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
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.
(greet your co-worker)
I IDENTIFICATION (identify yourself)
F FRAME THE MESSAGE (give some background of why you are calling)
T 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)