Setup your voice mail message to make a good impression

1. Say it right. Speaker trainer Joyce Newman, president of the Newman Group, says, “If you talk too fast, callers will think you’re stressed. So, speak at a relaxed pace.” And, whatever you do, don’t speak in a monotone voice because people will perceive you as unfriendly or, worse, arrogant. Use an amiable tone that projects confidence.2. Be specific. “A caller who hears that you’re out of the office or away from your desk was likely able to figure that out on their own,” says business and technology writer Jeff Wuorio. Instead, he advises, you should offer specific information, such as dates and times when you would be available to take calls. Say, “Please call me back after 5 p.m. or leave a message after the beep. Thank you.”

3. Keep it short. Remember that you’re just leaving a short message and not having a conversation with yourself. “Messages longer than 10 second shows you’re not mindful of people’s time,” says Laurie Puhn, author of Instant Persuasion: How to Change Your Words, to Change Your Life. Besides, the majority of people who call just want to leave a message if they can’t get hold of you right at that moment.

If you get these three moves right, you’ll succeed at making a good impression on everyone–from old acquaintances, as well as potential employers and clients who haven’t had the chance to shake your hand just yet. This way, you already win big even if you’re not around.

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