People often describe their dream job as one that lets them earn while enjoying what they love to do. Voice-over talents are some of the people blessed with this perk. In fact, they can even pursue their other passion or interests as they do not need to be confined in just a single office. They can record in a professional recording studio or even bring the studio to their own homes by equipping themselves with the proper tools.
Voice-over jobs include a narration for a children’s story, a commentary in a sports program, a commentary for a documentary, and a dubbing for a drama. As enjoyable as the job may seem, doing voice-over as a profession requires training and discipline regardless of whether you have an innate talent for it. The following are some tips for aspiring voice talents:
1. Take care of one’s vocal health.
Obviously, for a voice-over artist, voice is everything. Maintaining one’s vocal health is just as important as doing physical exercises to be fit. Doing warm-up exercises for at least 5 minutes every morning, such as stretching of the facial muscles, relaxing the neck muscles, doing lip rolls or lip trills, vocalization, breathing, and posture exercises, would be of great help. Moreover, avoiding such vices as smoking and drinking, which could damage the vocal folds, is also recommended. Following the doctor’s advice to drink 6–8 glasses of water a day will work wonders in preventing vocal problems such as dry throat.
Clarity of speech is important in getting the message across to the audience. One of the most popular ways to improve enunciation is by reciting tongue twisters. Trying those with words that are difficult to pronounce and increasing one’s pace while practicing are recommended. Another pro tip is to speak with a pencil or any similar object horizontally in between the teeth. Letting the mouth and tongue work more than the usual will help in speaking better after trying to speak without any obstructions in the mouth.
3. Understand the copy.
In order to effectively deliver a script, it is important for a voice-over artist to understand its purpose and message. That way, he/she would be able to best determine the tone, pacing, and energy required for the task. A documentary about a revered politician will need a serious and mellow delivery, whereas a commercial for an amusement park will require an upbeat tone.
4. Master sight-reading.
Being able to read a script well in the first take is a skill that can be gained through years of experience. This gives a voice-over artist the advantage to work for production companies with such projects as documentaries, e-learning materials, and full-length pieces. Getting it right the first time saves both the production company and the voice-over artist time, energy, and resources.
5. Keep on practicing.
In any field, what sets the best people apart from the rest of the pack is their consistency and perseverance in their profession. Even sports icon Tiger Woods practices his swings until late in the evening before a match and follows a daily practice routine. Practice is essential as it makes a skill second nature to a person.
Lexcode Inc. is a localization company based in Makati, Philippines. Although translation and interpretation are its core services, it also provides voice-over services for all languages. Voice-over artists are welcome to send in their portfolios for a chance to be a part of its growing pool of talents.