Host/Emcee? Moderator? Presenter?

I do more and more virtual meeting management, I’m seeing confusion on what I do, or more accurately what people want. So…

Moderator: I might be “on screen” long enough to be introduced, but I’m really more like a stage manager in a play. I manage the event

Host/Emcee: I’m on screen and while helping to manage the event, I’m on screen sometimes managing and introducing guests, but I’m not the presenter.

Presenter: I’m the content provider. I may act as your company representative, or just the hired gun brought in to close the deal, but I’m doing the presentation. Of course there are combinations of these too?

May I help you in your virtual presentations and webinars? Contact me here!

Getting started in Voice Over #5

Let’s talk about starting your own business. NOT a #voiceover business, ANY business. It takes a mind-set not everyone is geared for, and that’s okay! I talk about several places to go for help SBDC (https://americassbdc.org/), SCORE (https://www.score.org/) are two, FREE resources to help you start.

Do some soul-searching. Are you okay with NOT making any money next week? How long can you go without income? How can you start “today” with little money and how far can you get doing that? Are you okay with working for periods with no day off? This is a BUSINESS mental attitude/aptitude question more than it is about voice acting.

Talk to someone you know that owns and operates a business. Buy them a coffee and ask what you need to look out for. Good luck! I’m happy to chat for a few minutes or do a paid mentoring session.

Chat link- 15 minute free session Paid mentoring session link.

What Does a Voice Artist Do? Wedding Toasts!

Installing carpet & moving furniture!! NOT!

Got rolling early today with a friend stopping by after his midnight shift to carry two rolls of carpet upstairs, helped me install one room, then we carried the furniture up that I also got yesterday. Whew!! And that was ALL done by 8:30!

Oh yeah, #voiceover! Why NOT have a voiceactor voice your wedding toast!? I had an order come in to record a fun toast. As the script was written in a humorous way, I gave them a second cut with a little “Grant Humor” tossed in. They loved it.

Did some revision work on the “off-world miner prisoner” character voice I’ve been working on for a video and finally work on how to use a soil testing device for a company. Never a dull day!

What can I voice for you?

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!

Getting started in Voice Over #3

This is #3 on Grant’s Sound Advice on getting started in a #voiceover career. The first two videos concentrated hard on “the Space” (cue Star Trek music). This morning I came up with the BRILLIANT (just ask me) idea on how to evaluate your space. Grab a ping pong ball off that table you bought three years ago and have only played on twice. Walk into each room you’re considering. Toss the ball at a wall or the floor. Count the bounces. Every bounce is one too many. I’m not sure about the science behind this, but I think its related. I’ve been in professional studios where walls and floors would bounce a ball, certainly. But they’ve spent big bucks mitigating that bounce in other ways. Anyhow… If you do this in your home, you’ll quickly find the space with the fewest bounces. Start there. I also mention another type of fort, the “Pillow Fort”.

#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!

Getting started in Voice Over #1

Air conditioning is good, right?

Well, that brings up today’s tech challenge. YES! It is wonderful to have the house/studio at a nice temp. However, the warmer it gets, the more often the A/C runs! This leaves shorter and shorter gaps between runs to record it. Mainly, I work around that. Record until the A/C kicks on, do other “business stuff”, then it shuts off and back at it! Just one more thing to consider when you build out a space for recording! Oh! And I’ll be interviewed today for the WFXR “Living Local” show today for broadcast tomorrow!