A VO's Journey: Voiceover

Ep. 130: How To Perform The Conversational Read

December 09, 2019 Anthony Pica Season 1 Episode 130
A VO's Journey: Voiceover
Ep. 130: How To Perform The Conversational Read
Chapters
A VO's Journey: Voiceover
Ep. 130: How To Perform The Conversational Read
Dec 09, 2019 Season 1 Episode 130
Anthony Pica

How To Perform The Conversational Read

This tone of voice is by far the most sought after type of voice over out there these days. Voice actors that can successfully perform these types of voice-overs are hired over and over again. 

Most people struggle with this voice when they are put in front of a microphone. Even though no one is in front of them, they feel they have to "Perform" and be over-the-top.

This type of voice acting is unnecessary, and in this episode, I give you some real tips on how to get better with your conversational read. 

Support the show (https://www.facebook.com/groups/avosjourney/)

Show Notes Transcript

How To Perform The Conversational Read

This tone of voice is by far the most sought after type of voice over out there these days. Voice actors that can successfully perform these types of voice-overs are hired over and over again. 

Most people struggle with this voice when they are put in front of a microphone. Even though no one is in front of them, they feel they have to "Perform" and be over-the-top.

This type of voice acting is unnecessary, and in this episode, I give you some real tips on how to get better with your conversational read. 

Support the show (https://www.facebook.com/groups/avosjourney/)

speaker 0:   0:00
Hello and welcome to a Theo's Journey podcast. My name is Anthony Pekka, and this show is all about helping the new and upcoming voiceover artist grow their business and sidestep all of the crazy things that I seem to step on. I have a great show for you today. We're going to be talking about how to speak conversationally and, as you know, this is ah, hot topic. Always as US voice over, artists are often asked to do this over and over and over again. Even when I mean honestly, it doesn't even feel like we should be doing it. Be pull. Say it. So this is a video episode that I did and earlier last week. So I wanted to share that along with all of my podcast listeners. So enjoy. Let's do it. This is the O's journey with your host, the incomparable Anthony Pekka. So this is kind of continuing on with the voice acting tips and things that I'll be doing, you know, coming out in the next couple of weeks as well, with some courses. But if you stick around to the end, too, by the way I'm actually going to give you some great tips on howto actually, and you hear it a lot. But you get different, you know, kind of feedback from other voice. Our other clients, you know, you don't exactly know. They don't exactly know. So I like to kind of define things by adjectives we're gonna talk about. Maybe tones, right, different types of tones. So when you're thinking conversational, think of something that a voiceover that's approachable, something that's friendly, something that sincere, you know, we dove into yesterday talking about dropping into that pocket and finding your money voice. But this one is more about that tone of conversation on that might be your money voice, but those were some great ways to describe it. Approachable, friendly, sincere, really, really kind of nails it down. But there's another part of this, and that is you can't neglect that. It's also heightened life. So look, this is this is probably one of those things where most people get confused with especially new actors is that when we are acting and when people say, Hey, we want a conversational tone, we want you to be really just be natural, Okay? They don't really want you to be natural they don't. Okay, They actually wants you to be yourself. But with a little caveat They want you to be yourself showing the emotion, showing the excitement the, uh the the the feelings that they want you to portray. But they want you to betray, portray it in a heightened manner as yourself. So it gets confusing because we think being natural means that we just, you know, just just doing what we would normally have a conversation with. Well, that's not true. But they want us to come across using our own experiences, our own, you know, memories and everything from our life. So they want us to be us. But they still want us to show ah, heightened sense of life. So don't don't confuse conversational with boring or conversational with every day talk, because all the conversation work I do. I don't go around to my neighbor and say, Hey, it's good to have you know, I don't talk conversationally like that to my neighbor, you know, like, Oh, it's the guy next door. Well, the guy next door doesn't do the Ford commercial like I do. He doesn't talk to me like that. So you know. I think that's always kind of silly to me when people say that because it's not really true. But it's try. It's people trying to define something that is hard to define, right it iss so for us, I'm setting out today to help define this for us. All right, So also, um, another thing that kind of confuses us and and what it also conversational comedian is that it could mean different things, right? I mean, I just gave you three different tones. Approachable, friendly, sincere. Could those all be described as one? Sure. But they also could be different because within conversations, there are many different types of conversations meaning that they're going to be different types of tones, different types of reeds that our conversational like could you do like, for example, could you do a conversational read where it's not as happy or upbeat as another one? Yes. Could you do a conversational read that is Maur inquisitive, as opposed to, you know, one that is more determined to share a message? Absolutely. So you have all of this stuff that could be, you know, thrown into this conversation, a pond. So for us, it's important to really understand what it means. All right? What the tones mean, the heightened life idea. Okay. And that it can be many different things. All right, so let's move into practice. When should you practice it? I have a couple of different things here, and I want to give you these, and and I recommend you use them. So for starters, they should be a part of your warm ups every day. So I've come to, uh, every single day, warm up with some of my warm ups. After I do my general set of warm ups, I will then do warm ups that I specifically created for my different tones. Whether it's conversational, authoritative, um, nurturing, enticing all the ones, like excited. Like I said, we were talking about yesterday, too. I have warm ups for these so that I can practice them a few times every single day. Even if I don't use them within that day to make sense, you can add them to your warm ups and their specific things that I'm gonna go over with today. At the end of this. Some of ah of the show today where I'm gonna give you some actual tips on how to do it, that you can incorporate that into practice, but it should be a part of your warm up pattern. So I want you to define a clear warm up pattern every single day, and you spend, you know, spend some time on creating this and then, you know, add it to your warm up routine. If you're not warming up every day, that's a mistake you should be warming up from stretching your mouth to, you know, to your lips to your voice, and then also your diction and your clarity, as well as the different tones. This is a great thing for you to do every single day and slowly but surely you will get better. You will improve the way you speak. You will improve the clarity of your voice. You will also be able to improve you being able to differentiate between different tones, which will make you more marketable. All right, so that's the first thing when we talk about practicing it. The second thing is, before you go into a recording, so I do this a lot. Now, if I go and and this could be either working with someone you know, over phone patch or just recording by yourself, doing a voice over. If someone has asked me for a conversational style, I will actually do a few different conversational song. So let me let me tell you what I do. I have a few sentences that I've made up. I've had a few, um ah, phrases and things that I've created that I have dubbed conversational. And what I do is as I use those before I go into start to recording, I actually will start to say those a few times. So most people, for my conversational tone and my money, my money, my money voice is when I dive into my Ford spot, I use it a lot. When I go into conversation, you know what I mean? I will just whip it out and say it a few times before I start to recording. Like mornings aren't for everyone who coffee's on a brisk sunrise in a cool morning blacktop and green as far as the eye can see. It's where I belong. It's home Ford, where you belong Anyways, that's mine. That's that opening spot. I use that Ah, lot before I actually go into recording, like, literally right before so that it gets It just gets my mind gets my voice in that pocket was talking about yesterday getting into your pocket, that place where you can actually feel that it's working right for you, right? You drop it into that pocket that sense of I got this feeling with your voice. Everything's, you know, firing on all cylinders. That's a great way to do it. All right, find that specific. Take take a few moments, take some time, create. If you don't already have a conversational sentence or phrase or a few words, say them before you go right into, um, your read. Okay. The last thing is, whenever you're driving alone, so whatever you're driving alone or you're walking alone or you're doing something sure has put me. But I think you're weird. Who cares? We're voice over artists. All right, Um, having people don't even know what that means. But for us, for me, I find that in order to keep myself in my mind and my voice and the feeling of it, I actually do that. I actually will, like, just be driving around and be like Hey, this is you all do different things, You know, I'll do character voices. I'll do different tones that I'm trying out. I mean, it's our life, right? Don't be ashamed of it. Embrace it. And what you'll find is is it will help you. All right? The consistency. Right. The repetition will help you. Ah, you to keep it at the forefront of your mind and get better at it. All right. Um okay, so those are definitely three ways that I recommend you practice it and you use it. Okay. All right. So now let's move on to wear. Where should you use it? Okay, so when you the first and foremost right, the first thing that you would do is where you would use. This is when a client specifically asks you for a conversational read. But just be aware. Just be aware that moving into the 2nd 1 So we just talked about I just said directions right, which is easy. They say, Hey, we'd like you did. This is a conversational tone, but there's also the interpretation part of this and that's number two under. This is it's important for you to interpret the script as you feel from your own perspective, it should be red now. Yes, you have directions from a client. But a lot of times, and I'll be honest with you. And I would never say that We tell a client that wrong. Okay, you don't do that. We can use more tact in that. But a lot of times, and I'm sure you know what I'm talking about, they could be saying something, but yet it's not. Actually, it's not fitting what the script is saying, and on top of that, you keep delivering to them what they're asking for. But yet they keep coming back. Say, no, no, no. I want you to do it this way. I want you and you're like, I'm doing it that way. So what happens is there's a disconnect. So it boils down to our interpretations of the script. So your interpretation of the script OK is very, very, very important to where you know where you should be using this and where you should not be using it, because there could be, you know what I love. I love to get these different directions where they're saying, Hey, this is a conference we want you to be professional. We want this to be, you know there is. There's a bunch of professionals at this, and it needs to be strong, authoritative, but also conversational. What that makes no sense to me cause those air completely different tones. Could you mix them together? Yes, and that's what they're asking. But they're really not asking that. They threw in conversational to mean that they don't want a radio announcer's voice. They want your voice to be authoritative. So please, just just in your mind, always be aware that conversational can also be mistaken for you using your own style of voice and not using a Hey, this is me kind of voice. I call it my stage voice. I always thought it funny when actors sometimes actors walk on stage and they'll be talking like this and get on stage and they'll be like, I'm on stage now. This is me on stage and then they go on stage and they're like, Hey, how'd I d was? Was that okay? Because, you know, I was trying real hard, right? You're like what? They become a different person when they step on stage and even though we're not in front of anybody, right? When we get in front of a mike, we think we've got to perform anyway. The boy. I digress, but you get what I'm saying, right? Conversational can also mean you being you with the specific tone they're asking for, not an actual conversational tone. That's where the interpretation comes in. That's where you have to be on your piece and Q's and know what's happening all right, And the last thing, of course, that you wear you should use. This is in your demos and samples. It is a powerful tool to get out there that you are using, Conversational style reads, And it also tells people that you have that in your arsenal that you conduce that so you should be publishing your own samples. All right. Using the conversational tone, and you need to be creating your own work, you don't. You could yes, you could. You use other people's work. Listen, it's so easy to create your own work, I say Create your own work. It's not hard. I've gone over many things on this channel about how to create your own samples and your spots, whether you you know, go to someone's, You know, whether you're looking for copies, you confined in a 1,000,000 different places. OK, but you should be doing that in your samples and in your demo. You should have a conversational tone. Okay, so now let's move on to Why? Why is it important? So you might be like one of those people who are like Anthony. I do what I do, and it does not involve conversational Rene's. I am very good at that voice that everyone knows from the movie trailer. I'm the movie trailer guy, right? Well, OK, you know, Don was my man. We get that, but at the same time, it's important because it is such the day and age we live in. I think about it. The day and age we live in is bombarded with fakeness and lies and people trying to deceive us. So what the world really wants ISMM or honesty, more truth, more trust and the way to feel that way, even though it's not because they don't even see us. But the way to feel that way is to be more ourselves is to express a feeling of real nous through our words as opposed to us being those, you know, noises that no, you know that we just now we just throw away, okay, so that's important. Why that's important is because of the day and age we live in and the bombardment that we have online trust issues very important, very important for you not to think it ISS because you have to realize this is a big thing. We do also trends. Let's move on to number two trends is a big thing. It is a trend, and I don't see it going anywhere. And like I said, it's become such a trend that now conversational has straight away from being necessarily an adjective to actually being more of like, You know, uh, you know, you could even you could even say a verb, right, Because you get it just like when you say Google, we say Google it. You know Google is a business, but when we say Google, it were actually meaning search for it. Conversational has started to become that, and it's so important for us to realize that and to understand the differences. But Tito understand that it's so important that we must be able to actively use that type of voice than that tome and then last. I like to think of our businesses as offering products, meaning that if you offer a conversational tone, if you offer authoritative tone, if you offer a nurturing tone or an enticing tone or an angry tone or, ah, you know you offer different types of character voices or impersonations, get your an audiobook. Narrator To me, these air all offerings also products and conversational tone is one of those. The more you can offer in your business, the more sellable you are going to be. Makes sense. I've tried to keep my offerings as open as possible through practice and hard work, so that when those opportunities come along, I can continuously pump out samples of a variety of work. I have a large breath of work, and people can listen to them and then use me, book me because I have that variety. And I want you to have that variety as well. Okay, All right. So those are the three things of why they're important. All right, Now, I promise you, if you stuck around, I was gonna give you some three tips that I used to be more conversational. We have arrived, so let's do it. So get your pen and paper. Oh, are you just go back and watch the video because they're not going anywhere because they're everywhere. All right, so the first tip and I absolutely love this tip and miss revolutionized my business and the way I speak when it comes toe voice acting. Because as an actor, we were taught a stage actor to speak from the diaphragm. Okay, Have a big voice be able to carry to the back. We should be able to speak so that no one in the house ever has an issue hearing you as a voice actor. That's not what we want to be doing. Okay. And a great tip. And I got this. I can't say it's from me. I got it from build Wiese, but he was so right. And he does this really well. And I started doing It works really well. Instead of speaking from your diaphragm, speak from your throat. Now, this is such a weird contradiction to everything that we have learned when speaking correctly. But the reality is is that when we're speaking more from here. It changes our voice from being this perfect amazing voice to beam or of a voice that is less, you know, less what less perfect. And I just had perfect eyesight again, less perfect, but it changes it into it Sounds, you know, um, mind mind turns into a gravelly tone. Okay, It turns into a gravelly tone and not as you know, uh, forceful. Yours might be something else. It doesn't have to be gravelly, but I find that when we do talk, all right, You know, if you start talking from here as opposed to talking from here, so, like, you can tell So if I'm talking from here, right, I have this deep. Come, this this, this different voice and it sounds just more booming. It sounds bigger because what I'm doing is I'm talking from here from the from the back of the backside of my throat, pushing out from my stomach. It's a great voice if I am trying to be, you know, Maur authoritative. But if I'm trying to be a little more conversational, you'll see what I do is I turn to this And in this boys, it gives a gravel in nature, but it it's like it reduces your guard. It brings your guard down. It allows you to play around with different pitches and to hear how it changes in the in your voice. It's not nasal e, even though I actually have somewhat of a nasal Lee tone myself. Just that is what it is not, you know. But that gravelly voice gives me a lot less of that booming nature of being so loud and vibrant. You've got to practice this, and what you'll notice is, and it becomes this has become my money's my money voice my my pocket. When I get into that and you can hear it when I get into that right that's become my bread and butter. All right now tip number two. When we are speaking authoritative and confidently, one thing that we're taunt all the time and works like a charm is to end your sentences on a down pitch, right. So when we're confident about something especially and this actually helps, like for me as being a teacher or someone, if you're used to speaking to two on audience or telling somebody something that you are sure about, we always air going to end down because we're confident about it. It shows confidence Deeper voices show confidence not because of, you know, necessary in necessarily what your genetics are. But because we just our brains pick up on the idea that when we are confident okay, we end down. It is a sign of confidence, right? So when we are talking conversationally, the next tip is to not end down. Okay, It's okay to end down some of the times, but don't end down all the time. Like, for example, as I'm talking to you. And I go into that money pocket that I was talking to you about, that I have and I start having more of a conversation with you. You can tell that I don't and down all the time. Because when we do that, I'm talking at you, not with you. That's an important distinction to make. I don't want to talk at you. I want to talk with you. I wanna have a conversation with you. And when you have a conversation with someone, there is a give and take, which means you don't say this is the way it is. Have a great day you might, but that's not gonna get you a very good conversation. A good conversation is a back and forth, and when there's a back and forth, there is not as much. Um, there's not as much confidence all the time. Okay, there is more of questions being asked and, you know, not so much being sure all the time, but it's more that give and take makes sense. So for tip number two as your reading, try to see where you cannot end down at the end of every sentence. I'm not saying never turned down, but I'm saying Try places where you can leave. Leave the end floating in the middle, play around with the pitch is on your endings that will help you be more conversational because it won't leave this idea that it's your way or the highway. It will leave the idea that you and I are having a back and forth conversation as opposed to you telling me the way it is. Okay, that's tip number two, the last tip and probably one of the most important things. But the diff most difficult, I think, to figure out, is something that we call this in the acting world. Invoice Active world We call coloring your words and what coloring your words means is too lit like Take your inflection, your speed, Tembo pauses and every single sentence or a paragraph or sentences or what you're saying. I want you to color them using those things as you've been listening to me, right? I have a wide pitch, a wide range. I talk up here and I come down here. I do all these different things. I stop and pause for you to think. I speed up. I get louder. If I have a specific point, I get passionate about it. There's so much color within that it's not just one weighs the highway, and this is the way I talk, right? We don't do that or it's not. I talk like this and every other up mother, you have the word. I go up and I go down and I go up and I go that you know what I'm talking about. There's people who talk like that, and if you've ever gotten feedback that you sound like a robot, right, that's what that means, that we're not coloring our words. So in order to do this effectively. You want to go through your Your sentence is first and foremost, and you want to start to add some of these things right? Inflection. Meaning that there's certain types of emphasis that you put on different words. You can go up and pitch and go down and pitch. You can do all these different things to emphasize word. All right, I talked about tempo. How fast you go, all right. Pauses. You know, the tempo is kind of like, you know what? How are you? Is your piece moving along lyrically or is it moving along? You know, more staccato are you know, I know I'm using musical music type terms, but you know what is the tempo? How is each sentence running? Is it the same or is it different? The speed Do you speed up? Do you slow down? Do you go fast? Slow, fast, fast, fast, slow, slow, slow, slow, fast, right? What's the speed? And then there's pauses. You can pause before word, or you can pause after a word, right? You can do that, and that's have those have different feelings. All of that stuff can help you turn something that is very authoritative were very, you know, stern and proper into something more conversational, more interesting to listen to the last thing, and this is more of a bonus. I don't have this tip down, but this is something that I notice, especially when you know you're trying to make things more real. When you and I talk in a conversation, I want you to you know, actually, the next time you have a conversation with someone, all right, I want you to pay attention to how many different emotions and feelings that you are. That person that you're talking to portrays in one single sentence, because when we talk, we don't often talk and complete one idea, one sentence, that's it. Meaning, like many of the sentences we talk, have different ideas and thoughts throughout that sentence, meaning when I'm talking to you, I might have a question within that as well as a point all being made at the same time, using different coloring with my voice, I might start a sentence and stop it and then begin another sentence. The right that contradicts that sentence or adds credence to that sentence. The point I'm trying to make to you is I want you to go beyond just reading words on the paper. I want you to start looking at them as if you're telling a story with those words. And those words mean all sorts of things on Lee. If you can color them effectively because if not, then it's boring. It's not heightened life. That's what acting is. That's what drama is. This heightened life. All right, you guys, I got on a little pedestal there. I hope that this has helped you today on how to be more conversational, giving you some tips and some some some tricks on what you can do, why you should do it, where you should do it, what it is, etcetera. At this point, I know I haven't been paying attention to any of the comments or anything, but if you have any comments or you have any questions, go ahead and put him up now I'd love to answer them. Let's see who we've got. Want to welcome with a bunch of people coming and going on Instagram the man with the voice Sam Kell, Sir Hans acoustic Ah lo smother monkey. Let's see over on YouTube we've got Angela. Boss, I and I'd been What's up, Ben? We got Walter Facebook. Jonah Facebook. Kevin on YouTube. Nick, be dog at 45. We've got Ah, Let's see who else we've got. We've got MacDonald, K and K. Kevin. All right, suit you guys. Conversational. Hi, p. Hey, Conversational tends to allow you to be more slightly flexible with punctuation enunciation. Absolutely. Absolutely. It's a lot less, you know, formed. Hi, Anthony. Hey, P. What's up? What's up? What's up? Yeah, I know exactly what you mean. AP mine is usually either my Google or P and G spot. Remember what I was saying with that? As an athlete, I understand the importance of good warm up and cool down. But why would you want to warm up your voice? Apologies of this is a stupid question, John. That's a great question. Um, so if you think about your voice just like anything else as a muscle, even when you speak, the reality is is the more that you do it, the more you warm up your mouth. Meaning like you really get your lips in your mouth and wide open, the more able you are to speak clearly and effectively, but more importantly, be able to do what you want to do with your voice. When we are speaking, not being paid for, to speak, who cares what we sound like? But I find that people who don't do this have a lot more trouble being clear with their words. They have trouble actually speaking in a manner in which can be understood. But also the manipulation of what you're trying to do is a lot more difficult because you are not fully in control of everything. Remember, since we talk a lot, well, you might talk about you might not talk a lot, but what I'm saying is you don't always think about how you were sounding. What are you actually saying? What is it registering to other people? But when we're doing this professionally, just like singers, you warm ob for many reasons. Also, you don't want to hurt your voice, but more importantly to me, it's getting you in a place physically but also mentally, where you can be at the top of your game. It is a way for you to collect yourself the moment and to prepare yourself for what's ahead. physically and mentally. That's what a warm abyss. It's Justus important mentally as it is physically, it's a great question. John Nick. Yeah, I find myself mimicking the radio commercials all the time. That's a great thing. Ah, Nick says, Can't help it sometimes. Ah, Ben. Know what you mean, Nick loving the Are you taking the bus ads at the moment? Makes me laugh every time Angela makes sense. John, I was thinking of a quote from my music lessons. Don't be flat B sharp, but also be natural. That's funny. Ah, hi. What's up, everybody? I too have an issue with nasal sounds and such. Hey, don't worry about that. I mean, I it is who we are. Make it a part of what you do. I do it. Warm ups actually help me Positioning my voice helps me the tone in which helps me. I found that at a young age in order to sing higher because I was I was ah, singer as well. I tried to do everything I could to get higher, and what happened was is I would position my notes so high became very maze. Aly. That's how I taught myself. It wasn't a correct way to do it, but I have teaching myself that way. So it became a habit, but also become something to when you're sick. But the positioning of your words and the sounds that you are creating in your throat where they're going, what you are doing, you notice I can I can go up here and I can move them to the front of my mouth. I can move them to the back of my throat. All of those different things are something that you and I should work on trying to know what we can and cannot do. But don't worry about the nasal thing, all right? It's I have It doesn't matter if you can be successful in this business with whatever. Um, let's see. Eye to ah, late taking talking to my chicken. Okay. Off topic. You mentioned phone patch earlier. Can you create a future video regarding phone patch? Walter? Walter. Brian, I have videos on there. Sorry. Ah, yes. Warm ups. So, actually, I did a whole entire video on all sorts of different ways to use a phone patch and all kinds of stuff. Um, I don't know if I've done one on source connector. I p d t l So I might have spoken too soon. Walter, I apologize, but I definitely have a really good one on phone patch. All right, Warmers help a lot. As does warm cup of coffee or tea. Yes. Do you have or can you do a video focused on warming up? Different exercise? How to develop your own? I too would love this. I will think about it because these air gonna be part of the courses that I'm gonna be developing. That each specific tone and reed style that I'll be coming out with also has a set of warm ups that I use and I've developed as well. So it would be too much to put into just a video of me sitting here for an hour doing different war, Mum, since sound very fun. But anyways, um, it does help a lot, but thank you so much for your recommendation. All right, you guys, I'm going to go ahead and ah, I think end this now. Today. Thank you so much for watching if you get a chance, please. Like this. Retweeted, if you're on Twitter. Ah, follow me subscribe. Do all that jazz? Anything you can. I really appreciate it. And thank you for watching today. Tomorrow is Friday. So I will see you tomorrow around one. And I hope you guys have a wonderful Thursday. Take it easy, Poos. Goodbye.