How To Read Copy
First, read through silently or aloud quietly to get the gist of the spot and find any troublesome words. Look up the correct pronunciation if you’re not sure when practicing at home, or ASK the director if you’re in an actual voice over session. Never be afraid to ask questions especially if you’re voicing something highly technical. It’s better to get the correct pronunciation and mark your copy before the session starts.
It probably goes without saying, but to be a successful voice over performer, you have to be an excellent reader. You read in phrases, not single words. The smooth flow of the copy is important. You really have to be on “auto pilot”. I find that if I start thinking about a word I just said, I definitely start to stumble. By the way, it’s a good idea to practice just plowing ahead even if you stumble as it will at least give the engineer an idea of the timing of your reading. They’ll stop you if they want to fix it right then. You can always ask the engineer and director how they’d like you to handle mistakes, especially when recording long form narration.
When practicing on your own, try reading each sentence with different inflections, emphasizing different words each time and with different attitudes. It will help to train your ear and your voice. As you practice, try the copy faster, slower, warmer, put a smile on your face, pretend you’re sharing a secret with a friend, etc. Read it to someone, record it on any type of recording device you might have around. Play it back. Be honest about how it sounds. Try it again – and again.
Once you feel you have a good feel for the copy – try another script. Work with several varied types of scripts each requiring a different vocal quality or attitude. This practice goes on over a period of days, weeks, months, years – we never stop learning! As a professional, I find I’m constantly learning new things – new ways of interpreting, new ways to use my voice, and certainly, new technical skills.
Of course, there’s much more to honing your skills in performing voice over, but this gives you a general place to start. Working with a good, reputable voice over coach is invaluable!
To learn more about becoming a professional voice over 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
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