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Get Back To Rock Solid Basics Of Voice Over
Performance: Breath, Resonance & Articulation

By Moneen Daley
Voice Actor & Coach

No matter what stage or age you are in with voice over and/or a performing career, rock solid basics can always be revisited and reinforced.

If you’re a golfer, you know that mastery of grip, stance and alignment is the key to a controlled long and short game. That mastery doesn’t simply wrap up in one day – it’s a lifelong commitment if you’re a lifelong golfer.

Same sitch with those of us at the mic!

Consider this golden trio of basics with voice over, acting, stand up or public speaking:

  1. Breath
  2. Resonance
  3. Articulation

Here are some fun ways to work all 3 of the rock solid basics to build from!

1. Breath Control: Are you awakening and utilizing a 360 Degree Delivery?

The 360 Degree Delivery is a term I’ve coined for employing your entire body and all its cavities to have as much blood and oxygen flow as possible so you can give the strongest performance as possible.

One way to do this is a physical warmup of your entire rib cage using loose fists or gentle pinches to massage your rib cage.

Front to back – up and down – armpit to pelvis – and most especially your sides!

You can slide your fingers into your intercostal muscles. This precious area when activated can elongate your delivery by 10 seconds or more! Play with this warm up and test yourself. Do a before and after warmup recording.

Please let me know if you found results!

2. Resonance: Investigate trapped sounds!

Many of you may know of Kristin Linklater and her voice and speech methods.

The more I use The Linklater Method, the more explorations my voice takes on. If her name is new to you or you haven’t given her a thought in a while – a friendly reminder!

Here is a simple version of an exercise called “Touch of Sound”...

  1. Begin standing in a Mountain Pose - legs hip width apart, knees loose, neck balanced.
  2. Allow the natural weight of your head to fall forward. Hang there and enjoy the release of pressure.
  3. Vertebrae by vertebrae roll down. As you bend forward - leading with your head when you feel a new sensation - allow yourself to exhale and vocalize a “HUH” sound. It doesn’t have to do or be anything – it’s a release – vocalized. No need to push.
  4. Continue to breathe and roll down (as is comfortable) until your fingers touch toes (if possible).
  5. Let out as many “HUH” sounds as you like. No censorship. No judgment. It’s your body's turn to talk. Breathe and listen.

BTW, to modify this exercise if you find it difficult to stand or bend, simply stay seated, release head and neck, then mentally release vertebrae by vertebrae. When you feel the need vocalize an exhalation of “HUH.”

3. Articulation: Have you explored exquisite language?

May I suggest you take a moment away from the broadcast copy, promos, imaging, telephony, eLearning, narration and any other script that is coming your way?

Enjoy some exquisitely written language for the sheer pleasure of exploring those words!

Not only will your appreciation for language grow, your articulation skills will flourish, and with an elevated sense of exploration. Again, no censorship or judgment in the exercise - pure pleasure.

Here is a wonderful warm up guaranteed to get your motor runnin’!

O Villains, Vipers damned without redemption!
Dogs easily won, to fawn on any man!
Snakes, in my heart blood warm’d, that sting my heart!
Three Judases, each one thrice worse than Judas!
Would they make peace?
Terrible hell. Make war upon their spotted souls for this!
- Richard II, William Shakespeare


Would you be willing to spend a few minutes every single day (even if only 2 minutes) on breath, resonance and articulation? If you already are – good all over you!

If not, experiment! I’d love to hear from you on any exploratory findings!

All good vibes to you!
Moneen Daley of MoVibe Productions is a passionate and life-long storyteller. From radio and stand up to voice over and acting, client and colleagues note that compelling content is her vibe! Moneen records and coaches from her Seacoast NH studio featuring a Neumann U87 mic. She adores talent of all levels and finds it a complete pleasure to share her decades of experience, unique education and personal philosophy with private clients. Moneen is a proud Brand Ambassador and Graduate of The Todoroff Conservatory in NYC. She has also studied business with Fabienne Fredrickson and graduated Wisdom School with Cynthia Bourgeault.



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Comments (1)
3/28/2024 at 3:40 PM
Before recording, I always take a couple minutes for vocal warmups and at least five minutes reading something, anything, out loud.
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