YOU are now working with a voice over coach
You just started your first 30-minute coaching session and your coach has you read an e-Learning script “cold”. “How does that feel to you?” They ask… “not bad” you come back.
YOU now learn how to talk “uncomfortably slow”
“Well, the reality is…like virtually every student I work with, you are reading way too fast. Let’s try it again and this time go “uncomfortably slow” and I do mean “uncomfortably”. So, you read it again and it feels like you are sliding through thick mud you are talking so slowly. “Great job!” he says and you “you must be kidding, that was slower than I have ever talked in my life”. “So uncomfortably slow, right?” “Absolutely.”
One of the primary techniques for improving your voice over performance is to do just as the coach asked. Two things happen automatically when you approach a script “uncomfortably slow”: 1) you automatically sound more conversational and 2) you don’t have to worry about punctuation or where to take a breath…those things happen automatically as if magic.
YOU celebrate what you just learned
So, there you’ve read the script again, going uncomfortably slow and just as the coach indicated you sounded much more conversational and the punctuation and breathing showed up without you having to think about. In amazement you think to yourself “that was so cool and this is only my first of five (5) voice over lessons”
YOU learn to smile
Another strange phenomenon, when reading scripts, is to smile while reading. Sounds strange and most of the time it feels even stranger. “Wait you want me to read, to be conversational, and now smile?” The coach says, “YEP you got it!” Think about this…when you first pick up a phone to make a call, assuming that the person on the other end is really somebody you want to talk to you, you automatically smile. There is a spark in your voice and touch of energy that wasn’t there before you made the call.
When you smile reading a script the same exact thing happens. There is a spart, a bit of energy, both of which makes the “read” sound much more authentic. When you are reading a script there could be a small smile or a large one. It just depends on the copy, the tone of the copy, and who you are the intended audience of the copy. Could be a huge smile or a tiny one based on those two things. But unless you are reading something dark there is almost always going to be a smile. The words seem to just lift off the page and sound much more authentic than without the smile.
This only the first of five voice over lessons and look at what you’ve learned so far. Crazy, right? Are you anxious about the next lesson? I thought so.
My name is David Brower and I’ve been a full-time voice actor for over 15 years. I’ve spent over 10 of those years coaching hundreds of people, just like you, to help them take baby steps into this career. So, what are you waiting for?