4 ways to improve your voice over skills

1. Vocal warm ups

You may usually associate vocal warm ups with singers, but as a voice artist it’s important that you do the same. Long hours in a voice over recording studio, on top of the rehearsals beforehand, can be rather strenuous on your voice, which is why it is essential that you prepare your voice in order to maintain stability and endurance. After all, talking can be exhausting, especially when you have to do it in a range of tones in different styles and volumes for a great length of time. Think of warm ups as exercise for your vocal chords – they’re essential for optimal performance. Try doing some lip trills, sirens and even some tongue twisters (they really help with enunciation). Vocal warm ups can also help you to expand your vocal range, which can be useful for a variety of self-explanatory reasons.

2. Breathing

Back in the day it was unacceptable for breathing to be audible in a recording, so voice artists had to practise silent breathing in order to mask the problem. Fortunately, today, it is no longer as big a deal, but it still helps if you can minimise the effects so that you can get a cleaner sound overall. Let’s face it, taking a big gasp in the middle of a sentence can sound messy and unprofessional, so it pays to meticulously study your script and work out where you can safely take your breaths beforehand.

3. Enunciation

When doing voice over work it is absolutely crucial for the purpose of clarity that you enunciate when you speak. Recordings can lose some of the full quality of your voice, and they don’t always pick up on things in the way that you hear them in person. Therefore, it is mandatory that you enunciate. To facilitate with this process, try recording yourself beforehand and really listen out for words that seem slurred and obscure. Those are what you need to work on, and as previously mentioned, tongues twisters are a great way to help you develop this skill – practise makes perfect.

4. Try standing up

You should always try to record your voice standing up. Sitting down is instantly more restricting. You’re physicality has a huge impact upon the quality of your voice. Standing up increases your lung capacity, allowing you to breathe easily and speak with comfort and clarity. It also makes it easier for you to take deeper breaths, as it mitigates the compression on your breathing muscles. Standing up also gives you the freedom to make actions with your body, which can significantly improve the believability of your vocal performance overall – your actions translate through your voice.

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My bio: Amanda Clarke is a copy writer at a digital marketing agency in London.

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