Voice Blog Episode 8

In which I read a commercial copy piece from VO, Harlan Hogan’s book on the world of voice work.

For reference, the final read was 13.78 seconds, although I didn’t like the delivery much.

2 Responses to “Voice Blog Episode 8”

  1. Justin S. Barrett Says:

    Hey Corey,

    Good stuff here, man. FWIW, I think your approach on the sample from Harlan’s book is already an improvement over the work you did on the Busch Gardens piece. What’s especially interesting is that I felt you did a better job with your first read than the later ones, mainly in terms of sounding natural, less like you’re reading a script and more like you’re just telling someone about a cool deal.

    That leads me to the main tip I wanted to pass along. In short, it’s about tapping into the true *you*. It’s really easy to get into “voiceover mode” when reading copy, and it can be a challenge to shed any preconceived notions you may have about voiceover and how it’s supposed to sound. Unless the spot calls for something that’s clearly a character or caricature, chances are what they want to hear — other than your natural voice quality — is how their copy sounds when filtered through *you*.

    Does the spot call for lots of enthusiasm? Give them the way that Corey sounds when he’s genuinely enthusiastic about something.

    Is it supposed to be mysterious? Give them the sound of Corey as he’s telling someone a mysterious story.

    Is it supposed to be warm and empathetic. Give them Corey being genuinely warm and empathetic.

    That’s why you often hear voice coaches telling people to picture someone specific in their mind as they read copy. They want you to sound like you really sound when you talk to someone, whether it’s enthusiastically, mysteriously, warmly, or whatever. I had to re-learn this lesson myself not too long ago, and doing so helped me to nail a read that I’d been struggling with for months (thankfully a practice piece and not an actual job).

    It’s easy to think that voiceover is about being someone else, when most of it is actually about being you. The challenge, then, is to know enough about yourself to bring the right piece of you to the table at any given moment.



  2. Cyclometh Says:

    Thanks once again for the advice, Justin. It’s sincerely appreciated. I’ll see about doing it again tonight taking your suggestions into account. 🙂