Melanie Haynes Voiceover
Phone: (281) 794-3730
Email: melanie@melaniehaynes.com


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Preparing for Voice Over

If you’re a beginner to voice over, you’ll need to acquire some “copy” or scripts. Try to find several scripts that would seem appropriate to your vocal range, age, and personality. If you have friends in the business – performers, ad agencies, radio stations, and agents – they will often have copies of old commercials or narrations that they have recorded. If you don’t know or can’t find anyone who can help you out, then transcribe from TV or radio commercials on the air or find advertising copy in newspapers or magazines.

OK, now you’ve got the copy. Before you begin… breathe! Practice breathing from your diaphragm – that spot between your chest and abdomen just above your waist. To check yourself, you can lie on your back on the floor, and place the palm of your hand on your middle. Take a deep breath in through your nose. Your chest should not raise, nor should your shoulders tense, but your midsection should expand pushing your hand up. If you have a buddy, have her or him stand facing you and place their hands around your sides just above your waist. When you breathe in, expanding your diaphragm, their hands will be pushed apart– your shoulders should not move and your chest shouldn’t move much either. Now, you’ve got the idea. When you’re voicing a script – all your breath should come from here. Otherwise, you’re going to pinch and squeeze your vocal chords and you will sound pinched and squeezed – and you’ll run out of air and be gasping through the spot. Practice taking in deep breaths and then releasing them slowly while voicing “Ah” until you run out of air. When you’re actually reading a script you will need to take short, but deep breaths to keep the copy moving while keeping the sound supported.

Next, you’ll want to warm up your “articulators”. There are many exercises that you can do. Basically, you’re trying to limber up your facial muscles, jaw, lips and tongue. In commercial voice over, especially, where you often have to fit a LOT of copy into a small amount of time, it’s important to be able to speak quickly without losing the beginning and especially ending sounds of words. (On a side note – OVER enunciating is usually not desirable, either.)

Some of my favorite and easy to remember articulation exercises are:

On one breath –

Buh Duh Guh Duh
Buh Duh Guh Duh
Buh Duh Guh Duh
Buh Duh Guh Duh
Buh Duh Guh Duh
Buh Duh Guh Duh
Buh Duh Guh Duh Buh

Then

Guh Duh Buh Duh
Guh Duh Buh Duh
Guh Duh Buh Duh
Guh Duh Buh Duh
Guh Duh Buh Duh
Guh Duh Buh Duh
Guh Duh Buh Duh Guh

Repeat over and over going faster.

Next:

Puh Tuh Kuh Tuh
Puh Tuh Kuh Tuh
Puh Tuh Kuh Tuh
Puh Tuh Kuh Tuh
Puh Tuh Kuh Tuh
Puh Tuh Kuh Tuh
Puh Tuh Kuh Tuh Puh

Kuh Tuh Puh Tuh
Kuh Tuh Puh Tuh
Kuh Tuh Puh Tuh
Kuh Tuh Puh Tuh
Kuh Tuh Puh Tuh
Kuh Tuh Puh Tuh
Kuh Tuh Puh Tuh Kuh

Start as slowly as you need and keep speeding up. Works wonders in the car on the way to those early morning sessions!

Humming is also a very good exercise to open those nasal passages.

Any old tongue twisters are also helpful!  Peter Piper, She Sells Sea Shells, Rubber Baby Buggy Bumpers, Unique New York,  etc.

To learn more about becoming a professional voice talent please follow the links below:

Voice Over – Articulation Exercises
Voice Over – How To Read Copy
Voice Over – Demo
Voice Over – Agents
Voice Over – Talent
Voice Over – Home Studio
Voice Over – Internet Professionals
Voice Over – Professional Voice Talent

For Professional Female Voice Talent Click Here To Learn More About Melanie Haynes

 

Contact: info@melaniehaynes.com

 

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"I just got off the phone with the producer of the TV spot and everyone involved says that you nailed it so well, it was a finished product. Incredible audition! Thank you for making me look so good!"

- John, Winking Bull Productions

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