If you are thinking about becoming a voiceover artist there are some very important facts about the business that must be understood by all prior to making a move.
Becoming a voiceover artist
For budding voiceover artists it is vitally important that you don’t just drop everything job-wise and put all your eggs in the voiceover market. It is a vastly competitive sector, owing greatly to the fact that location is not a barrier to many jobs. It would be unwise to go out and spend lots of money on microphones and lavish equipment for many reasons, not least because you may want to become affiliated with a recording studio (the best way to guarantee quality and a steady flow of work) but also because there is so much competition out there and the vital factor is quality of output. With this in mind, if you harbour ambitions of getting in on the voiceover market, buy yourself a reasonable microphone and get working on your style and the quality of your voice. Remember, you’re not expected to become Terry Wogan overnight, but consistency and confidence are of immense importance. Get practicing and send out some demos to select studios and producers.
Learn those lines
Knowledge of the material is an absolute must when creating a voiceover recording. Any little hint at confusion or memory loss will irritate each and every producer the world over. Preparation and planning are key.
Stand up and be counted
A standing voiceover delivery really is the best way to go. There are several reasons for this, with the most important being that standing up opens up your chest for optimal breathing, facilitating clear and strong speech. In addition to this, when you stand up and talk you are able to gesture more fully, which has been proven to animate the voice and bring words to life.
Find your difference
Finally, you need a little something that distinguishes you from the crowd – a little idiosyncrasy perhaps…it will help you get into the consciousness of the producers and studios to whom you send your material.
Warm up that voice!
Vocal exercises are a must and can really have a very positive impact on your performance. Drink plenty of water to keep those vocal chords lubricated and make sure you have those summer allergies under proper control before attempting a recording!
Umming and Ahing is a huge no no
This should go without saying, but when voice recording you need to keep hesitation to a minimum and definitely leave those ‘umms’ and ‘ahs’ at home. Just as in an interview it is considered a sign of insecurity and if you are insecure about what you are promoting in your voiceover you will not get repeat work. Recording studios will avoid you like the plague.
Inflection is vital
Easily one of the greatest challenges to a voiceover artist is vocal inflection. Avoid that Australian disease of ‘high rising terminals’ or Australian Intonation Disease, as it is affectionately known as in Britain. It makes every sentence sound like a question and is very bad form. End sentences that are not questions in an authoritative falling or neutral tone. Also, your facial expressions can (unbelievably) shine through into your vocal performance, so match them to the tone of the material!
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