Guy Michaels is a professional voice actor who has been in the industry for 25 years. In addition to his own voice over recording for global clients, he is also very passionate about the voiceover industry and the development of voice actors. Find out more at Voiceover Kickstart and VO-Star®.
5 simple tips for improving your voiceover skills
Here are some tips for recording your own voiceovers. Of course, in most cases, it’s worth the investment to book a professional voice over but if you are just working on a short internal video for your staff then that can work well too.
Don’t underestimate what it takes to record your own voiceovers though. If you have never done it before, it can come as a surprise just how tricky voice over recording can be. Although I’m not going to touch on the technical aspects of recording voice overs, you’ll certainly need to consider your equipment and the environment in which you plan to record audio.
I’ve helped hundreds of voice actors and business owners to improve their voice acting skills in my voice over coaching sessions.
Ways to improve my voice over skills
Working in voice over, I read out loud most days. It’s a big part of the job of course. When you are recording your own voiceovers you’ll need to think about pacing, inflection, intention, clarity and more. You’ll improve at all of these by reading your scripts aloud or just reading any material out loud regularly.
Head to my collection of voice over scripts and take your pick: Voiceover Script library
Read a script aloud at a steady pace. Try to remain calm and unflustered if you make a mistake. If you do this for a few minutes a day your eye-brain-page-word-mouth connections will improve and voice over recording will become a little easier and you’ll waste less time too.
Work your instrument
We start and end with breath. Quite literally. A professional quality voice will be supported by great breath control. The aim when recording is for you to be in control of your breath and not the other way around.
For now, forget worrying about breath sounds being captured in the recording but instead focus on dropping your shoulders, sitting or standing up straight, remaining calm and running through some simple breathing exercises before hitting record. Even easy exercises for relaxation like these can help: Box breathing relaxation technique: how to calm feelings of stress or anxiety – YouTube
So that you can get your mouth around those words on the script and be clearly understood by your audience, you’ll need to flex your articulators, so try out these exercises (in private as they are a little embarrassing to do!): The Most Amazing ARTICULATION Workout EVER – YouTube
Here’s a really useful collection of tongue twisters: Tongue Twisters for Voiceover Artists | Voiceover Kickstart
It doesn’t matter even if you are just recording on your phone, but it’s really important to get used to the sound of your voice. I always say to voice actors in training that you need to learn to like your voice and not love it. You’ve got to get comfortable with how you sound, so take any opportunity to record and playback.
Also, listen to the professionals and see if you can pick up some tips from their delivery style.
Get feedback from a professional voice actor or producer. Failing that, ask friends, family and colleagues to listen to your recordings, tell them what style or mood you were aiming for and hopefully they can give you some useful and honest feedback. If they say you sound a bit boring then you’ll need to work on some techniques to make your voice more interesting and engaging for the listener.
In voice acting, we know how important it is to look after our voices. Whether you are a pro or not, just remember that it is very easy to strain your voice and for it to get tired, especially if you are not used to speaking aloud for longs periods.
To make your recordings a more pleasant experience for the listener and to keep your voice in top condition, make sure you warm up your voice (try humming in the shower and the tongue twisters too), drink plenty of water to remain hydrated and take regular breaks.
Work with a professional voice over coach
Whether you are a pro voice actor or someone wanting to improve audio quality by optimising your recording space or learn how to use your audio recording software, how to sound natural in your company videos or learn anything about recording voice overs, I can help you today at Voice Over Coaching
As an expert in audio recording and voice overs, I can help you with any aspect of voice over recording.
To book me to record voice overs, please drop me a line.
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