• Jodi Hutton

Voice Overs: Developing my Voice

Looking back at what was said in Voice Overs: What you need to know , I briefly touched upon the need to develop your voice in readiness to make a career as a Voice Over. True, we do use our voices everyday...some more than others but does it have clarity, are you able to adopt a different tone whilst staying true to who you are and what your voice offers?

Top Tip Time

One of the first hurdles to overcome is hearing your own voice back. It's a strange one, it never sounds how we expect it to sound, most of us don't like it. Time to embrace it and get used to it!

Not only will you be hearing it a lot more but you'll also have to critique yourself on a daily basis. Something you can do, before investing in all the kit needed to get started, is record your voice down on your phone (this is just for you to listen to!) Choose a long piece of text, anything off the internet. It can be a recipe method, the weather forecast, a chapter from a book or a positive post on Twitter (though they're hard to come by.) Now record yourself reciting these words. Don't worry if you stumble, just start the line again and carry on until you've reached the end of the text. Now take a moment away from it, don't dive straight into listening back. Grab yourself a cuppa and get some headphones at the ready!

It's Playback time

Get yourself comfy. Be ready to make notes. Be kind to yourself. Remember, this is just the start so don't go beating yourself up if it doesn't sound good and don't let it put you off! Saying that, you need to be ready to pick holes in what you've recorded and identify areas of weakness so you can learn and develop from this point on.

Things to think about

  • How is your breathing? This is one of the first things you'll want to get right. Is your breath supporting your voice throughout the entirety of sentences?

  • Clarity. Is your voice clear and understandable at all points of the audio?

  • Accent. Regional accents are great and currently very popular. Are you able adapt certain words that may not be as understandable to others throughout world?

  • Tone. Does the tone of your voice suit the piece of text? Is it interesting to listen to? Comfortable to listen to?

  • Are there certain words that repeatedly tripped you up, are there letter combinations that you s-s-stumble over?

It's so helpful to do this a few times over, with different styles of texts. Start mimicking back TV/ Radio ads so you can get the idea of how you can change up the inflection or cadence of your voice. This is something I still do, years after starting up. I'm always identifying new words that could be clearer. For me, the word that needed the most work was 'Creative'. A simple word. Yet when played back, the 'r' was too soft and getting lost so I had to learn to change the way the word left my mouth! It's a long process but a worthy one. It's key to develop your voice so that it still sounds like you (there's only one of you) and it helps if you can adapt to different genres using multiple tones - that way, there's more work out there for you!

Listen to teacher

There are many YouTube videos that can help you with vocal exercises that you can practice for yourself. If you are completely new to using your voice for 'performance', I would also highly recommend getting yourself booked into workshops and training courses. Yes it's an expense upfront but if you put in the work and learn, you'll reap the rewards over a long career! Now go have some fun listening to your voice...over and over again! If you've enjoyed reading this #Voiceover #DevelopingMyVoice, then be sure to look out for further #posts that will over helpful #hints, #tips and #tricks as I share #knowledge that I've learnt along the way! Comment below if there's something you'd like me to cover next.

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