Telephoning: Leaving a Voicemail Message

When you call someone but they aren’t there, often their voicemail “picks up” or answers the phone.
Then you have to leave a message. Anyone who uses the phone in their job has to deal with voicemail.
Have you ever started to leave a message on someone’s voicemail, then when you heard the “beep” sound, you didn’t know what to say?
When you’re speaking a foreign language, talking without preparation can be challenging, especially when you cannot see or hear the person
you’re talking to. But with a little practice, you’ll be a voicemail pro.

That’s what we’ll be studying in this Business English lesson - standard phrases and language for voicemail messages,
so that next time you here that “beep” you’ll know exactly what to say.

First we’ll hear a bad example. Justin Thomas works for a shipping broker called Trivesco. Brokers are “middlemen” - in this case Justin is a “newbuildings” broker, which means he helps people buy and sell new ships. Justin is calling Sylvie Peterson, a manager at the shipbuilding company Schmidt and Larsen.

In the second example we hear Justin’s colleague, Mark Rand, leave a more professional message.

A) Listening Questions (Good Message):

1) What is Mark Rand hoping to talk to Sylvie about?
2) When will he be available to take Sylvie’s call?
3) How does Mark put a positive finish on the message?

The following format is an effective and professional guide when conveying information to your co-workers or others.

G GREETING (greet your co-worker)
I   IDENTIFICATION (identify yourself)
F  FRAME THE MESSAGE (give some background of why you are calling)
TASK (state what you are asking the co-worker to do)
I   INFORMATION (give the information needed to carry out the task)
N  NEGATIVE OPTION (This means the co-worker should call you back only if more information is needed, otherwise you will assume the task is carried out)
G GOODBYE (A courteous close to any message)

A) Write your own voice mail using a scenario/script which you could use in your daily work activities. Use the GIFTING technique.