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How To Become A Voice Actor 8

05 November

Just who do you think you’re talking to?

As I’ve said many times before, when you’re learning how to become a voice actor, one of the most important things to think about and know when you’re reading a script is, understanding who you’re talking to…

…and when you ask and answer this question, it’s important to be specific, rather than general, with your answer. 

General would be ‘families’, ‘women’, ‘parents’, ‘young men’ etc.

Specific would be, ‘the woman who books the family holidays’, ‘a young man who likes adventure’, ‘a woman who’s looking for a career as scientist’.

 When you are this specific, you’re focusing on talking to just one very specific kind of person…and that’s what the listener needs to feel.

An ad needn’t sound like an announcement, rather, a piece of connected communication

For instance, this script for Repco’s ‘Service While You Sleep’, is specifically targeted.  Let’s have a look at it and see if you can work out, via the clues in the script, who, ‘specifically it’s targeted to.

 Repco knows how busy you are…

We know there’s never enough time in your day.

We know it’s not always convenient to get your car repaired.

So Repco will now fix your car at night – while you’re asleep.

New, Service While You Sleep. Just call 1-800-4-REPAIR.

That’s 1-800-4-REPAIR.

Repco’s Service While You Sleep.

Only at participating Repco dealers

Do you have an idea who it is?

Yup! It’s a woman!

If you didn’t guess that correctly, let’s work out how you look at things line by line to work out who you’re talking to.

Repco knows how busy you are…

How busy ‘who’ is, needs to be your question.  Hold that question in your mind.  The answer will be revealed over the next few lines.

We know there’s never enough time in your day.

Well men and women are busy…so this could be either.

We know it’s not always convenient to get your car repaired.

Well, consider this.  Most men take the car to a transport station or a workplace and leave it.  They seldom need to use it during the day, so having a car service or repair could be a matter of dropping it off in the morning and picking it up after hours.

Women, however, whether they are at a workplace or working from home, use the car considerably more than men.

It may sound like a cliché but statistically it’s correct.  They are more likely to need to car to run errands, collect children etc.

So this ad is targeted to a woman who finds it difficult to be without her car during the day!

Once you know you’re talking to a woman who, you can move to the next element of making the script work.

Seduction!

Seduction, in advertising, is nothing more than using language to convince someone, to do what you want them to.

Yep! That sounds like seduction to me!

First off, you need to use your powers of seduction/persuasion to get the particular woman you’re talking to, to listen to you.

That, as you’ll know if you’ve been reading my blogs, is about where you place the emphasis in the line or sentence…or part of the sentence.

Now that you know who you’re talking to, you’ll know more about what she needs.  You’ll know about her state of mind perhaps, what important to her.

So, if you look at the first line, which word is the one that would resonate most with our woman?

‘Repco knows how busy you are…’

Yup…busy!

When you ‘lean’ on that word, you need to be ‘empathising’ with her.  She’s busy and you want to let her know, that you know it.

Don’t fall into the trap of making about the word you or your advertiser, Repco.

As in, don’t say Repcoknows’.

“What!”, you say, “it’s an ad for Repco!  Isn’t the product the most important thing?”

Well sure!  The product is important.  So when you first say the word Repco, just isolate it.  Say the word a little slower and put a slight pause after it.

But you must make this message about connecting with your woman’s emotional state, so make it all about her needs.  And she needs someone to understand that she’s busy and know that you’re talking directly to her.

In fact, if you do this well, any woman listening to the ad, might even respond to the ad with, “sure am”, when you say the line ‘Repco knows how busy you are’.  When you’re reading, actually including a response from the person you’re talking to allows it to sound more natural.

What about the second and third lines?

You now know it’s never going to be about ‘we’ (Repco).  So if it is about our woman and her needs, can you see what needs to be emphasized?

We know there’s never enough time in your day.

I’ve underlined the part of the sentence that’s important but there’s a single word in there that would get the ‘special’ treatment.  What do you think it is!

And if you said your…wrong.  It’s so rarely about your or you.  It’s almost always going to be about what.  And in this case it’s ‘time’.  Try reading it with the emphasis on the word time and then read it again with the emphasis on the word your and just hear how clunky it is!

We know it’s not always convenient to get your car repaired.

And once again, there’s a word in that sentence that gets the love.

Yup! Convenient!  Who doesn’t love a bit of convenience.

If you do want to learn how to become a voice actor, try reading with emphasis on other words and begin to train yourself to ‘hear’ what feels right, based on who you’re talking to and what they need.

The more you listen to yourself and to others reading ads and work out ‘specifically’ what’s going on, rather than just listen to an ad as a whole, the sooner you’ll be creating really great reads.

I love the analyses of voiceover.  It’s all about mastering the message in the words.

If you want some home tuition, you can buy my audio programs, which cover 4 different styles of scripts, how to make a demo and market your talents.  Here’s the link to have a listen to some samples.  https://voiceovercoach.com.au/coaching/audio-coaching-programs

 

 

Abbe Holmes About Abbe Holmes
Find Your Voice As a Voice Over Actor And Artist With The Voice Over Coach. For over 30 years I've had a successful voiceover career. I work in mainstream voice over for radio and television, narration for the corporate sector, website content and documentaries, as well as characters for animation, IVR, ADR, on-hold and foreign film dubbing.

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2 Responses to “How To Become A Voice Actor 8”

  1. Debbie Irwin January 14, 2014 at 9:05 am #

    This was very helpful! And a good reminder of the important basics…..

    • abbe-holmes January 14, 2014 at 1:56 pm #

      Thanks Debbie
      Always good know what’s working

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