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How to speak professionally on the phone


Phone script

If you are speaking to someone new, having a challenging conversation or speaking about a new topic, it is useful to plan what you want to say.

  • How am I going to start the conversation?
  • What are the three most important things I need to say?
  • How am I going to close the conversation? What impression do I want to leave?

Tip- make notes whilst you are on the phone so that you can remember important information from the call

Making phone calls

Read through these scenarios and write a script of how you would have this conversation in a professional way.

  1. You answer the phone to a patient wanting to get their test results. How would you answer their questions?
  2. You have been asked to ring another department to find out when they want the report your manager is writing for them. What would you ask them?
  3. You have been asked to order some stationery. How would you ask for the supplies needed?

Example conversations

Answering the phone:

  • Hello, this is (your name) thank you for calling (name of department). How can I help you?
  • Good morning/afternoon, thank you for calling (name of department). How can I help you?

Phoning someone else/different department:

  • This is (your name) from (name of department). I’m calling about…
  • This is (your name)

Asking to speak to someone:

  • Is (name of person) available?
  • May I speak to (name of person or their job title such as doctor)
  • I’d like to talk with (name of person)

Putting somebody on hold:

Below are some expressions and phrases which could be used if you are nervous or not ready to speak. You can use this moment calm yourself and prepare to speak professionally.

  • Can I put you on hold for a moment, please?
  • Would you minding holding for a moment?
  • If it is ok with you, I am going to put you on hold for a moment. I will see if (name of person) is available.

Asking a question or for them to repeat themselves:

  • I’m sorry I didn’t catch that. Could you repeat yourself?
  • I’m sorry, did you mean…?
  • Just to clarify, you said…
  • Would you mind spelling that for me? (never be afraid to ask for something to be spelt)
  • Would you mind slowing down? Thank you.

Taking a message:

  • I’m sorry (name of person) is not available at the moment. Can I take a message for them?
  • If you leave a message, I will be sure to get it to them as soon as they are available.
  • They are away at the moment, may I ask who is calling?

Leaving a message:

  • Yes. Thank you, please tell them (your name) called. Ask her to call me back on (your work number or extension)
  • Please let them know I am available on (date and time you are able to answer your phone)

Ending your call:

  • Thank you for calling. I will make sure to give them your message.
  • Thanks for calling. I have another phone call so I will have to let you go.
  • Thanks for calling and have a nice/lovely/great day