- Always begin a phone call with a polite greeting such as “hello” or “good day.” Never use colloquial greetings such as “hi,” “’sup,” or “hey.”
- Introduce yourself briefly with your name and where you’re calling from.
- Ask for the person you wish to speak to by their full name.
- Example: “Good day, my name is Robyn Sweetman and I’m calling from African Leadership Academy in South Africa. Could I please speak to Gakii Imungi?”
- If you are calling without an appointment, it is polite to ask if the person has time to talk to you. A simple “I’m calling in connection with X, is this a good time to talk?,” lets the person know you respect their time. If they do not have time, ask for a time that would suit them better and offer to call back at that time.
- Remember that every request should include a ‘please’ and a ‘thank you.’
- Always err on the side of being more polite on the phone as people cannot see facial cues that would normally help them to judge your tone.
- Be careful not to use any slang or offensive language.
- Speak slowly, especially if you are speaking to someone from a different country who may have trouble with your accent.
Leaving a Message
- In person:
- If the person to whom you wish to speak is not there, ask the person who answered to pass on a message. You should always leave your name and a contact number.
- Preferably repeat the number to make sure the person has written it down correctly.
- You should give the person to whom you are speaking a brief reason for your call so that they can pass on a detailed message.
- On voicemail:
- Sometimes you will be put through to an automate answering service and will be asked to record a message.
- First, wait for the beep before speaking.
- A recorded message only needs four simple things: your name and where you’re calling from, the time and date of the call, and your reason for calling, how you can be contacted.
- Example: “Hello this is Theodore Sutherland calling from African Leadership Academy in South Africa. It’s 9.30am on Tuesday morning and I’m calling with regard to the internship position we had discussed over email. Please give me a call back on +55 555 5555. Thank you.”