a voice mail message


Is there anything more annoying than listening to a voice mail message that contains a phone number that is unintelligible or goes by so fast you have to listen to the message two, three, maybe four times, each go–around frantically taking down a couple more digits until you have the full number?


When the number turns out to be wrong and you have to go back and do it again.

And even worse, when there's no number at all: the person calling assumes that, since you've called in the past or are a friend you already know the number so there's no need to leave one.


Because sometimes you don't remember the number and even if you think you do you can't be bothered trying.

So here's how to leave a voice mail message:

1) Speak slowly

2) Speak clearly

3) Speak briefly

4) Repeat your number, and before you do say, like the phone company robot, "Repeating..."

There's a reason the phone company uses that lead–in: it prepares you for a second chance to get the number down in its entirety.

And while we're at it, how about bookofjoe's concise guide to success in the business world?

1) Showing up is 80% of success — What Woody Allen will be remembered for centuries from now.

2) Returning every phone call the same day makes up the other 20% — that's my contribution.

The above two tenets are so simple, yet so seldom followed.


It's a bit like the fact that people will usually not believe the truth; one is forced to make something up to achieve credibility.

November 12, 2005 at 10:01 AM | Permalink


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Thank you. Now, if you could teach folks what to do at a four-way stop, many folks would be in your debt.

Posted by: Joan of Argghh! | Nov 12, 2005 7:07:47 PM

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