One of the most fundamental questions a Voice talent needs to ask; “Who am I talking to” There’s a big difference in delivery between a medical explainer video and one promoting a new car.
Clearly, there are occasions when the client knows exactly what they want and can articulate needs and perceptions. However, there are occasions when you have to help them find the right read. You will achieve this by imagining that you are selling or describing your very own product.
Three pillars for a perfect performance
When you first get the script it’s essential to imagine your audience, where they are likely to be listening and of course, what the subject is.
I know of one hugely successful voice talent who has a selection of Teddy Bears she addresses! Yes really. From “Bondage bear” to Paddington and numerous varieties in-between.
For me, it’s getting a picture in my mind of someone I know and think I’m relaying the information to them.
Am I enthusiastic and bubbling over with good news, or sharing some deep advice?
Where is this conversation taking place?
I find a great deal influences my delivery by where the conversation takes place.
If I were talking to a close friend by the fireside, I would sound very different from chatting in the locker room or down the pub. So just imagine yourself in the right location, you would be amazed at the impact it has on your delivery.
Perhaps this is obvious but it needs to be underlined. “READ THE BRIEF and then read it AGAIN.”
It’s really easy to scan the brief and launch into the recording without understanding what the client has requested. So easy, and so fatal. Briefs can be short perfunctory affairs, so imagine you own the product, it’s your idea or creation.
When you are talking about medical procedures, your tone will be compassionate, calm and approachable, whereas a new car launch could require a sophisticated style dictated by the producer.
Putting all these details together allows you to come up with a style and read which the client wants, and in some added to their expectation.
Word of warning: whatever you may think or feel, just remember that the client knows better than you.
Providing Different VoiceOver reading Options
When auditioning for a project you are showing the client what you can do, ‘what you can bring to the party.’ So, clearly, this is your chance to shine.
You may get only scant direction in some audition notes, but this is a positive. It lets the client hear different interpretations and ideas they might not have considered.
Some clients are delighted and use your ideas. Others may not. it’s not personal, its perception. Just remember who is paying.