David recently recorded narration for a client's audio book*. A voice-over project tests one's ability to focus. Any glitch, like slurring a consonant, offbeat pronunciation, dropping an "a", or unclear interpretation can cause the director to call "Cut. Do it again."

Audio performers also have to manage their vocal instrument. Too much or too little saliva, phlegm, or throat and stomach gurgles cause more retakes. Another challenge is that mistakes also create tension. When done well, narration appears seamless, primarily because civilians don't know how this sausage is made.

Fortunately, you won't be trapped in a tiny, airless booth for days on end with a music stand, iPad, and headphones. But you can learn a valuable lesson from the voice-over world. Whether you're reading content aloud, or speaking off an outline, stay present with each word or phrase, and focus on delivering the meaning. Presenters typically fumble near the end of a sentence, paragraph or speech. Mentally, they have moved on, but their tongue has not. And know that this focus takes an enormous amount of energy. When you finish and the adrenaline dissipates, you will be happy, but exhausted.

1 Comment

  1. Jon LIght says:

    Love the new website graphics. And drink your water in a way that doesn’t cause an internet sensation. Cap off BEFORE the presentation starts, better yet in a glass, and find a place to put it that is easy to get to and not precarious. And no “ums”. In mock trial coaching we say to the kids “swallow the ums” and we deputize the bailiff to punish them with harassing comments if they “um” it up. Invariably, the very next sentence still starts with “um.” Silence is golden, but teaching it is tough.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *