Voice Message 101: Etiquette Guide for Becoming a Voice Message Pro

Easy to send and fun to listen to, voice messages across chat platforms have become a go-to for many when sharing funny anecdotes or heartfelt messages with friends and family. With 98.7% Malaysians citing WhatsApp as their favourite messaging platform, an increasing number of users are sending more voice notes as an expressive way to share updates with family and friends securely. All voice messages are protected by end-to-end encryption

Not only are voice notes popular within friends and family groups in Malaysia, small business owners, vendors, and professionals are also gravitating towards voice notes on WhatsApp for quick, real-time work in progress updates. Globally, 7 billion voice messages are sent on WhatsApp every day.

But as quick as it is to swipe and send a voice message, they should be shared with thought. A snappy voice note will help you communicate effectively and get your messages across clearly. Long rambles, noisy backgrounds, or incomplete sentences on the other hand are neither fun nor convenient to listen to. Especially, if you are a business owner trying to share crucial updates with your team or customers.

Likewise, what about the politics of replying? Do you have to match the length of the received voice note when you respond?

To help navigate voice message etiquette, WhatsApp has partnered with etiquette expert, Jo Bryant to share tops tips on how to voice message like a pro:

1.   Don’t record a podcast: While everyone has a different opinion on the ideal length of a voice message, try keeping them to 1 or 2 minutes. If it’s too long to type but too short for a call, you’ve found the voice message sweet spot. And if you receive a voice message that is unbearably long, you can play it at 1.5x or 2x speeds to listen to it faster.

2.   Break it up: If you really can’t shorten your message, consider breaking it up into shorter ones and sending them separately. Your recipient can choose to binge-listen in one sitting or squeeze them in around their schedule.

3.   Respect others: Be aware of your surroundings when listening to a voice message. Loud playback can be annoying for those around you, but the message may also contain private information. Keep the volume down or use headphones in quiet, crowded places like the MRT. You can also pause a voice note and come back to it later if, say, someone just walked into a room while you were hearing a private message.

4.   Cut the questions: Be mindful of how many questions you ask in a single voice note so your recipient doesn’t forget half of them when trying to reply.

5.   Return the favour: If you receive a voice message, try sending one back. A two-way voice conversation is much better than a one-sided rant.

6.   Be timely: Remember to reply to voice messages in a timely manner. If you’re really tight for time, you can send a voice message hands-free while multi-tasking. Simply hold down the microphone icon and swipe up to lock your recording in place. When finished, tap to send.

Jo Bryant, professional etiquette expert says, “Technology has helped us communicate in an informal, relaxed manner with family and friends, and voice messages over WhatsApp are a popular way to share a funny anecdote, or a heartfelt message – particularly as they’re protected by end-to-end encryption. That said, at times we can forget the importance of etiquette in digital situations, and there are no official rules to guide us. I’m excited to share some etiquette tips, to help you and the people you’re sharing them with get the best from voice messaging”.

Done right, voice notes are a powerful feature that help you build more personal relationships with your social circle and customers by sharing a moment of your day in real-time.

© 2023 BlackButterfly DesignArts