Desired Voice Characteristics for Voice Over Work
Choosing a career in voice over work can be challenging but rewarding if you have what employers are looking for. Luckily, depending on the gig, people of all ages and races are needed for voice-over work. Consider taking a speech class, that will help no matter what your level of ability. There are also a few key elements that any prospective voice-over worker should consider and practice before searching for jobs.
To perform voice-over work, you have to be able to pace your phrases. Generally, when people speak, they speed up when they become excited or are really involved in telling a story. However, with voice-over work, you have to be able to speak at the same pace as the character that you are playing. You must also use pacing to enunciate, so that your words are clearly heard. Practice speaking clearly and at an average pace in your everyday interactions.
Voice-over work may also require you to switch pitches while you are speaking. You may be required to change pitch frequently, so you must practice these types of transitions in case you come across them. Practice this in front of a mirror. Talk to yourself casually and practice speaking while transitioning between pitches. Fluctuate from a high-pitched voice, to a deeper tone without your voice cracking.
During voice-over work, you must be able to control your breathing. Breathing can affect sentence fluency. It can also be distracting if you breathe heavier than most people. Though some breathing can be edited out, your breathing can greatly affect your performance. Practice taking quiet, deep breaths and then speaking a clear, lengthy sentence out loud. Make it a point to breathe between sentences or phrases, not while you are speaking.
You may be required to adjust your tone of voice. Some projects may require you to speak in a conversational tone, while others may require to to do a sing-song or even formal tone. If you are doing voice-overs for movies, it's likely that your tone of voice will shift with the events in the movie. However, if you are doing a voice over for a cartoon character, you may find yourself speaking mostly in the same tone throughout the project. Practice speaking in various tones so that you don't become dependent on one. It's best to be diverse in your talents so that you have more opportunities open to you.
Crystal Lassen hails from Kansas City, Mo. and has been a book critic since 2008. Her reviews have appeared on the Publisher's Weekly website and are largely concerned with current events. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with an emphasis in creative writing from The University of Kansas.