Voicing The Infomercial: Stimulate
Listener By Talking About 'Us'
By Kevin Delaney
Voice Actor & Coach
When you perform an Infomercial voice over, you have three basic options in terms of how you deliver the copy.
One, you can talk about yourself.
You can express how great you think the product is - the joy that it has brought to your life, how it has made everything better for you by eliminating your problems.
Two, you can talk about the listener.
You can tell the person standing in front of you how awesome their life will become once they receive the product and start using it.
Three, you can talk about us.
When doing an Infomercial voice over (or any direct spokesperson VO), you should always have someone clearly in mind whom you're speaking to.
Select a person from your own life, one you think would make a good prospect.
See him or her before you, and deliver your read directly to that individual.
RELATE TO LISTENER
To "talk about us" (number three above), you will speak from your own enthusiasm for the product, while addressing yourself to the listener's feelings, needs and desires.
The underlying attitude of a good Infomercial read is:
YOU HAVE NO PROBLEMS ...
In an article I wrote for my Voiceover Ninja blog, I mentioned that an Infomercial VO announcer is essentially a character who has no problems.
Life is wonderful for this person; all of their conflicts have been resolved, thanks to the product being promoted.
.... SOLVE LISTENER'S PROBLEM
The person you're speaking to, however, does have problems - big ones!
They waste effort cleaning the floor. Preparing healthy meals takes too long. They're overweight and out of shape, but they don't have the time or motivation to exercise.
You empathize with this person - you were once like them.
When you "talk about us," the subtext of your read is:
When directors ask for a "conversational" read, they're usually not requesting that you sound literally like a person chatting with someone over lunch.
"Conversational" is director-speak for connected; a conversational read is one that brings the listener in on the dialogue.
TRY THIS ...
To give yourself the assignment: "Let's talk about us" is to connect with your listener and invite him or her to participate your story.
You give your listener permission to become emotionally invested in what you're expressing - which, incidentally, is the only way to stimulate a person to buy anything.
Master the art of talking about us - of connecting with your listener personally, on an emotional level - and, combined with some savvy self-marketing, you'll find yourself booked for a long time doing Infomercial VO.
ABOUT KEVIN ...
Kevin Delaney is a voice over artist and coach in Los Angeles whose Voiceover Ninja blog contains podcasts about the business and craft of voice acting. He also frequently hosts online classes and workouts for voice over artists.
Your Daily Resource For Voice-Over Success