Techniques For Better Voice-Over Script Reads

Voiceover Directory

Techniques For Better Voice-Over Script Reads


Have you ever flipped through radio stations looking for music and a commercial catches your attention? Maybe it was a product that you're interested in, or sometimes it sounded so conversational that you feel the person was talking directly to you? Whatever the reason, you probably would not have stopped in the first place if the voiceover talent was not doing a good job reading copy and acting the script!

Last year the voiceover industry increased 7% to a $ 11.7 billion industry! Voiceovers is a fun and exciting industry, and it can be very lucrative, too! What most people do not realize is that it takes a lot more than having a good voice to be a great voiceover talent. Voiceovers are voice acting. As a voiceover actor, you have to make the words on paper appear real, conversational and captivating at the same time. When you receive a script, the first thing you want to do is analyze it. Ask yourself these basic questions before jumping in and recording:

1) What demographic is the script geared toward? Who is the audience that you're speaking to?

2) How can you personally connect with the product? As mentioned above, voiceovers are voice acting! If you're not able to connect with the product from personal experiences, ask yourself how you, as the actor in the script, can connect to it.

3) What is the emotion that you want to convey while reading this script?

4) Who do you know who you can picture while reading this script? If you can not personally relate to it, then who (as the actor in this situation) are you picturing that you're talking to? Visualization is very important in voiceovers!

The key to voiceovers is to sound like the script you're reading is coming out of your head, not off a sheet of paper. There always needs to be a larger reason for reading the script, and not just because the client has hired you to do so. If fifty people audition for the same job and they all have great voices, how do you stand out above the rest? Bring the script to life!

Analyzing copy, which is another name for a voiceover script, is very important in voiceovers. Another important skill to master is breathing! Using proper breathing techniques as a voice actor is critical in helping you sound natural and conversational. When you're reading a script, you should never sound like you're running out of air. When we start running out of air while we're talking, we just take a breath before the lack of air is even noticeable. Therefore, when you're doing voiceovers, breathing properly and breathing in the correct places within your script are essential skills to hone.

The proper way to breathe as a voice actor (or singer) is to intentionally use your diaphragm. Every time you breathe, you use your diaphragm. The difference here is to learn to control your diaphragm to maximize your voice control. Learning how to control your breath by using your diaphragm will also help make you sound natural, giving you the ability to read through complete phrases without losing stamina for longer narration reads.

How to take a diaphragm breath intentally:

1. Raise your arms up over your head and lower them gently while keeping your ribs raised. This is not needed to take a diaphragm breath but helps pre-set your body when you're learning how to do it properly.

2. With your hands slightly above your waist position your finger tips so they're towards your belly button and your thumbs on your back. Also, not needed to take a diaphragm breath but it will be a good indicator if you're doing it correctly.

3. Once your hands are in place and your ribs are raised, then focus on taking a low, deep breath. This will feel more like a "filling up like a balloon" sensation, or a downward motion, instead of filling your lungs up with air. When you take this breath, make sure that your shoulders do not move up. In actuality, your stomach should move OUT when you INHALE and move IN when you EXHALE. This is very similar to how a baby's stomach moves while it is sleeping.

4. In addition to seeing your stomach move and feeling the motion on your finger tips, you should also feel a slight movement in the palms of your hands as your entourage diaphragm is moving outward. If you were to study your body while you're taking a proper breath, the front, sides and back of your lower torso should be moving with each breath that you take.

5. Here are a few exercises that you can practice to help Learn how to breathe with your diaphragm:

a) While sitting, place your legs together in front of you and bend over on top of yourself so that you're basically reaching down to touch the floor. Place your arms at your side so they're not really involved. When you take in a low, deep breath you should feel your stomach moving against your legs.

b) Lay down flat on your back with your hands placed on your stomach. Then relax and take a low, deep breath. You should see your stomach moving UP when you INHALE and DOWN when you EXHALE. You should also feel the movement in your hands, which is a great indicator if you're doing this correctly.

c) A third exercise is to lie face down on a large ball and curl your body over it with your arms hanging around the ball, like you're hugging it. You should position yourself so that your stomach is primarily making contact with the ball, not your chest. Then take a low, deep breath and focus on feeling your stomach move outward against the ball when you inhale.

In addition to having a proper diaphragm breath, it is also important to decide WHERE in the script you're going to breathe so that it sounds natural. You should mark up your script ahead of time so that you're breathing in appropriate places to avoid sounding like you're running out of air. Make sure you keep in mind natural phrasing, conversational pauses, etc.

To mark your script in notating a breath, you can use a mid-air comma (like a musical breath notation), a dash like this | between the words you want to breathe or a / mark, or you can even draw phrase marks over the words you want to make sure NOT to break the flow with so that you do not accidently breathe in between them. As far as notations go, do whatever works best for you!

So grab some copy, a pencil and remember to breathe.


Source by Jeff Santoro

Start typing and press Enter to search

Shopping Cart