Proof reading, Editing, & Correcting

Spoiler: We don’t write the same way we speak.

There it is. I write a lot of commercial and marketing copy and I catch myself.

Take: “I am going to go the store” can be read (and likely will be)

“I’m gonna go twoda store”

The first sentence, if read the way its written can sound mechanical, or robotic.

We can help “humanize” your script. With my sales and marketing background, I can also look at your script from the sales side. I just did a script this morning and the company name was only mentioned once at the beginning and never gave the web address. HUH?!

Happy to help with your scripts!!

Getting started in Voice Over #4

Episodes # One, Two and Three were about “The Space” and helping you to determine if you can record in the space you now live in. That done, today is “About you”!!!

So you’ve got a voice and you’re not afraid to use it. Great. Unless you have some awful vocal challenge there might be a slot for you in VO. There are several “on-air” people I can think of that in most cases, probably not pass the “voice for commercial success” test, yet there they are on national radio. So there’s that.

Do you like to read? If not, this might be a separation point for you. There is a LOT of reading in this business. Next, start reading out loud. Listen to your pacing and inflections. Does it sound clean? Can you read many sentences at a time without mistakes? Okay, now record yourself, put on headphones/ear buds and listen for weird pauses, mouth noise, etc. You’ll hear things listening back that you’ll never hear while you’re recording.

Practice reading for smoothness and flow. We’re not yet worrying over emphasis, etc. If you feel you read well, it’s likely time to have an initial coaching session or two with a good coach. Why one or two? To get a feel for the process and what’s required. Many coaches will give you a free session or half hour to get a feel for one another.

I’d be honored to help you start and get going with some initial coaching. Hit me at VoicPro@GrantsVoice.com and let’s chat! Why is coaching next and not gathering scripts to practice? I’ve seen many talents practice the wrong things, then they have to unlearn bad habits. That just slows you down and adds cost.

#16 What Does a Voice Artist Do?

The week started with corporate reads on how to use a piece of equipment. Pacing is ALWAYS important. Pacing is what makes someone sound rushed or hesitant, confident or not. This week I’ve done three reads for corporate “how to” use a piece of equipment and the related software. When explaining software it is important to give the listener (this backed a video, so “viewer”) time to ‘go to the top menu and click on the Edit menu’. Pacing along with tone can significantly change a sentence. Take, “I got specials all the time, take a look!” Is dis guy sarcastic? Street vendor? Selling watches on the street? There’s probably 30 different ways to read that. That’s why context is so important! It’s also what makes the business fun! When you organization needs something explained or a character read, keep GrantsVoice in mind!

#15 Narration Voice & Style; What Does a Voice Artist Do?

When recording any script, it’s part of our job to deliver the tone, feel, style the buyer is looking for. This is as important in a 12 hour audio book as it is in a 30 second commercial spot. The hard part? Consistency. Most every commercial script has some semblance of a beginning, middle and end. And the voice over tone may change slightly to reflect that. But most often it doesn’t change dramatically. In what we call “long form” work, that consistency is crucial. While important enough that a given character sounds the same through the book, the narrator should also. Then was is the narrator doing? Telling the story? Leading you through the story? These are decisions that as the script/book writer you may know, and/or we help inform that!

#14 What Does a Voice Artist Do?

Of the important decisions voice artists and voice actors make are the pace & tone, or mood of what we’re reading. We often get direction from the client on the way they hear the script being read, but often I’m told, “Use your best judgement, this is going to be used to…” And based on that, We choose the pace and mood. Most often we get it right and sometimes we adjust!

In the video I talk about doing an audition for an audiobook by a survivor of the Pearl Harbor attack. They wanted it to sound like the older (present day in his 90’s I believe) gentleman is reading the story to you. There were two requests; 1) where the 1st person parts of the text would sound like him today, and 2) the 3rd person parts would be a more narrator voice. So in my video I demonstrate that difference. What do you have I can audition for? I’d love to work as the voice of your organization!

Customer service. They say its a dying art.

Maybe. Maybe not. Especially in small businesses where the owner should be involved more, I’m seeing a lack of communication to the front line, customer-facing employee. Do they KNOW what you’re about? Are they “just” stocking shelves, or “just” cooking a burger, or “just” doing one of a thousand things because you said so? Or do they really understand the point of well-stocked shelves and ease of selection and how that effects sales? Do they understand that when a customer asks for something special and a “yes” is the answer, the customer actually then expects delivery on that promise?

My son and I ate at a local burger/bar the other night. I most always ask for (among other things) lettuce and tomato on my burger. The server kindly said, “We don’t do lettuce or tomato here. We find that not enough customers order to keep them fresh. I’m sorry, but we can’t do that.” Very kind and helpful. Obviously the point was that if you HAVE to have lettuce and tomato, we’re not your burger joint- and THAT is refreshing to me.

Simple enough. Knowing what you DON’T is often as important as what you do DO.

Getting started in Voice Over #2

Getting started in Voice Over. A quick starter on “the space” you record in. So, you want quiet? Go read this article and start saving your money!! We need quiet space without ‘other’ noise like mowers and HVAC, even creaky floors. Are you in a condo or apartment where you have NO control over the noise made by the neighbors? These are all issues that need to be considered as you consider a VO career! I see many people so focused the OCD of minutiae (say: how to seal an outlet cover that backs another room to prevent sound waves from leaking in) that they miss the huge parts that are way more important!! Here’s some dB ratings to consider: https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/hearing_loss/what_noises_cause_hearing_loss.html #SoundAdviceFromGrant

If I can help you on your VO journey, please let me know!

Commercials & Sizzle

Whether a company that needs a commercial spot produced, a sizzle reel of your best stuff for promotion, or a product or procedure explained, Let’s talk about how I might help you!

Epic Movie Trailer Voice Over

Coming this summer, in a land where everyone starts movie trailer type voice over for commercials with those words! But like the word “pivot”, what else ya gonna use? If you need this type of commercial script read, or other project in “voice over land,” contact me!