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Not Connecting With The Voice-Over
Copy? Here's Why. And How To Improve

By Tom Dheere
Voice Actor & Coach

For the life of me I don't know what possessed me to create this - it just happened. Call it stream-of-consciousness or whatever, but I can't stop looking at it ...

This is how I interpret it:
  • The LEFT COLUMN describes your narration when you lack basic performance and genre training, are out of practice, have the wrong frame of mind, etc.
  • The MIDDLE COLUMN describes the choices you must make to craft both an effective performance and a successful voice-over career.
  • The RIGHT COLUMN describes your narration once you've had quality training, understand the script and its message, and have the right frame of mind.

To get your performance out of the left column and into the right column, do the stuff in the middle column.

Listen: Most aspiring voice talents fail because they don't know how to listen. More to the point, they're so in love with the sound of their pretty, pretty voice that they don't pay attention to the story and CAN'T TAKE DIRECTION.

If you can't or won't listen to your coaches, your demo producers, your fellow voice talents, or your studio directors, you are ****ed. You have no shot of getting anywhere in this industry.

Study: Like any business, you need to understand the industry and your place in it. Specifically, understand the different genres (commercials, explainer videos, etc.) and which ones you can and can't do.

Be realistic! Everybody wants to do cartoons. Everybody wants to do video games. But not everyone is good at it.

Practice / Develop Your Technique: Practice your breath control, mic technique, script interpretation, etc.

Focus: Stay focused on the essentials.

The fundamentals, as they say in sports. Practice your dribbling and your footwork, keep your eye on the ball, all that crap. They call it fundamentals for a reason!

Experiment/Improvise: Improvisation classes are a huge help. They will loosen your reads and give you license to make stronger choices.

Yes, I know that scripts are set and you can't make stuff up. HOWEVER, good storytellers make strong choices in the moment.

Community colleges and local theater groups offer these classes, some of them for free.

Be Bold: make bold choices when you narrate and commit to them.
Over more than two decades, Tom Dheere - AKA 'The VO Strategist' - has narrated thousands of projects for clients in over a dozen countries and voiced more than 40 audiobooks. He is also a voice over business consultant, a coach at Edge Studio, was the marketing consultant for the Voice Over Virtual online conference, and is also writer/producer of the sci-fi action comic book Agent 1.22.

Agent 1.22


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Comments (2)
Linda Joy
12/1/2019 at 1:35 PM
Amazing and brilliant all rolled into one!!!
11/29/2019 at 11:06 AM
This chart is a good idea.
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