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Monday, December 23, 2019

Trendy Speech Patterns Voice Over Actors Should Avoid

Voice over actors must keep up with current trends whether it is about technology, styles or even speech patterns.  However, just because a trend is popular does not mean that it is one that you would want to use at job auditions.  As a voice-over actor there are some trends currently that are not going to help you get a job unless it specifically is in the writer’s notes or part of the character.

What is Vocal Fry?

It is dropping the voice to its lowest natural register, which changes the way a person’s vocal folds vibrate together.  Those changes create inconsistencies in the vibrations and lend the speaker’s voice a subtly choppy or creaky quality.  The easiest way to listen for it is if the voice sounds creaky, choppy, breathy and at a lower register.

There are several celebrities that are noted for using vocal fry, which is why it is a current topic.
There is evidence that people respond negatively to vocal fry.  We consider people who use this being less competent, less educated, and less trustworthy. 

Men typically have a lower pitch than women, so their voice descends into fry more easily.

What is Upspeak?

It entails a rising intonation at the end of any and all utterances. Sometimes referred to as uptalk is rising inflection or high rising intonation.  The most common way that you will recognize it is when the ending of a statement sentence sounds like a question.

This results in listeners not taking them or their content seriously. They can perceive it as very passive-aggressive and it can hurt you in auditions.

Shotgun Speech Pattern

Like an actual firearm, shotgun speech is fast and furious. It is a rapid outburst of words. It is something that is seen in younger generations and common on TV shows. It can weaken your voice as you are not in taking enough air and can jumble your dictation.

Speaking too fast makes it hard for the audience to understand and they have to focus and work hard to get it all.  People perceive as nervous and anxious behavior.

This should not be your first choice unless you are directed to imitate an auctioneer.
Traditional Speech Patterns

When making a statement, traditional speech patterns automatically lower inflection at the end of a sentence. When asking a question, the inflection rises at the end.

The sentences need to end definitively.  Your voice is important to show you are confident and authority.  For a voice-over actor using traditional speech patterns can be the deciding factor in getting a second interview or the job over someone else.

Honing Your Craft

As a professional voice-over actor you already know the best way to improve your voice is practice and if need be lessons.  It is a craft that needs persistent honing.  With proper warmups and practice techniques, having a voice that is adaptable to the clients’ needs will always land you the job.  Knowing trendy voice patterns is good, but using them regularly could become a downfall in your brand.

Monday, December 9, 2019

Voice Over Talent for Podcasts

Podcasts are so popular that 44 percent of Americans 12 and older have listened to a podcast, and 80 percent of them listen to a podcast on an average of seven shows a week.  It is a huge opportunity for voice-over talent.

When someone is thinking about starting a podcast, they may overlook the intro and outro.
The podcast world is worth looking into as a voice-over talent.  Podcasters cover a wide range of topics and they have a good following.  It is worth exploring as a voice-over talent.

A Podcast Intro

The podcast intro is the show’s opening that introduces the show and the host.  It sets the mood and the tone of the entire show. The music and words are key factors.  However, a critical part is the tone and clarity.

The intros need to be clear, concise and to the point.  The voice needs to match the music and who can do that better than a trained voice-over talent.  The audience will come to identify the voice and the music with the podcast.  Like any good television show, commercial or radio program.  The podcaster wants them to hear it and know it’s their show. The voice helps to brand the show.

Content of A Good Podcast Intro

An intro to a podcast should have several key elements to make it noteworthy. 
·         Name of Podcast
·         Episode Number and Title
·         Music or sound effects
·         Name of Host
·         Podcast Overview or Tagline
·         Intro of Episode

While the podcast host may know this as the expert, they may call upon you the voice over talent to help them with the details.  If they have ideas, you will want to make sure that they do not add anything that detracts without adding value.

A Podcast Outro

The podcast outro is the closing that wraps the entire show up into a tidy package.  It leaves the audience with a feeling of an ending... a summation.  This is the place where a tagline is the core of the podcast.  The outro is part of the branding that keeps the listeners loyal. 

Like the intro, the outro needs to be short and sweet with a call to action.  Inviting them to continue to listen, tell their friends, or share the content.  There needs to be a mention of a website name or address for them to go to.

What Makes Good Podcast Outro Content

There are key pieces to a good podcast outro that need to be included in the creation.
·         Thank the audience for tuning in.
·         Website address, Contact Info and How to Get More
·         A Call To Action (CTA)

Why Hire A Voice Over Talent for A Podcast?

The pressure of creating an intro and an outro is more than many podcasters want to handle.  While talking about a subject that is their passion is easy, these need to be fantastic. 

A voice-over talent has the experience and training to perfect, smooth out and records a flawless intro and outro.  You understand the key elements and dynamics in using a voice to capture and keep an audience.

When speaking with a podcaster, remind them that you lend credibility, professionalism, and sophistication to their podcast.  Like a speaker on stage, someone always introduces them before they start.  Same in the podcast world.  The intro and outro are the bookends of a podcast and help draw the audience in with great narration. An outside POV is always more impressive.

Who knows, once you get into the podcast world you may even think about talking about your passion and share your knowledge with the podcast world on being a voice-over talent.