How Do I know If I Really Need A Voice Over Coach?
By Susan Berkely
America is a nation of do-it-yourself’ers. Most homes have a peg board in the basement or garage hung with tools. Some people like to sketch around their tools like crime scene chalk marks to make sure that hammer is always where they think it will be. A place for everything and everything in its place.
My Dad used to have a workbench where he built stuff, projects like model ships and radios. The ships were beautiful. I don’t know if the radios ever worked, but I remember a big red C-clamp for gluing stuff together, smelly solder and tubs and tubs of bolts and screws.
So the temptation is to do-it-yourself when it comes to your voice over career.
I mean it’s only talking. How hard can this be?
So you buy a mic and plug it into your home computer, download some free software. Say a few words and play them back. Testing, testing, 1-2-3. Hmmm. Not too good. Try again… and again. Can’t seem to get your voice to do what you want it to, your mouth and brain just won’t synch up. Frustrated, you turn off the computer, walk out of the room and shut the light.
This is not too promising a start for what you’d hoped would be a great money hobby or exciting new career. But before you put that microphone back in the box here’s how to get started in voice over the right way.
Why you’ve got to have a coach.
All great athletes do, so do actors and even many business leaders. Smart people know that everyone has blind spots, and that’s especially true in voice over. Without experience, you just can’t be objective about the sound of your own voice.
It’s actually an anatomical fact. You listen to your voice from inside your head where your sound is distorted by the bones of your skull. Your recorded voice is the way you really sound and this can be a bit of a shock until you get used to it. In fact, when I was first starting out in radio I used to hate the sound of my voice so much I kept waiting for someone to call me up, pull me off the air and tell me it’s all been a horrible, terrible mistake.
So what should you look for in a voice over coach?
Here’s a handy check list:
- A proven track recordYour voice over coach should have experience both behind the mic as a voice talent (so they understand your challenges) and in front of the mic as a director. Ask for references and success stories. Avoid being the guinea pig for a voice over coach who is just starting out.
- A loving but firm demeanorYour voice over coach should be loving enough to nurture and encourage you but firm enough to push you beyond your self-imposed limits.
- Coaching by SKYPE or phoneWith SKYPE free software you and your coach can connect over the internet. Whether your sessions are by video or audio only, you and your coach can build rapport and you can speak right into the same microphone you’ll be using to record from home.
- A proven step-by-step coaching program.Our students thrive with a set curriculum where we track their progress in every session. At Great Voice, our Fast Track coach Moneen Daley Harte will work with you in 5 private coaching sessions by telephone or SKYPE to help you develop copy for your demo. When your sessions are complete, Moneen will remotely coach your demo at a convenient studio near you and then produce and deliver the finished product.
- Flexible hours that meet your scheduleLook for available early morning and Saturday hours. We know you probably have a day job and other time commitments. We understand that and will work around your busy schedule.
For more information about our private Fast Track coaching program contact Bill@greatvoice.com or 800-333-8108 x229
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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.
Copyright 2012, The Great Voice Company. All Rights Reserved. How Do I know If I Really Need A Voice Over Coach?