To record an effective voice message, write the message, practice it before recording, speak clearly throughout the message, and provide the necessary information within a reasonable amount of time. Play the message back after you finish to make sure you're happy with it.
Write the message beforehand so you include all the necessary information. By practicing the message, you find the flow of the words, which makes it easier to record. You also sound more professional and confident during the message when you know what to say, instead of pausing to think of your next words.
Record the message in a quiet area, so there isn't any background noise. Speak clearly at a normal volume and pace. Smile while you speak to sound welcoming.
Between 18 and 30 seconds is the ideal length for a message. If you record a message that's too short, it sounds like you didn't put much thought into it. If you record a long message, callers may become annoyed while waiting.
Provide your name at the beginning, so the caller knows he reached the correct person. You don't need to provide your phone number, as it takes up too much time for information the caller may already have in his phone book. Ask for information you want the caller to provide, such as his name and the best time to call back. End the recording immediately after you finish speaking to avoid a pause between your message and the beep.