The voice over industry is wide with seemingly unending global opportunities, so you might want to look into this as a recurring retirement income. You’ll need to become familiar with the range of market voice-over types from audio books; commercials; documentaries; voice mail; character acting; video and game voices; scientific, medical, or technical vocal transcriptions; foreign translations, and even webinars, teleseminars, podcasts; and more.
After exploring what is available you will want to match your voice to what fits your comfort zone and style of speaking. Your tone is the key to fit the script that the producer sees as his vision to make it all work. Since this is a change from your previous career you will want to hone your speech and voice skills with a voice coach. Pick one who knows the industry and can tweak your voice to help you create a great demo for those advertisers and producers who are hiring.
There are three critical vocal sound areas that will make a difference on your demo in getting a follow-up call versus being dump in trash.
Vocal Key 1: Clarity of your words and correct pronunciation of difficult words, place names, or any technical jargon is essential. For example, if your present or previous career was in the medical field then you are very familiar with medical jargon which will give you an advantage for doing this type of read. The terms will roll off your tongue naturally and not sound odd to the end listeners, who may be doctors or other medical experts. The best exercise that you want to do for any voice over is to exercise your speech articulators: the mouth, lips, tongue and soft palate. This is usually done by a quick warm-up of tongue twisters to flex those muscles.
Vocal Key 2: How fast or slow do you read the script can make or break a sale. If, for instance, it’s a commercial script there are time constraints that must be met. The skill is to speak it quickly within the time; but you cannot lose the clarity or the emphasis of the meaning. The best solution to this is a rehearsal of your script many times to get it just right. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking this is a radio DJ speeding through the introduction of a song which is usually very unclear. Instead, keep control of your breathing, and the crispness of the beginnings and ends of your words. If your listener cannot keep up with you then they lose the message altogether.
Vocal Key 3: Your tone must fit the style of the script and the acceptable level of the listener.You should get a diagnostic assessment of your vocal pitch level and sound resonation. You may have an annoying pitch level that you’ve been using all your life which will not get your audition accepted. Or, you could be resonating only through your head and not your chest. Working with a microphone is another skill that needs rehearsal. So,working with a professional will be a worthwhile investment in yourself as you will eventually recoup any training expenses from your very first voice overjob. Delivering your script with variety and emphasis to fit the copy will promote you to get repeat calls for work.
If you are seriously interested in doing voice overs, the demand is there and worth the investment in upgrading your speech skills to enjoy your retirement without coming up cash short.
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