Tips and Tricks

Leave a Message After the Beep!

Inevitably you won’t be able to pick up every call that comes to your business, and because of that reality, we have something ingenious called voice mail!

When it comes to recording a message for your business voice mail, do you entrust the ears of your customers to one of your peers, or do you record the messaging yourself?
Add your comments with your voice mail style and join the conversation here at VOX Daily!

Are You Your Company’s Voice?

I’ve called a number of voice talent and got their answering machines before, many of which are quite entertaining!
Thinking back to one in particular got the creative juices flowing, so I thought I would ask you a few questions about your business voice mail.

Questions Pour Vous:

1. Do you record your own voice mail or have someone else do it? Why or why not?
2. Do you script your voice message or do you improvise?
3. How do you record your message (i.e. directly on the phone, record a file, etc.)
Looking forward to hearing from you!
© Frank

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  • Avatar for Raj Singh
    Raj Singh
    July 17, 2009, 4:03 pm

    While I’m studying voice over acting because I’ve been told I should and I can do character voices, accents, etc… I actually dislilke my own voice but I’ve gotten a lot of compliments on my voicemail alone!

  • Avatar for Roger Price
    Roger Price
    July 17, 2009, 5:19 pm

    I’ve been doing my own messages since the days of the now ancient “micro-cassette”. I usually come up with an idea and then improvise the actual performance.

  • Avatar for Pierre
    July 18, 2009, 1:13 am

    I live in South Africa and have my own recording facility. I have been doing these for many years. The problem with the companies locally is the pay less than peanuts, and only one or two companies dominate the market. Who can suggest anything?

  • Avatar for Al Gravelle
    Al Gravelle
    July 18, 2009, 3:02 pm

    I have a fair amount of clients that I am their “voice” for their phone promts, IVR and on-hold messaging. But for My own company phone, it’s me – live! I market my services as available “last minute”. A sizable proportion of my business is very much last minute. We all know if the client can’t reach a voice talent when they need one, they move onto the next name they have on their list.

  • Avatar for Laura Martin
    Laura Martin
    July 19, 2009, 11:00 pm

    The vast majority of my work is in the voice mail industry, so my voice is absolutely on my own voice mail. My voice is also on the prompts for several systems, so my client’s callers hear the same voice throughout. Most of the work I do is through files that I upload, but I also do them over the phone as well.

  • Avatar for Debbie Irwin
    Debbie Irwin
    July 20, 2009, 1:03 pm

    How does one record an MP3 then put it on a regular home phone as the greeting??
    Debbie Irwin

  • Avatar for Kevin Walsh
    Kevin Walsh
    July 20, 2009, 11:17 am

    Of course I record my own outgoing message! Why wouldn’t I? If I’m selling my voice I want to take advantage of every opportunity to showcase it.
    That being said, I don’t make a big production out of the message. I’m running a business and I want to look professional. I keep the message brief and to the point because I know that people who call me are busy too. They aren’t calling to listen to a lengthy comedy bit. That gets really old, really fast. Especially if you have to sit through it more than once. I think a little light humor is okay, but remember that jokes do get tired over time if you’ve heard them over and over.
    I try to keep the message down to about 10 seconds; 15 max. I make sure to say my full name, thank them for calling, tell them I’m currently not available (as a safety measure, I NEVER say that I’m not home or anything to that effect), ask them to leave a message and promise a prompt response (which I deliver on!)
    I also avoid telling people HOW to leave a message (i.e., “Please leave a brief message, including your name and number, after the beep.”) People already know how to do this.
    A larger concern of mine getting a higher quality recording on the voicemail system that the one you create through the tiny mic on your phone. Fortunately, as an iPhone user, there appears to be a way to upload audio files to AT&T’s voicemail servers.

  • Avatar for Albert Canil
    Albert Canil
    July 21, 2009, 9:59 am

    Les Responses Pour Vous:
    1. Do you record your own voice mail or have someone else do it? Why or why not?
    I have my own voice for that is definitely my first and most important demos, secondly, I try to think as potential client would: “Why should I trust someone who does not trust his own voice to the do the job”? Lastly, I get exactly the tone I want and I am sure that it is loop free.
    2. Do you script your voice message or do you improvise?
    I try to get the points I want covered clear in my head and then I fire away, for it to sound more conversational. Still I do listen to it pretty carefully and make as many re-takes as may be needed till I’m happy with it.
    3. How do you record your message (i.e. directly on the phone, record a file, etc.)
    Straight onto the phone as I do not have the technology to do otherwise, but I take the phone into my booth to ensure the best sound quality possible given the means available.
    Albert Canil
    Vox Humana

  • Avatar for Howard Ellison
    Howard Ellison
    March 2, 2011, 5:39 am

    Just found this old thread! OGMs were a hobby-horse of mine when I had a day job in the community sector. Because of limited funds, answering machines often had to cover daytime. I made a point, as do others, of real attention to the recording. It It paid off, because most callers did leave a number to get back to, rather than fling the phone down, muttering, which was the general experience. It is important to service-users and sponsors, just as it is to the PR and profits of a corporate.
    On the technical point: as a VO, I use my phonepatch to make my OGM, but you can get a good result from a pre-recorded file if you play it into your phone from a headphone pressed tightly to the mouthpiece, and set volume carefully by trial. You can pre-equalise a bit if the result sounds thin or dull. Even add music!

  • Avatar for Lisa researching missed calls
    Lisa researching missed calls
    December 18, 2013, 4:28 pm

    I hate hearing my own voice on the voicemail, but everyone else in the company says they like, so I guess we’re stuck with it.