Bad audio can ruin a good video, and bad a voice-over can wear on your viewers’ patience. A smooth, clear and enjoyable narration is what’s needed. Look over your script and Find Your Voice.
For the most part producer’s have grown tired of the “Mr. Announcer Voice.” Producers are looking for more conversational, casual voices. But, you do need to speak clearly and decide what attitude fits your narration.
Push your vocal inflection and emotion. Record and listen to your playback for practice. Make sure your read fits the context of your video. Pre-read your material a few times before you start recording.
What if your project is a 20-minute training video filled with technical terms and chemical names? The time spent in preparation makes your final performance that much better. Knowing how things fit together in the final product will help with pacing.
Don’t be afraid to add some emotion and excitement to your read when necessary. Practice out loud. Remember, the script sounds different in your head. This will also identify any words or phrases that could be troubling.
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I have coined various phrases like “Lips Apart, Then Start”. The Voice Most Desired, Is The Voice Most Hired”… I’m particularly fond of this one…it came to me when working with a voice actor who thought he was too sibilant. I listened to him closely to determine that he was merely holding on to his S’s too long. All I had to say to him was, “Get off your lazy S!
Playback your recordings to determine if this might not apply to you as well. In most cases however, your sibilance that really annoys you, may not bother anyone else. Others may not find it to be as in your face as you think it is. We are our own worst critics. I know you’ve heard this before, and I know that by now, you have found it to be true.
So before you spend additional time editing those S’s you’ve already recorded in half, consider whether they’re worth your time and effort.
The best way to cut down on sibilance is to catch it on the front end and simply, get off your lazy S.
Social networking can be very time consuming, and it may take a while before it begins to pay off. Don't look at this as a chore or as something you need to get out of the way, but rather make it a part of your daily routine. It does require time and effort, but never view it as a negative. It can easily become an exciting part of growing your voice-over business.
Part of my routine is to create a video-blog like this one twice each month. John Florian at VoiceOverXtra does a great job of getting these videos to you… I try to find five new people to follow on Twitter and Facebook everyday. I respond twice each week to a post from one of my Linked-In groups. Finally, I send out an e-mail blast to all of my contacts twice each month, letting them know about my new videos, Booth Camps, webinars, and other information.
Find a way to include your online efforts into your everyday ritual in order to make the most of your social networking.
When marketing yourself it's easy to get overwhelmed and not know where to start. It's easy to forget how many people you already know, and how many connections you've made in your lifetime.
Talk to your friends and family. Let them know what you're trying to accomplish. Ask them if they know anybody they can introduce you to. Be specific in explaining the type of people you want to meet because once that connection is established, once it's with the right person or not, you'll be obligated to meet with that connection. Explaining exactly who it is that you want to meet, will keep you from wasting time...yours and theirs.
Reach into your past. Whatever became of those friends from high school, summer camp, sports teams, college, summer jobs, military or from the old neighborhood? What are they up to these days. You never know just how many of these connections may lead to new business.
I recently watched an episode of a very old tv show, Groucho Marx, "You Bet Your Life". Groucho was a very funny man, but in this particular episode he was out-shined by a very happy old man, who was full of life and fun.
Groucho said, “Sir, you are the happiest man I’ve ever had on my show. How did you get to be so happy?” The old man replied, “Why son, every morning when I wake up I have two choices for the day. One choice is to be unhappy, and the other is to be happy, I choose to be happy.”
What that happy old guy was referring to is one of the greatest powers that you and I possess, the power to choose. By the power of choice, you can either make your life creative or you can destroy it. You can choose to be successful or choose to be a failure.
History swings on small hinges. Similarly, human life develops according to small decisions. We determine our future by using our immense power of choice.