Tips for Voice Messaging using Text-to-Speech
The text of your message is sent through a piece of software that turns it into a file that is then played when we call the phone number of the intended recipient. The software that does this "translation" is complex, and has the ability to turn your text into speech that sounds as the message would naturally be spoken by a person. However, there are a few rules and tips that will optimise the understanding of your message by the recipient.
Write out the words
Voice messages are unlike SMS's in that the voice software does not recognise many of the abbreviations that you might use in SMS's (e.g.: LOL). Write out words completely. Some abbreviations are recognised. For example: Mr John Smith. "Mr" would be pronounced "mister". As a general rule, if you can find it in the dictionary, it's OK to use it in a voice message.
Some names are may not be pronounced correctly. Most common names are recognised but some less common ones may not be. In that case, a phonetic spelling will often do the trick. For example, Ergon Energy (a company in Queensland Australia). "Ergon" is not pronounced correctly by the software. If you write it as "ur gone", then it will sound like the company name is normally pronounced.
You can use punctuation to change the way the voice is spoken. For example, an exclamation point (!) will lift the intonation of the voice for that word.
It is important you use commas in your text to create pauses before important words, eg: "This is an, urgent message, from John Smith".
When a word ends in a vowel, and the next word begins with the same vowel, the words can sometimes sound merged together. In that case, placing a dash (-) between the words will help separate the sounds of the two vowels and make it more distinct.
Telephone numbers should be entered with a space between the numbers and commas after the area codes eg. 0 2, 9 8 7 6, 5 4 3 2.
The voice software is set to speak the message at the "normal" rate of speech by a person. However, if you wish to slow it down, just place full stops (.) with spaces in between the full stops in various places in the message and that will slow the speech down in those places. For example, if you are saying numbers, you might write it as "one. . . two. . . three". Note the spaces between the full stops (.).
For messages that you will often reuse, it is good to write a "script", which you can then use as a template for future messages. Once you have created a message using some of the tips above, save it for future use!
It is often recommended to repeat your core message in case the recipient missed some part of the content the first time. Perhaps you want to tell them a phone number to call back, or you want them to remember some important detail. In that case, repeating the core message will help ensure the recipient retains the information you are providing. So a recommended format for a message is:
We have the ability to mask the calling number with your number! You need to supply us with proof or certify to us that you own the number, and we can make the calls appear to be coming from your number. Proof of ownership of the number is usually just a copy of a recent telephone bill.