Analyzing voiceover scripts, as we discussed last week, is the most important key to your performance. It makes sense that an actor can only fully express the character he is portraying if he has all the information on this character. The same is true for any voiceover jobs. Understand the script, the character, the motivation, the mood, the word choices – and you understand what the writer wants you to do. Do what the writer wants. Win the job. Here are more voiceover techniques for achieving this.
1. After you have gone through the entire script many times and have gotten an impression on the mood of the script, and written down adjectives that convey this mood, go through the script one line at a time. On each line, try to understand the specific point that is being made you sound connected to what you are saying. Example: “Colors can really affect us.” If you had only one word to emphasize to show you were saying this sentence for a reason, what word would you choose? Colors? Affect? Try the sentence out loud and emphasize only the word that seems to most convey the “point” you are making. Maybe it is both of those words. Try that out loud. What sounds best?
2. Identify the two parts of the script that separate the writer’s style from the product’s information. Example: “Colors can really affect us. / The True Blue Family of Checking Products from Eastern Bank let you get the most out of your money.” One of these sentences was laid out for the writer by the client (Eastern Bank) as they were conveying what the most important things were that needed to be mentioned in the script. The other sentence represents a line where the writer then “built” a story around the product and the product’s concept. When you home in on the “writer’s lines” and understand them better, you are one step closer to pleasing the writer. Very rarely do the product people choose the voice, unless it is perhaps the voice of a huge National Network campaign they are planning. So find the lines that aren’t as “informational” and you will find your way to the writer’s heart.
3. Practice by reading a short story or an article and pretending you have to tell someone what it was about in only a few sentences. You are honing your skills of understanding. Understand intention, convey the intention, and win the job every time.