If you have never heard of the voiceover term “the half-voice”, it goes by other names – active hush, quiet-voice, chest-voice, and others. In the VO world, half voice is a hushed or chest-voice that is softer but retains intent.
It is not a whisper, but it is a unique place in our voice dynamics that gives a much more personal message. The half-voice is more of an intentional flair; an important component in certain conversational reads. You may have heard the phrase, talking TO someone, vs. talking AT them. This is where the half-voice comes into play. This of it as speaking right next to your listener. I have also heard it described as being right in the listener’s ear.
The half-voice is extremely important to those coming from a broadcasting background where performances tend to be one volume – LOUD! This half-voice also takes a lot of the throat out of the delivery (again, where a lot of former broadcasters tend to squeeze and give that affected “radio read”.
Half-voice is a secret weapon we use to calm the announcer or radio voices that have been trained to bark the message. Learn how to do it and find a rich element in your delivery. It works.
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