By Karen Cortell Reisman
Pet Peeve #1 - Why do you ask the other person in a telephone conversation, "Do you have a minute?" when you begin the phone call?
Solution: Generally, we don't have a minute! Don't give your listener the opportunity to say 'no' after you've spent telephone tag time to get them on the phone in the first place. Begin with graciousness, keep it short, get to the point and know what you want to get accomplished.
Pet Peeve #2 - Why do you have an outbound voicemail message that says, "Hi, I'm either on the phone or away from my desk. Please leave a message at the sound of the tone and I'll get back to you as soon as possible"?
Solution: Get rid of this generic outbound voicemail message and use these 30 seconds to explain your benefit to the person who is calling you.
First - unless you just plopped onto earth from another galaxy, you know to wait for the beep. You no longer need to tell us to "wait for the beep!"
Second - Alter "I'll get back to you as soon as possible" to "Let me know a good time to return your call."
Third - Ask the caller for an email address and give them your website address.
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Pet Peeve #3 - Why do you leave your phone number at warp speed on voice mail?
Solution: Make it easy for the listener to want to continue connecting with you. Separate the 10 digits. Say, "My area code is 999. My phone number is 111-1111." Say this slowly once at the beginning and say it again at the end of your message using your normal voice rate.
Some of these pet peeves apply to you. Some won't. But keep this list handy so you can continue to Speak For Yourself with power and presence.