Ever felt disappointed with your voice over performance? Here’s help…

Ever felt disappointed with your voice over performance? Here’s help…


Ever felt disappointed with your voice over performance? Here’s help…

Have you ever had a voice over opportunity and been bitterly disappointed with the way it came out? Maybe you had a big audition or an opportunity to read for an agent. As you read the script, it just didn’t seem like the words were coming out of your mouth the way you wanted them to.

Maybe you felt frustrated, or even a wave of shame or embarrassment. Even worse, after the opportunity was over, you couldn’t stop thinking about it. The feeling that you’d blown it lasted for hours, even days.

Then, something remarkable happens….you book the job! How could this be? You were so sure you screwed up, yet they chose you!


What’s going on? Welcome to the world of the inner life.

Our inner life of feelings, thoughts and emotions is complex, and unfortunately doesn’t always send us accurate information. In fact, many times our feelings and thoughts are inverted, upside down. We don’t see reality accurately at all.

So what’s going on? Well, a few things.

First, there’s a disparity between the way you sound to yourself and the way you sound to others. The voice we hear inside our head is distorted by the bones of our skull. Until you get used to hearing your recorded voice, it can be a shock listening to yourself.

I remember this feeling distinctly when I started out in radio and heard recordings of my voice on the air.
I remember thinking that I couldn’t believe I was getting paid for this and one day someone would call me and tell me it was all a horrible, terrible mistake.

Fortunately that day never came, but it took me several years of getting paid for speaking until I finally got used to listening to recordings of my voice.

The second factor that comes into play here is how we inhibit the expression of our talents. We do this by relentlessly judging ourselves and stifling our creative expression. Many times we’re not even aware that we do this, but it shows up as a feeling that others are judging us, picking our performance apart.

We cut our creative self-expression before we even have a chance to share it with others.

Renowned Brazilian psychoanalyst Dr. Norberto Keppe says the reason we do this is because we unconsciously believe that sharing our talents will deplete them. And if we give them away there will be nothing left for ourselves.

According to Keppe we are inverted about sharing, feeling we will somehow lose something if we do.

These unconscious attitudes undermine our confidence and stifle our performance. But as Keppe says, consciousness of a problem, while uncomfortable at first, is always good in the long run.

Hope it’s been helpful for you.

I’ll be back next week with more… in the Inside Voice Over E-newsletter.


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Susan Berkley is a top voice over artist and founder of The Great Voice Company, a company devoted to teaching great voices around the world how to become successful voice over actors. The Great Voice Company is an international leader in voice over training and in providing top quality voice over recordings in all languages to discerning businesses and marketers. For additional information visit www.greatvoice.com. Ever felt disappointed with your voice over performance?

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