If there is one thing I have learned in my long years in the business of voice over work, it is the importance of storytelling. When working as a professional Narrator, you will come across scripts of all styles and lengths.
Regardless of whether it is an ad for a new product, or a PSA, or a work of non-fiction, a script always has a story to tell. As the voice-over professional, it is your job to find the story hidden inside and relate it the best way you can to your audience.
A Good American Storyteller Always Analyzes the Script
Never look at a script as just something that you need to mindlessly spew out of your mouth in style. That is simply the wrong way of working as a VO artist. All scripts have an underlying message for the audience.
Look at the words that try to speak to the listener, and thoroughly understand what they are trying to tell. Your's will become a much more convincing and persuasive voice when you know the story you need to tell with your own unique way of telling it.
Understanding The Product vs Becoming a Character
Some scripts for a narrator simply involve you delivering a few lines about a specific product. The storytelling aspect may seem a bit thin in these scripts, but they are nonetheless present.
The story here is all about the product: you need to understand it and how it relates to the audience. Visualize the situations where the product offers maximum value.
In other scripts, you are not just a floating voice, but an actual, concrete character. These scripts are easier to grasp as the storytelling aspect is often quite deep here. Character stories can be much easier to read and analyze.
If you want to become a great American storyteller, you need to learn the words and phrases in the script that need maximum emphasis.
The Art of Pause and Emphasis
Some bits of dialogue come across better when you say it with added gravitas and emotion. Often, slowing down the speed of your speech or using vocal dynamics is a nice trick to grab the attention of the listeners. To make the most of this technique, you need to focus on the keywords and phrases in the script.
This is where analysis of the script becomes so critical. When you start to look at every script as a kind of story, you learn to zoom in on the richness of content within the script.
But that kind of awareness does not happen overnight. It takes time to perfect, and that is why, as an American storyteller you should focus on the art of storytelling when you embark on a career in voice over acting and recording.