Have you been told that you have a good voice but when you read out loud, you feel as though you read too slowly or too quickly? If you’re self-conscious about your reading speed, here are four things you can do to improve your sense of timing during a voice over read.
In voice over there is no such thing as “feeling” you are too slow or too fast.
The stopwatch never lies, even though internally it may feel as if your time is off. Depend on the clock, not your gut. Developing a keen sense of timing is really important in voice over. A :60 second commercial has to be :60, not :61or :58!
Professional voice over artists must know how to read exactly to time and shave or add seconds on command.
Here’s how to improve your voice over timing.
1. PRACTICE WITH A STOPWATCH
Tape TV and radio commercials and time them. Then transcribe the copy. Using a stopwatch, see if you can match the announcer’s timing. If she reads the commercial in :28 seconds, keep practicing until you can do the same.
2. COMPRESS OR EXPAND THE SPACE BETWEEN WORDS OR LINES
Since you haven’t yet learned to “feel” timing, you can train yourself to “see” it. Imagine that the white space between the words is getting smaller and smaller and you’ll tend to read faster. Expand the white space between the words and you’ll tend to read more slowly.
3. STAND UP AND GESTURE FREELY
Use strong gestures like pointing and fist waving to pump up the energy level. Don’t be afraid to look like a maniac.
4. MARK YOUR SCRIPT
Before you begin reading, know exactly where you intend to pause and for how long. Mark these pauses on your script. This is also where you will breathe. Do not pause anywhere else!
A sense of timing can take a little while to develop. But be patient. Once it’s internalized, you probably won’t lose it.
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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 2011, The Great Voice Company. All Rights Reserved. Top 4 Ways To Improve Your Voice Over Timing.