amanda clarke-aSorry for the horrid misspelling.  Did it bring you this far?  Good…then read on.

Today’s article is a guest blog provided by Amanda Clarke of GlocMedia– a UK digital marketing agency.  They work closely with goLocalise, London’s leading voice-over agency — sometimes developing voice-over content for them.  I’m not sure if Amanda wrote it or not…but that’s her bio picture, and wanted to give her the credit.

This article:  “Voice Over Techniques” touches on some real basics actor tools to get your head prepared for the delivery.  It’s so easy to overlook these practices.  I hope the ideas help you in some small way.

Thanks Amanda and your team at GlocMedia.  Oh, and look for a link at the bottom of the article to goLocalise. Maybe they need some new North American-accent talent?

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Voice over techniques

There are many voice over techniques to help you get the desired voice result- whether you want to sound funny, worried, threatening. Over time voice actors learn to use these techniques and even invent their own. However, this requires practice. Here are some basic start-up techniques to exercise and train for the best flexibility result of your voice.

 

The moment before (Prehistory)

This is a basic technique frequently used in films and theater plays. It refers to the prehistory or the moment before prior to the scene which you need to play (act). Using this technique gives the read an interesting aspect as it requires a question or a comment on what happens just before the line which needs to be read.

 

Billboarding

This technique is often used in commercials. It sets a word or a sentence apart with a pause, creating emphasis. It is important to constantly practice this technique as many freshmen voice over artists make the mistake to punch the word or sentence. BY practicing, you`ll learn how to vocally separate the word or sentence by massaging the sounds and therefore emphasizing on each word.

While practicing this technique, voice artists might find it difficult to reach the perfect tone as many tend to increase volume to emphasize a word. However, this just interrupts the flow of the sound. Instead, try to stress on words by slightly changing the inflection. Another way to stress on a word is to decrease voice which is a great way to emphasize and even give a bit of dramatic sense of the whole reading.

 

Stair stepping

When you have two, three or more things to say it might be difficult to set them apart from each other in order to emphasize on each of the words, separately. By using stair stepping your voice will literally step up and down to create an individual sound for each of them. In this way you give a different note to each word and by this you manage to raise the importance of each word, separately.

 

Find the character

While it is important to stick to the main characteristics of a character (for example if the character you are supposed to play is American, you should stick to the American accent), it is vitally important to bring uniqueness to the character which you embody. In other words bring it to life. Make it colorful; enrich its personality with different nuances, tones, and sounds. Do so by reading the script in different ways, with different tones (of course sticking to the American accent for example). Having practiced the character in different ways, you`ll find that using all the different nuances of one`s voice, you managed to create the character`s individuality.

 

Having met a large number of voice over agencies in London, I can assure that finding candidates who dominate these techniques is a top priority for these agencies when it comes to recruiting staff.

 

CourVO

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