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Getting Started in Voice Overs, the Ultimate Beginners Guide

By Stew Crossen and Eric Michael Summerer

 

Chapter 3:
4 Things You Can Do Right Away

1. Voice Exercises
The best exercise is to practice, practice and practice. In the car, the shower, wherever. Start with your regular, everyday speaking voice and read out loud. Use the newspaper, magazines, your kid's bedtime stories or your company memos. Just read out loud to build and strengthen your natural speaking voice.

 

2. Listening
Record your voice and listen to the playback. Be honest with yourself. When you're having trouble, admit it, work to fix it and move on. When you're good, admit it and move on. Learn from the good and the bad, and over time the bad will go away.

 

3. Observation
Listen to other voice-overs. On the TV, the radio, in movies, on DVD's, answering machines, automated help lines, etc. Which ones are good and which ones are bad, and why? Learn from the good ones and forget the bad ones. Observation is key. Listen to the voices around you. People you meet, talk to on the phone, or hear on TV can all be an inspiration for your own vocal styles. Even if you can't imitate the sound of someone else's voice, mimicking their attitude may give you some useful material. Listen to the range of voices in just one commercial break.

 

4. Writing
Good voice-over actors are often good copywriters. Start writing your own copy. Learn how to be clear and concise. The art of creating an effective message within a 30 or 60-second time frame, will help sharpen your speaking skills.

In Chapter 4, we'll talk about Two More Things You Can Do Right Away.

 

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