Do's and don'ts
Don't leave negative messages on voice mail.
A negative message left on voice mail may be harsher and make a stronger impact than you intend, particularly if the recipient replays your message. Try to clearly state your message without negative implications.
Don't use a speaker phone with voice mail.
Not only does a speaker phone decrease the audio clarity of your message, but a speaker phone can take away from any personal quality and imply loftiness. Some cellular phones decrease the audio quality as well.
Your vocal tones account for 84% of your impact.
Smile, vary your pitch and volume, and stand occasionally to vary your delivery. Send yourself a message periodically to hear how you sound.
Some messages are inappropriate for voice mail.
Messages containing specific facts and figures, or lengthy messages may be better transmitted via electronic mail or written memo.
Excerpts from Pacific Bell Voice Mail Tips and Etiquette PB532 (1/92)