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Trust in Me*

(audio version of blog below)

A stranger asked me for my expertise the other day…that is, a follower on Twitter whom I’d never personally met.

I was delighted to hear he’d been reading my blog regularly and asked me to critique a sample of his narration as he is interested in working in voice-overs and considering posting samples on Voices.com.

While his voice timbre was nice – consistent with what he has heard from others, (“You have a good voice!”), I needed to let him know what needed work. Helping him may help you, if you are wondering about your own vocal delivery. Working with your voice, whether on the phone, in a speech, as a voice-over, or simply communicating as a business professional, requires many of the same skills.

Some elements to beginning a career in voice-overs are: doing the research necessary to start the business aspects, seeking out coaching, researching demand, and figuring out your niche. However, the voice is of the utmost importance. Last year I wrote a blog that listed nine important keys to reading a commercial and realize at the heart of it, communicating effectively is communicating effectively, no matter the medium.

There is a melody to our speaking voice – pitches at which we speak; there are rhythms – patterns we are repeating; energy, word emphasis, natural, conversational tones, and more to consider that need study and practice.

Here is an audio snippet of his sample:

First, I needed to clearly state that the clip was not to be used as a demo on Voices.com. While there are a lot of positive aspects about the read, this sample is not a sufficiently professional representation.

The good:

  • the sound of the voice is nice (the timbre)
  • the style of the read is appropriate (not too soft sell or hard sell for the product)
  • the pace, pauses and breaths were natural
  • and, the pronunciations are accurate for his audience…

What needs work:

  • the energy level (the quality and variance of energy of the delivery of each and every word)
  • the tone and musicality (again energy, plus word emphasis, rhythm, and pitch)
  • and, the quality of the “production”

Back to the good news…there are reasons why it WAS positive and if he feels that voice work is something he is passionate about, there is no reason why he can’t pursue it. It simply takes sweat equity.

As a coach, I would go into great detail. In brief, here are my “three” cents moving forward:

  • Participate in voice training and/or coaching
  • Figure out your niche – What is your voice suited to? What do you love narrating?
  • Create a business plan – Do the research and plan out your course of action.

I’m also a fan of Edge Studio. They provide a lot of fantastic voice-over information. You can find them at edgestudio.com.

I LOVE talking about our voices, learning, coaching, and sharing. And grateful that a Twitter follower put his trust in me!

CLICK TO HEAR SONG>>Trust in Me” from the widely popular Walt Disney film, The Jungle Book, from 1967. This version is Holly Cole’s from 1991.