Ashleigh Mac Audio Production, On Hold, Uncategorized

voip phone on hold

VOIP phone

A professionally produced on hold message for your VOIP system can help establish your brand and enhance company image.

If you are using a VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) phone system or Hosted PBX system we can help you maximize all the technology that these systems provide.  A VOIP system uses the Internet to make and route calls through a series of web connected routers.

The great news is that you won’t have to purchase any additional equipment to use On Hold Technology/voices.com.au messages on your VOIP phones!  Saving you a few hundred bucks! Since the system is all software based with no PBX box or “central control unit”, commonly associated with analog or hybrid PBX systems, we simply provide your on hold message in a MP3 or .wav format.  This file can be easily loaded into your VOIP account through a web portal or your provider can load it for you.

Voices.com.au will prepare your on hold message and convert it to the correct .wav or mp3 format that your VOIP system requires.  We have helped lots of customers that use such VOIP providers.

Some limitations you should know about and how VOIP phone systems plays back an on hold message.

upset lady on phone smallThe on hold message will play from the beginning every time you press the hold button on your VOIP phone.  So your caller will hear the on hold message from the beginning every time he or she is put on hold.    This is true of all VOIP or virtual hosted PBX systems.  The reason for this is that the system is software based and stores the on hold message in a .wav or .mp3 audio format.  When you press the hold button on your phone, it sends a command to the software to play the on hold message file.   The file is started from the beginning every time this command is executed.

A drawl back of this reality is that most of your callers will only ever hear the first 5 to 20 seconds of your 2 to 3 minute on hold message.   This increases the likelihood that your message on hold will become repetitive to callers.   So It would be important that you make sure to include the most valuable information about your company in the first 60 seconds of the on hold message.


One method we have been using to help alleviate this issue is to edit the original hold message into separate, smaller recordings.   This way you can upload different parts of the original 2-3 minute hold message to your voip system at regular intervals to help keep the information fresh for callers.   We recommend you upload a different part or section of your message every 1-2 weeks.  And perhaps more often if your business has many repeat callers within a short time frame.  Of course this will require an effort on your part or the part of your Voip provider to log into your account and upload these different messages.


Depending on your VOIP phone system, you may need to convert an on hold message or voice greeting from say an .mp3 audio file to a .wav format.  Well we have a great tip for you today!  Try using an audio converter program like Switch by NCH Software.  In fact you can download the FREE version for Windows for non- commercial use and it does not expire!  Plus it includes the most common audio file formats.  This great little program is a fast and reliable way to convert audio files for telephony applications.  We’ve been using it for years.


Which voice for my Telephone on Hold?

Ashleigh Mac Audio Production, On Hold, Voiceovers

How do you decide if you should be using a male or female voice on my Telephone on Hold?

Should it be a young girl or an older man on my telephone on hold?

It’s often about variety. First, think about your business and the image you want to portray on your telephone on hold message.  What do you do? Who are your customers and how do you want your brand to make them feel?  Often looking at your customers is a simple way to choose. If you are a business with custom mainly made up of seniors give them a relatable voice on your telephone on hold. Hold up a mirror. If they are seniors give them a senior and a 50/50 mix of male and female. It will tend to make them feel comfortable.

For telephone on hold, I prefer alternating  male and female voices. that can add some punch to a script and punctuate one message to another. Others like to stick with one voice and keep everything consistent. There’s no right or wrong as long as you use good voices with a pleasant sound that people will like. Proven voices.

If you can choose a voice that satisfies both your brand and your callers, your content will really shine. To find the right voice for your IVR system, Messages On Hold, or other telephony applications, sample a lot of voices and choose the one that sounds the best to you and your callers.


How many words should there be in my script.

Ashleigh Mac Audio Production, Voiceovers

I get asked all the time “How many words can I have in my ad”?

Well this might help.

For a comfortable “normal speech” read use the following but remember:

for phone numbers, each spoken number = 1 word.
(i.e., 3281 1704 = 8 words)


7 words = 3 seconds
12 words = 5 seconds
17 words = 7 seconds
23 words = 10 seconds
35 words = 15 seconds
70 words = 30 seconds
140 words = 60 seconds

Is there room for me in the Voice-over business

Ashleigh Mac Audio Production, Voiceovers

Do you think its getting harder to get voice-over work in 2015?

I’ve been in this business close to 25 years and its never been easy.

If you think it’s all about a good voice and thats it you are wrong.

It takes selling skills… not with the voice but getting out there meeting people and letting them know you exist.

In my experience price does not play a part, (Unless you are working for someone in India or Romania)

In the good old days it was all about local. The local radio station, the local film maker or ad agency or the local TV station. You knew the guy in copy or production and he knew you and your voice-over reliability.

Once you were in that “stable” of voice talents a studio or agency could rely upon, the phone kept ringing. That’s how I built my business. And that part of the business still exists. Most of my work is from word of mouth and repeat clients. Believe me, it’s easier for the client re re-hire someone they trust than to go out and start a brand new search.

voices mic

Digital Disruption of a creative industry

Things are also very different now. Many potential clients have access to voice talent from all over the world through sites like voices.com and voices.com.au Thanks Mr. Internet! Now getting voiceover work is just like being on a dating site. (Yucky mental picture)

Don’t let it get you down though. In exactly the same way as the competition has increased…. so has the work. The scope of work is enormous. If you had have told me 10 years ago I was going to be doing stuff for Paypal or Audi on the other side of the planet I would have laughed at you. Maybe this digital disruption thing is not so bad after all. Maybe it’s giving me access to people I didn’t ever dream of.

If you have the desire, the work ethic and the thick skin this might be an industry for you.

Thank you Mr. Internet. Thank You.

Ashleigh Mac

Ashleigh Mac is the owner of voices.com.au and a voiceover artist with too many years under his belt.