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What we can learn from voice-over artists

Are you preparing for a speech or an online presentation for your company?

Perhaps you are doing a voice-over for powerpoint slides and only your voice is used – how do you prepare?

The main difficulty is that when you are reading from a script or speech, your voice can sound lifeless and dull. Even if your normal voice is relaxed and engaging, your reading voice may sound mono-tonal and boring.

This could be very frustrating if you wish to sound professional, conversational and interesting to your intended audience, whether it be for corporate or for public use. You may wish to use professional voice-over services however they may not be in your budget and your company may prefer in-house solutions.

By using the same techniques that professional voice-over artists use, you can vastly improve your delivery of a voice-over as well as use these same techniques to improve your public speaking skills.

Techniques voice-over artists use

1. Read children's stories out-loud

Reading out-loud boosts your confidence and refines your narration skills. Voice-over artists are often asked to make changes to the speed, the pitch or even their accent. Use these skills to change the way you read a story.

2. Listen to the words of the speech

Go through your script or speech and take note of the four elements:

  • Nuance – Differences in meaning, feeling or tone of the script
  • Inflection – Loudness, pitch or tone of the voice
  • Pausation – Where you should pause or slow down
  • Subtlety – Small, fine distinctions in the voice

3. Highlight the script

Note pauses, words that should stand out and parts that should be spoken louder or softer. Spell out words phonetically if you become stuck with particular words.

4. Remember the three P's to a good voice-over

  • Passion – Infuse your voice with enthusiasm
  • Precision – Ensure that every word is able to be understood clearly
  • Practice – Listen carefully to your rendering of a speech or script that you have recorded and make notes of any improvements to be made then record it again until you are satisfied.

Have fun trying out these new ways of getting your speaking voice just right for your needs.

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Maria Pantalone

Maria Pantalone is the author of Success Talks: Conversations with Everyday Leaders. Maria works with individuals and teams to make communication their strength so that their message is heard. She provides tailored programs in presentation skills, business writing and effective communication as a leader and team member. Maria’s programs help her clients to excel in their role and be recognised as leaders in their field.
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Looking for tips to help you with your speaking, writing and interpersonal communication?

Then download my free ebook, 30 Business Communication Tips.

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