“You need to better connect to the script”.
I heard those words SO many times in my early days in voiceover. You see, I came from radio. And back then radio was about a) your personality, b) the sound of your voice, c) the sound of your voice, d) the sound of your voice, e) can you make it through a script without stumbling.
…and did we mention it was about the sound of your voice. Lung cancer be damned if you smoked and had a deep voice.
Welcome to modern voice acting, where things are different.
You see, in radio, it was all about just getting it done. Grab the copy, maybe read it once or twice, hit record, and go. The result was technically a finished voiceover. But there was no connection to the script. They were words read aloud, but they weren’t believable.
You still hear that read on local radio, especially in automotive, but listen to the national spots. Authentic. Conversational. Believable. Acting vs. just reading. This is connection – and it takes practice.
Start by really digging deep into the copy. And yes, it can be hard sometimes to dig deep into Chevy Trucks only 23,998 this week. But for spots that have an emotional connection, dig deeper. Know what the ultimate thing is you are trying to convey. These aren’t just words, they are a message. What is the message you are communicating?
Who are you in this scenario? No, you are not the narrator/announcer/vo talent, etc written at the top of the copy. You are the CEO telling people about your product with a sense of pride, a mom who trusts that this product/service is a blessing to her household. Who are you in the story?
Who are you talking to? Are you a mom talking to another mon? a CEO talking to another CEO…or maybe a potential customer? This is one on one communication at its core. Who are you speaking to?
What is the personality of the messenger? In other words, what is the personality of the end-user of the product, or the use of the product itself? Is the product/service fun? Sound fun. Is the use of the product tied to emotion (i.e. retirement planning isn’t really about the amount you have in the bank as much as it is about peace of mind knowing you won’t run out of money in your retirement years. Connect to that feeling.
Different types of voiceover require different approaches. Commercial copy was mostly discussed here, but this applies to other forms of VO as well. eLearning is not about the sound of your voice, but it is about teaching and training. All the glorious pipes in the world won’t teach someone a task if all the listener can focus on it the distraction of the talent listening to the luscious tones of their own voice in a set of headphones. The connection is lost.
This is just scratching the surface of connection, but remember that this is voice ACTING. Not, just narrating. And ACTING is all about connection and emotion. Making the script come alive as if it were you speaking it, in your own words (that just happen to be written by someone else).
If you want to take your voiceover performance to the next level, contact Radio Lounge today and sign up for virtual voiceover coaching, or if you are nearby come on in for in-person voice-over coaching in Houston area.
Connect To The Script #voiceover #vo