All voice-over actors or voice-acting coaches must understand what constitutes real talent. The voice-over industry has become popular owing to its demand in almost everything. Audiobooks, gaming, animation, podcasts, dubbing foreign languages, advertisements – you name it!
Casting directors take several auditions each day. So, how do you ensure your recording is the stepping stone into a flourishing voice acting career?
Fortunately, there are ways to improve on that talent. This guide outlines the top 10 voice acting tips that can double up as voice training for actors that companies can use to improve their fleet.
1. Find Your Voices as Voice-Over Actors
One of the most crucial voice-over tips for beginners includes finding and establishing your niche. You can take inspiration from professional voice-over actors, but imitating them is a big no-no! In fact, it is a rookie voice-over actor mistake! If you’re copying a voice that already exists, it will appear unnatural, and the new-age audience will fail to connect with this.
So much voice-over recording work is available, so you don’t have to change your voice to a specific mold. Record your voice and then listen to it. Is it suited to narration, or does it have a more vibrant quality to make it ideal for animation? Allocating your voice-over actors to the right job will help your company earn a good reputation and garner a larger customer base.
2. Hold Group Sessions
One of the biggest threats to the progression of your voice-acting career is a one-dimensional voice. Having a one-dimensional voice doesn’t mean you start changing your voice, but it does indicate a lack of versatility. Even in one genre of voice-over work, like narration or gaming, there are many variations. Monotony often stems from a lack of experience and exposure.
Hold group sessions if you’re a voice-acting coach teaching aspirants how to voice-act. While one-on-one teaching lessons are handy, group sessions allow voice-over actors to learn from others and pick up a few good voice-acting tips and techniques.
3. Learn the Technical Lingo for Voice-Over Actors
Most people mistake voice-over acting for being entirely abstract. However, it has its own technical language that you must learn or teach to your voice-over actors to succeed in a range of voice-over work. Learning the common terms associated with voice-over acting will help you follow directions easily and improve workflow, allowing you to produce faster results.
Voice-over acting lessons should have a theoretical section where coaches teach students technical terms like the signal chain, noise floor, copy points, cadence, and bed. So that the next time a casting director refers to ‘bed,’ you know they mean a track under the voice and not your berth!
4. Follow Media Trends
The voice-over industry is ever-changing. While you could get away with sticking to what you did a decade ago, it’s more likely you can no longer do that. There is an increasing demand for voice-over work, with changing needs and requirements. Therefore, you must study and follow current media trends, for example the continuing increase in podcast popularity.
Voice-over online has become increasingly popular, so you must adapt to that. The post-COVID era is all about remote work, and if you fail to get used to it, you’re e going to lose out on a range of work. Familiarize yourself with the growing body of voice-over work, and start practicing that to make a stellar earning.
5. Voice-Over Actors Should Keep it Fun
Voice-over work is all about expression. The audience can’t see a voice-over actor’s face or body language, so enthusiasm should come through their voice. As a voice-acing coach, don’t make the training difficult. Keep it as lighthearted and fun as possible by enacting interesting scripts and allowing the voice-over actor’s confidence to shine.
If you’re a beginner, make sure you calm your nerves. Instead of treating the script as ‘work,’ immerse yourself in it. Since great voice-over actors speak from the heart, use your body language and facial expressions (even if people can’t see them) to let it seep into every part of your being, including your voice!
6. Market Yourself
In today’s digital age, you don’t exist if you don’t have an online presence. It has become even more important given the increasing incidence of voice-over online. You may be a great voice-over actor, but you must market yourself to let casting directors and production companies know you exist.
A foolproof way to do that is by maintaining a social media presence on popular sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. If you freelance, you can post on relevant sites and even create one of your own. Email and reach out to production companies, or work with a trusted voice-over company offering voice-over recording work to individuals and organizations.
7. Voice-Over Actors are Theatrical
One of the most commonly used voice-acting exercises is exaggerating your voice. This is one of the most common voice-acting tips coaches use to help beginner voice-over actors let loose. Be as dramatic, exaggerated, and theatrical as possible, no matter what text you’re reading. This approach might feel too much at the time, but remember, only a small part of it is communicated through your voice!
One way to do this is by overacting, especially during training. It helps build confidence and ensures your voice does not appear monotonous or unexciting during voice-over recordings. This tip will help extend your vocal and emotional range and prep you for a broader range of voice-over work.
8. Try Different Accents
To advance your voice acting career, you must master the art of different accents. While this is no piece of cake, practice will get you there. Leaning various accents makes you suitable for a larger variety of work that caters to a broader audience. Knowing the accent well also paves the way for better understanding.
Learning different accents has become even more important with the rise of voice-overs with regional accents – basically, the need to hyper-localize content. People are likelier to pay attention to an accent that they are familiar with. If you can master a few accents, you can become an in-demand voice-over actor.
9. Start with Voice-Over Warm-Up for Voice-Over Actors
Just like you warm up before exercise, you should warm up before voice-over too! This can be highly useful for your voice-over gig. Voice-acting exercises have now become a staple in voice training for actors. Try these warm-up exercises, even for 5 minutes, to make a significant difference in your performance.
Here are a few voice-over warm-ups to get you started. Relax your jaw, allowing the mouth and tongue to move freely and pronounce words more clearly. Strengthen your tongue by touching it to the roof of the mouth and the upper and lower lip to avoid slips during the voice-over recording. Yawning will alleviate constriction in your throat, and breathing exercises will help avoid vocal fry (when it’s not required) and let you give a smooth delivery.
10. Find Your Universal Voice
One of the most important voice-over tips for beginners is embracing their distinct voices. After all, that is what will differentiate them from thousands of other voice-over actors. But having said that, you should also work towards your ‘universal voice.’
A universal voice is basic, flexible, and adaptable to most voice-over gigs. Aim to make your universal voice clear, authentic, and relatable. This voice should add to the voice you adopt when you take on voice-over recording for animated movies.
Learning how to voice act with a vocal acting coach will expose you to tips and tricks to further your career. These basics will also help casting directors differentiate between talented voice-over actors and those that need work. All this knowledge will help you hire professional voice-over actors to do justice to your script.