How to Leave a Message on an Answering Machine

By Editorial Team

Updated July 21, 2017

You may dread it or hate how your voice sounds, but there are times that you must leave a message on an answering machine. Whether the answering machine belongs to a friend or a business associate, there are some simple guidelines to use when leaving a message.

Begin speaking immediately after the beep. No one wants to listen to dead air, so jump into stating your message right away.

Start by giving your name. It is not wise to assume that the person will automatically know that it is you. Answering machines can distort voices and make it hard for the person to ascertain the caller.

Leave a brief description of the reason that you are calling. They do not need to hear a litany of details, keep it brief and to the point. A simple, "I was calling to confirm dinner on Saturday" will suffice.

Speak your phone number clearly. If you need to leave a call back number, avoid rushing through the numbers. You may want to repeat the phone number again to make certain that they hear it correctly.

Choose a closing. It is rude to hang up without stating some type of closing. A couple of options that you can choose from are "I look forward to hearing from you" and "Please, call me as soon as you are available."


Don't forget to leave the time and date that you are calling if the reason that you are phoning is a time-sensitive matter. Don't speak in a louder than normal tone on an answering machine. Just use your everyday tone of voice.