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Let's Hear Your Emotions! Here's Two Simple
Exercises To Expand Your Emotional Range ...

October 25, 2015

By Ann Utterback
Author, Broadcaster's Survival Guide

One aspect of reading voice over copy that must be correct is the emotion.

Even though most of us would agree this is true, I know plenty of professionals who have a tough time getting emotion across with their voices.

So I’m going to give you some of my favorite vocal exercises to expand your range and help you get those emotions across with your voice.


First, write down three sentences that have totally different emotions. I’ll give you an example of three:
  • "A plane crashes in Denver, killing three on board.”
  • "The City Council has passed a new tax bill.”
  • "A lucky lottery winner just became a multi-millionaire.”
Now read those sentences out loud, exaggerating the emotions as much as you can.  Make the first one sound like you’re crying. Be super serious in the second one, and be as upbeat as you can in the third. 

Practice them like this several times. 

Now pull the emotion back, but still have enough of it to let the listener know what emotion you’re feeling. 

If you practice this every day for a few weeks, you’ll expand your range.


The next exercise involves a fairy tale (yes, you heard me right!). 

Find one on the Internet and print it out. Read it out loud and, again, make the emotions as exaggerated as you can.

Pretend you’re sobbing when the ogre takes the princess away. Sound really scared when the wolf is after Little Red Riding Hood. 

Push the envelope of what you can do with your voice even though it feels silly.

Both of these exercises will probably be outside your comfort level, but that’s where they are meant to be. By exaggerating, just like an improvisational actor, you’ll loosen up and expand your emotional range.
Ann S. Utterback, Ph.D., is a voice specialist with more than 40 years experience and has helped hundreds of people make the most of their voices, working with broadcasters, voice over artists and podcasters around the world. An author of eight books and over 50 articles on voice, her Broadcaster's Survival Guide e-book offers more tips on dealing with holiday stress, plus advice on how to improve your voice over performance by making simple lifestyle changes.

Click for: Broadcaster's Survival Guide

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