What to do if you speak with an accent

What to do if you speak with an accent

Ever hear the phrase “standard American English”?

It’s how casting people refer to a dialect that is distinctly American but you can’t tell exactly where in the United States that person is from. It’s also referred to as neutral American English.

Originally, linguists defined Standard American as the way people speak in Nebraska (altough some native Texans would beg to differ with that :).

Back in the day, students used to get elocution lessons in school so that their speech would be clear and expressive and their words properly pronounced and articulated.

However, those days are long gone and today more than ever, America is a melting pot or regional and foreign accents and dialects.

So how neutral does your accent need to be for voice over today? And what should you do if you speak with a regional or non-native accent?

That’s the topic of this week’s Inside Voice Over Video training video blog. Is an accent or dialect a show stopper or can it be turned into one of your best voice over assets?

Watch It Here Now

After you watch the video, I want to know your thoughts. Was this helpful? Write to me in the comments box. I want to learn what’s on your mind so I can support you and share your best practices.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments box. I want to read about what’s on your mind so I can support you and share your best practices.

To your voice over success,

Susan Berkley,
Founder, The Great Voice Company

P.S. HURRY! Our next Voice Over Bootcamp Recording Studio Immersion Experience in NYC June 18-20 is almost sold out. Get details here https://www.greatvoice.com/voice-over-events or call 800-333-8108.

Here are some comments from people who attended our April Bootcamp:

Real Coaching, Real Direction

“Susan’s program is phenomenal! Real coaching, real direction, and showing you how to stretch your natural gift of voice over. More importantly, sharing the mindset and what it takes to build the business. Thank you Susan and GVC!” Eddie Martinez, Manlius NY

Awesome People and Support

“The support received at the Boot camp was second to none! Susan and Adriana took all of their experience, wrapped it up into a fun and understandable package and gifted it to us! After working with them, I have the confidence to move forward and take the steps necessary to own my own life. I can’t say Thank you enough for what they provided me!” Julianne Thornton, Warwick, RI

An Action-Packed Blueprint!

“I found the Voice Over Immersion over this past weekend a remarkable, action packed blueprint for marketing my Voice Over business and deepening my understanding of the creative work for voice talent. As an actor, I was humbled by the process and inspired by the growth. The entire Great Voice Company team each brought a vital piece to imparting these gems!” Beth Kucharczyk, Garden City, NY


6 Responses to What to do if you speak with an accent

  1. Great insight Susan! As far as I know I don’t have a particular accent. I’m from St. Petersburg, Fl. but I don’t have the typical southern drawl.

    • Hi Rashad
      I used to live down the road from you in Sarasota and I think there were more Northerners living there than real Southerners so you had to go out of your way to acquire a drawl! Thanks for your comment- Susan

  2. Susan, Great points! Hoping that the boot camp will at least identify our regionalisms. Sometimes we can’t hear our own voices correctly. I know that I clean up somewhat on mic, but I always have this uncomfortable feeling that some “Niew Yawk” is still bleeding through.

    Hope you are well, and thanks again,

    • Hi Stephen,

      Yes, at Bootcamp we’ll take a careful listen for regionalisms. Can’t wait to meet you! Susan

  3. Susan:
    Good to hear your advice, as always. I am now a working VO guy and I’m taking the opposite approach. I’m in the So Cal area and speak with a standard American male voice. However, accents and dialects fascinate me and slowly, I’m learning the various regional accents and some foreign accents as well (like the various Aussie dialects). I’m doing this to become more versatile in my work. I have often been told, if a casting director or client wants a Brit voice, for instance, they will hire one. But I am finding that if I’m there and they like my read, they will just have me give it a try. Slowly, but surely, I’m getting more work that way. Currently, I’m offering a New York, New Jersy, and a standard Aussie and have gotten great reviews, especially on my Aussie from a native in Sydney. He raved. Plus for me, it’s a huge amount of FUN! And, at my age, it’s all about fun.
    As always, I appreciate your tips. Keep’em coming.
    Tom Sykes….www.voice-over-master.com

    • Hi Tom,

      Congratulations on your voice over success! Yes, being able to acquire an accent is a great skill and will serve you well, especially in audio books where it makes you more versatile. Glad you like the blog and keep those comments coming, –Best, Susan

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