sign up for our

Home Shop Subscribe Advertise Articles Directories Classifieds Calendar FAQs Contact Us Login

Stumbling Over Words And Phrases?
How To Sound Like You Say Them Every Day

September 25, 2013

By Hugh Klitzke
Casting Director and Coach

Most failures in execution are failures of comprehension. For instance, sometimes actors find a moment where they just can't get over a phrase and it becomes a stumbling block. 

Every time it arrives on the paper, they will flub it. Or swallow it. Or say it without conviction or veracity. They are saying the word or phrase correctly, but it just doesn't sound natural.  

This is where vocal technique fails and comprehension (analysis) can succeed.


First, understand that those two or three words are an incredibly small portion of the overall copy. Three percent? Even less?

Then put those words into your own words. Paraphrase that moment and the other words before and after it.  

For instance, perhaps an awkward drug brand name becomes: 
"The diabetes control drug called (NAME) being marketed toward seniors in this campaign..."  
Or a difficult proper noun becomes:
"The Greek Ambassador just before the Kennedy Administration whose first name was (X) and last name was (Y)..."
You get the idea. Mastering the pronunciation becomes simpler because you have made the context your own.

Now the sound of the challenging moment that you have trouble getting out of your mouth has a space to live in that you understand and can become more like something you say every single day.
Hugh P. Klitzke is studio manager and voice casting director for a leading bi-coastal talent agency, who has directed more than 85,000 auditions for all voice over genres. Based in New York City, he is also a coach specializing in teaching voice over for actors, and writes VO4TA, a twice-weekly blog with helpful voice acting tips.


Subscribe to blog:

Your Daily Resource For Voice-Over Success
Tell Us What YOU Think!
Please Note: Since we check for spam, there will be a slight delay in the actual posting of your comment.
Your Name:
Your Email Address (will not be published):
Your Comment:
Your Comment:
Security code:     
Comments (2)
James Clamp
9/25/2013 at 6:52 PM
Hi Hugh

Fascinating article. Thanks so much for sharing! Will definitely take note.......


9/25/2013 at 1:05 PM
Sometimes it's simply a complicated, multi-syllabic word, or combination of words. You have understanding of emphasis, but you've never spoken the word before.

In that case I practice the word, phrase or sentence with a cork held between my teeth, until I own it. Then I pick up recording where left off, and the words fall out as if I coined the phrase my self.

My cork is on a string, hung around my mic stand so it's always available.
Back to Articles
Inspiring interviews help your VO career
For essential voice-over business strategies
Email alerts to new VoiceOverXtra articles
With Sean Daeley and Paul Stefano - check it out!