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It's your job as a voice actor to be able to take any script and bring it to life. Creating that connection to the audience is paramount to being a successful voice-over artist. Today, Anne lays out some strategies for success.
Creating that connection to the audience is paramount...
We have a script, we have some specs on that script, and now it's up to us to do the thing, to be the actor and bring those words to life. It's not enough to just be able to read those words nicely. And I know that a lot of us, when we get into voiceover, it is part of our skill. I know myself, when I was a girl in school, every time the teacher would ask, who wants to read out loud in front of the class, well, I was the very first one. And so reading well and reading out loud was definitely a skill that I think helps me in my voiceover career, that really helps you with cold reading. If you've got casting directors that change the script and you're doing a live directed session, that skill can really help you. And a cold reading skill that helps you can also help you to really understand the script quicker and comprehend the story.
And so when you wanna bring your script to life, it's really important that you understand the story that is behind the script, and that story you may or may not know just from the words on the page. It really takes a little bit of effort to read the script, assess the script, to figure out what is the purpose? Why is somebody hiring you to even read the script?
Now, if it's for a commercial or even maybe a corporate narration, um, it could be to sell a product. A lot of times that's the ultimate end goal of just about everything we do in the corporate world, right, or if it involves a product, it usually involves some sort of a sell. Now, of course, nobody likes to be sold to, you know, forcefully. So we have to make sure that the words on the page, no matter how they're written, are best told in a story form so that it makes a memorable impression on the listener. And it is not something that the listener feels like you're forcing, that you're forcing down their throat, okay? So to be that storyteller, to bring those words to life really means that you've got to assess what is going on in that script. Who are you? And if it happens to be a script where you're selling something, in a commercial or a corporate or, uh, that type, it should be, you should probably work for the company and have a good deal of knowledge about that product.
Once you know that product, you are going to showcase how that product can help the listener. And it really has to come from a place of service, not so much, well, listen to my voice and how well I can speak and talk about this product. It really has to be you as a person who can help that listener, um, be better, look better, feel better, make more money, whatever that is. And so how do those words form on the page to tell that story? How can you bring your personality, your heart, your service to those words, to really engage with a listener and help them? And that's gonna help you bring those words to life.
Because if you're just reading words from left to right, it's not gonna leave much of an impression on the listener because you'll simply be stating, this is word one, this is word two, and this is word three, and I don't really have any point of view behind it. I don't really have a purpose, and I don't know where those words are going. Google the company, Google the product if you can, if you know what it is, and go find out what that brand looks like, who their intended audience is, and then really determine who it is that you're talking to. And then try to add the elevated layer of how can that product help them? How can you take those words that are on the page and understand the storyline of how that may help them feel better, uh, just by listening to you voicing the script?
So assessing who you are, who you're talking to, looking at the first couple of lines to figure out what's, what's this even about? Is it an introduction? Looking at the last couple of lines of the script, that hopefully has some sort of a conclusion or some sort of a summary. And then in between the introduction and the conclusion are all the steps, are all the pieces of the storyline, the backbone. Uh, if you remember back in the day when your teacher would have you write an essay for English, you would always have to write an outline. So what's the outline of that story? And if you can figure out the outline of the story as you're introducing the story, um, all the way through the conclusion of the story, what is happening in between that can really connect the dots for that listener?
Take more time than you think to read through that script and really try to assess the storyline and understand what it is before you get in that booth and start voicing it and voicing that that sound that you hear in your head, right? Because sometimes that's very obvious. I look at a script and I say, oh, I've heard this on a commercial before. I think it should sound like this. So before you do that, take a look at that script, read it, read it twice, voice it, um, quickly so that you know, um, what words are there. Make sure you get the words out of your mouth. And then that'll help you to comprehend the storyline if you voice it out loud quickly first. And then really try to assess what is the purpose and how is it going to help the listener or make the listener feel at the end of it? Uh, you wanna make sure that you're engaging, you want that listener to feel something, because usually if, if the listener can feel something from your voiceover, then you've connected, you've engaged.
So I want you to take a few moments the next time you go on that booth, before you, you know, put your mouth to the mic, I want you to really take a look at that story, figure out who you are, who you're talking to, what's the purpose and what's the storyline. And then you can start to tell the story and bring those words to life.
Thanks for reading!
Keep on rocking your business like a #VOBOSS
About Anne Ganguzza
Recipient of multiple Voice Arts Awards for Outstanding Narration Demo - Anne Ganguzza is California-based Voice Over Coach and award-winning Director & Producer specializing in target-marketed voiceover Demo Production. Anne's production team creates SOVAS-nominated demos across several genres, including Commercial, Corporate Narration, and eLearning, and her VO BOSS podcast is the winner of SOVAS Outstanding Podcast in 2022.