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How to Talk on the Phone

When you call someone


Plan what you say before you dial:


Hello this is (Your Name)________________ from (what they know you from)____________, may I please speak to (Their Name)___________________?


If it is them, then

Hi (Their Name)___________________ I’m calling because (your objective)________________


Confirm that it is still a good time to talk


Example 1

Them:     Hello?

You:     Hello this is Stefan Salvatore, from Cal State East Bay, may I please speak to Bonnie?

Them:     This is Stefan.

You:     Hi Stefan, is now still a good time for our conversation?


Example 2

Them:     Hello this is Damon.

You:     Hi Damon, this is Elena Gillbert calling for our 9:30 conversation.

Them:     Hi Elena.

You:     Is now still a good time to talk?


When you answer the phone


Answer in a professional manner!


Hello this is (Your Name)_______________________.



Hello this is Tyler!


Do NOT say something informal when you answer the phone from an unknown number.

When you leave a voicemail


Be ready to leave a voicemail


“Hello this is (Your First Name and Last Name)__________________ from (what they know you from)_______________. I’m calling because (your objective)_____________________. Please call me back at (Your phone number)__________________________. Again, this is (your first name and last name)_____________ (your phone number)_______________”


If they do not have your cell phone number, a common practice is to repeat your name and number, just in case your voice was unclear.


Example 1

Hi this is Caroline Forbes friend of Matt Donovan. I’m calling for our informational interview that we scheduled for today at 3pm. Please call me back when you are free at 555-555-5555. Again, this is Caroline Forbes at 555-555-5555.

Other phone tips


Choose a quiet place.

Take notes. Have something to take notes, pen/paper or computer.

Write an agenda. Prepare! Have your list of questions in front of you.

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