You're Trying too Hard
Sigh. Trying to sound "perfect" can be paralyzing.
Does this scene sound familiar? You've spent countless hours in the booth auditioning, voicing take after take after take, all the while second-guessing and questioning yourself. Should I be brighter? Smile more? Sound more compassionate? Wait - the casting specs called for confident, yet quirky. Do you even know what take you are listening to anymore? Arghhh!
This may surprise you, but you don't need to have the "perfect" sound or read to be successful at voiceover. I promise you! Trying too hard to sound perfect, is super BORING, and will only render time wasted in trying to achieve something that is impossible. That crucial time is needed (and much better served) to understand and tell the story authentically to your audience.
Bring YOU to the party
The most successful brands embrace their imperfections and flaws. They showcase the human behind their product or service and let their followers become part of the story. This is what makes your product unique. The most successful brands have a knack for making others feel included, knowing that synergy breeds success. Remember, YOU are the most unique and beautiful element of your product. Why try so hard to sound the way you think others want you to sound?
When I first got into voiceover, I spent way too much time trying to sound like every other voiceover artist instead of myself. I thought my voice needed to sound the way I heard it on commercials for so many years - as if I weren't worthy enough to call myself a professional voiceover artist. It took me a long time to really embrace my own sound, my own authenticity - and I am so glad I have. I know who I am, and now I am more confident to continue exploring and unveiling my authenticity in my performances.
Our differences are our strength
As seen and expressed in the video below, no two of us are alike. We must use that reality to "create in a way that considers everyone". Voice in a way that doesn't only consider YOU, or what you think you need to sound like, and truly connect with your audience with the authenticity of telling the story for your client.
Let's be honest. If you were to go into the booth right now, and audition for this script, would you be prepared enough to really tell the story in your own authentic way? Or would you read it the way you think it should sound? I encourage you to try it out now - out loud, and then go ahead and listen to the voice artist in the video below.
No two of us are alike
No one looks the same, moves the same, sees, hears, or takes in information the same
No one thinks, solves problems or dreams of the future the same
We don't all share the same language, customs, or culture
or have the same access to information, education, or self-determination
So when technology isn't designed to account for difference, communities are marginalized, fundamental rights like safety and privacy are jeopardized.
Every kind of listener, talker, walker, player, learner, user, worker, every kind of person
every kind of listener, talker, walker, player, learner, user, worker, every kind of person
when we create for and with people of different perspectives, experiences, abilities, imagination is untethered.
innovation is unleashed, connections are born, and something unexpected happens
the effect of our collective action impacts more people than we could have ever imagined
our differences are our strength
so let's create in a way that considers everyone, because technology has the power to unlock human potential to change the world, and together we have the power to change technology
If you listen carefully, the notes of her conversation with the audience and the nuances of emotion that change with the story make for an authentic and believable performance, one that took me along for the journey. Her voice is perfectly imperfect, with cracks and rasp and emotion. Not only did the words of the script indicate that I should be "included", but the artist's performance left me feeling included, and sharing in the joy of the message.
"It's about letting others see you, the real you, and helping them connect with that person." - Laura Ries
We've been taught to aspire to perfection — but what if we stopped? What would happen if we embraced our flaws as part of our story? Those moments are what make us human. They're what make us relatable to everyone else, and they're what make us memorable. This is exactly what more and more brands are doing, and it's working.
So be yourself, share your best and most honest self in your performances, and you'll find that your clients and listeners will resonate.
Thanks for reading!
Keep on rocking your business like a #VOBOSS
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Anne Ganguzza is a professional voice actor and award-winning director and producer who works with students to develop their voiceover and business skills - including voice over Coaching and Genre-based Demo Production. She specializes in conversational Commercial & Narration styles, including Corporate, eLearning, Technology, and On-Hold Messaging. Located in Orange County, California, Anne offers private coaching and mentoring services to students via ipDTL and Zoom.