One of the biggest problems facing voice over beginners and even experienced pros when directing yourself from home is knowing when your voice over audition (or job) is good enough to send to the potential voice buyer or client.
You may find yourself doing 5, 10, 20 takes or more until everything starts to sound the same. How frustrating!
Here’s a quick test to tell if your performance is good to go or you need to do another take.
It’s the acronym C.U.B.E., which stands for Clean, Unbelievable, Boring and Exceptional. Here’s how it works. Once you do what you think is your best take, listen back with the script and a pen at hand and mark the script as follows. .
CLEAN: Is your recording quality pristine and free from hum, background noise or mouth sounds? Was there any tension or unintended roughness in your voice? If you hear anything that isn’t CLEAN, mark it with a C on your script.
UNBELIEVABLE: Do I believe that you are a real person telling me about this product or service? Are you passionate? Is there any hint of “announceritis” in your voice? Is there any place in the script where you slip out of character? Mark those spots with a big U.
BORING: Every spot you do, even if the copy is dull, should have some element of warmth, excitement, passion and even humor. You want to make an emotional connection with the listener and never, ever be bland. I recognize that much of the copy we read IS boring. But we get paid a lot of money to make those words jump off the page and connect with the listener. Listen back to your recording. Is there any place where you zone out or your eyes glaze over? Mark it with a big fat B and do it again.
EXCEPTIONAL: You’ve been picking your work apart. Now it’s time to give yourself a pat on the back and a gold star for where you got it right. Where were you the most relaxed? Where did the imagery you are speaking about come clearest in the movie in your mind? Where could you taste, smell, feel the images in the copy? Where were you unexpectedly funny? Where did you tug at the heartstrings? Where were you so convincing you felt the unmistakable urge to pull your own credit card from your wallet? Mark those spots with an E and congratulate yourself for a job well done! When there are more E’s than C’s. U’s and B’s on your script, your spot is good to go.
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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
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