Three Essentials to Begin Your Radio or Voice Over Career

Are you interested in speaking on various media formats from podcasts to radio, television, video games, training tele-seminar, or more? One style does not fit all because your radio voice may be perfect for news, or commercial reads, and other spin-off works; such as, being an MC (Master of Ceremony) at events. However, if you decide to read aloud an audio book, or character voice acting, or a documentary read; your voice will have to adapt to that style.

Bring your passion to do voice-overs alive by addressing your personal voice challenges and strengths. The three essentials to boost your vocal sound are mastering these skills: reading aloud; speaking in your optimal tone; and studying with a professional coach.

1. Reading Aloud Mastery: Reading orally differs from reading to yourself in your head. As soon as you open your mouth to speak you are like an artist with his paint brush ready to paint on his canvas. The first stroke the artist makes determines the colour, shading, and path to his final picture for all to see. The first sound you make as a voice-over artist alerts the listener to the tone, visual colours, shading, feelings, thoughts, and journey to the final message for all to hear.

It’s vital to speak clearly by pronouncing your consonants crisply that will give them the edge or framework to your sound. You will lose clarity if you rush through your oral reading and clip the ends of words; or, if you mumble so that a listener has to guess at what word you said. To master distinct clear sounds practise tongue twisters to become agile by exercising your lips, tongue, teeth, palate, and jaw.For example, repeat: “The wagon wobbled wildly and widely” three times. Aim for clarity first, not speed. Since you perform any voice-over or radio speech by means of a microphone, you need to be aware of which sounds are coming across as too cloudy, hissy, slurring, or popping. Sometimes you can technically reduce this or use a filter; but it may be easier to remedy your sound with your own vocal focus on better enunciation.

Group your content or sentences into phrases of thought units rather than rushing through to get to the next line. If you are working with a script or audio book, this can be rehearsed and you can mark in your pauses, breathing points, and vocal emphasis. If you are improvising or not working from a script, such as, in an interview or doing a tele-seminar or podcast; then avoid your filler words: “uh, um, er, or like.”Listeners will turn off their radio or podcast if they have to listen to any annoying sounds (nasal, coughing, hoarseness, breathiness) or filler repeats. It also lessens your professional status if you are speaking as an expert. Speaking confidently and naturally is great; but sloppiness is not.

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