There are certain professions where one skill would literarily put you at the forefront of your career but others you need to perfect a couple of skills before you can even qualify to be called a professional. One of these professions is voice acting.
A lot of people are of the thought process that the only thing you need to be a great voice actor is a great voice but that is not the case. It takes so much more than just a good voice to be a voice actor that is sort after. Don’t get me wrong, a naturally good sounding voice is advantageous because we all know it’s hard to force your voice to sound good but it’s not the cream on top for a voice actor because anybody can manipulate their voice to sound a certain way. You must do more to make your voice stand out and that is exactly what we will be talking about this article. Below are some tips that will help you grow in your career as a voice actor.
1. Say it with a smile: Do you know that someone can tell whether you are smiling or frowning when talking to them? There is a certain way the voice comes out when you are smiling and when you are frowning. The same is applicable when you are recording something in the studio. If the mood you are trying to evoke is pleasant and happy then the vest tip that will help you do justice on that voice project is to smile while you voice it. You cannot be trying to evoke a happy emotion and yet frown as you voice your project. It will automatically pick another emotion which means you won’t have done justice for your recording.
2. Emphasize the product: During commercials and adverts where you have to voice, promoting a particular product it is more than important to constantly name the product. It is important to put a lot of emphasis on the product so that your listeners can know what exactly the voice over is about. It makes little sense when you are doing a commercial on a particular washing powder that has a name and you constantly say washing powder instead of its name. Prepare yourself first and go through the script so you know what kind of voice over you are doing and then get into it as ready and clear-minded as possible. Commercials are the easiest to voice but they can appear or sound forced and that is why the emphasis is more important than forcefully talking about the product.
3. Stop reading the script: Anyone who has been fortunate enough to go to school knows exactly how a voice reading out loud sounds like. I say this because my literature teacher would make us read out loud in class and I know how people would sound if I heard them reading out loud. During a voice recording, you want to try as much as possible to not read the script. This might confuse a lot because well you need to read a script to deliver. What I mean is that you shouldn’t read through a script without bearing in mind that it is a voice recording that needs to sound conversational like you are chatting to your friend. Put tonal variations when need be, put the emphasis where you have to and I promise you your recording will be perfect.
4. Pace yourself: Do not rush your recording, normally people pay for studio time if the studio is outsourced but the recording time is usually enough for one to brace themselves and come up with a perfect recording. So, studio time should not make you rush your recording and end up sounding like you were rushing to get it over with and finish. I don’t know why voice artists always feel the need to rush their recordings. You need to pace yourself and do your recording in a way that you can accurately pass the intended information to your listeners without then feeling like they had to keep up with your speed to decipher what you were saying.
5. Express yourself: One thing they don’t tell voice artists is that as much as they are trying to mimic a certain voice, they must first be themselves before anything else. When you are comfortable in your voice and have a clear mind then it becomes easy for you to express yourself fully. If you are working as a voice actor, your listeners need to believe your character and that’s why being expressive and believable is so important. Sometimes you will hear a voice recording and feel like the character feels off and forced. It’s not because the voice artist didn’t do a good job, it is because they over-expressed themselves. So, when being expressive, try to strike a balance and avoid being overly expressive to an extent that you overdo your character.
6. Play with characters: There are voice artists known for one particular kind of character and this really gets repetitive. It is amazing that you have perfected your voice with certain characters but one thing you need to know is that you won’t always be cast for that character. You need to grow your craft and learn how to bring other characters to life. You should get out of your comfort zone and try your hand with other characters, sharpen your skills so that when a time comes where you are cast for any other character you will deliver effortlessly. Developing and embracing a new copy is a fun way to get into different characters you may not even know that you had inside you!
7. Mysterious like Casey Kasem: Remember Casey Kasem’s American Top 40? If you said no, navigate to Google and educate yourself on some pop culture! If you said yes, do you also remember how he used a tactic much like mysteriously whispering out of the stereo speakers? That was intentional, and he was good at it. If your script warrants it, a little mysterious breathy voice-over can go a long way. This usually helps you to be at ease when you are voicing for your recording. It really goes a long way
8. Believe that you are good at what you do: The first step to being good at what you do is believing that you are good at that exact thing. Believing that you can deliver to the best of your ability. If you are not confident in who you are and what you can offer, it will be hard for anyone else to be confident in you enough to even vast you for a role. Confidence will get you into doors that you never thought will open for you. Confidence will take you places, get you jobs help you when you are voice recording. The tricky part is when you are not confident in yourself but you are willing to get confident. Do everything you can so you can get yourself to the level of confidence where you enter a recording booth and you get excited because you know you are about to deliver to the best of your ability.
9. Gimme a dose of inflection: Have you ever been to a public speaking event and realized how all the speakers always come in and start their speeches in high tones? If you haven’t then I’m here to let you know that that is very normal and its exactly how it is supposed to be. The reason why this is the case is so that you can get the attention of your listeners. Getting the attention of any audience is usually hard but to crack because you should be able to know what exactly interests them and give it to them in order to get their attention
Since that is impossible to find out, give them a dose of inflection. This is what they term it as in voice recording. This is when you begin your recording at a high and controlled pitch, then let it fall slowly as you continue your recording. This will grab the listeners’ attention and have them interested in what the rest of the recording has to offer. It is a technique that is used in a lot of industries.
These are but some easy tips that you can use to take your voice recording career to the next level. The good thing is that these are tips that are very easy to follow, there is nothing technical or hard to understand about them. They are just straight forward. I promise you that if you take them into consideration, you are guaranteed a great and successful career in voice recording.