With smart speakers, digital assistants and voice notes becoming more popular than ever, it’s clear that voice messaging has started to play a central role in all of our daily lives.

Millions of people are now opting to send voice messages to each other over texting, and in 2020 alone, social giants such as Instagram and Snapchat rolled out a host of voice messaging and voice-activation features to keep up with consumer trends. LinkedIn recently launched voice messages, and Twitter has been experimenting with audio tweets, so creators are increasingly able to broadcast a voice to a broad audience.

New voice technologies such as Vox are also opening up new avenues for conversation between customers and businesses, enabling consumers to record voice messages for brands online.

So, with the popularity of voice messaging on the rise, how do you make sure that your voice messages are always engaging?

Whether you’re sending a voice note to a new friend, your employer or responding to a customer as a business, there are certain rules of thumb you should always keep in mind if you want the receiver to a) listen to your entire message and b) give you the response you’re looking for.

As specialists in developing voice recording and messaging technologies, we have seen that some voice messages do generate more positive responses than others.

In this article, we'll share our top five tips for recording a truly engaging voice message:

#1 Keep it concise

As a general rule, we recommend keeping your voice messages within 10 and 30 seconds. If your audio is too long, you can trim the audio or cut out unnecessary parts.

Most people prefer to listen to a short, concise message that gives them all the information they need immediately. Few people have the time to sit and listen to your stories for more than a couple of minutes at a time!

#2 Keep your tone positive

Always remember the golden rule of voice messaging: It’s not what you say, but how you say it. Positive-sounding messages will earn you brownie points with your listeners, and will help you make the recipients of your messages feel happier, more trusting of you and far more likely to reply.

Our top tip to keep your tone sounding friendly and positive while you speak is to smile while you’re talking. Even if no one can see you, we promise the positivity will translate through the mic!

someone records a happy, positive voice message while smiling

#3 Throw in some humor

One easy way of engaging your listener is to send them a voice note that will make them laugh.

Just like in any real-life conversation - and even in a business meeting or job interview - using humor is the perfect way to break the ice, build rapport with the person you’re speaking to and encourage them to engage with your message. So why not throw in a joke to your next voice note?

people laughing at a joke

#4 Plan out your message

To avoid stumbling over your words, we recommend having a quick think about what you’re going to say before you start recording.

By this, we don’t mean get out your pen and paper and jot down all of your thoughts in order. If your message is long and complicated enough to have to do that, we’d recommend sending an email over a voice message anyway!

Instead, we suggest simply taking a moment to think about what you’re going to say before you start speaking into your phone, so that you can avoid any ‘umm’s and ‘ahh’s while recording and get your point across as quickly as possible.

If you do make a mistake, you can cut the middle part out of audio using Kapwing's Studio (then convert the MP4 output back to an MP3).

#5 Prompt a reply

You’re far more likely to get a reply from someone when you ask a question, so don’t forget to end your voice message by asking the recipient something. That’s their cue to respond with a message that’s just as engaging as yours!

call to action from voice message

#6 Share it with a visual

Some platforms, like Instagram, Youtube, and Facebook, do not yet support audio-only media formats. You can still share your voice recording on these channels by creating a video from the audio file.

Just use a tool like Kapwing's Studio to upload the audio file and design an image background. To add animation and keep listeners engaged, consider adding subtitles to visualize your words. Then, export your video to publish the voice message on video platforms.

This allows you to syndicate your voice across platforms and reach more listeners with your call to action.

In summary

As important as all of the above tips are, the most important thing to do when recording any engaging voice message is to simply relax and let your personality shine through.

After all, one of the main benefits of talking over texting is that it’s more natural, more human and gives you more room to be yourself than typing ever could.