Have you ever stopped to think about just how greatly we rely upon our eyesight?
Although we can pick a script apart and analyze it using a variety of constructive tools, there’s nothing quite like letting your natural line of vision rule the day and see where it instinctively leads based upon years of acquired knowledge and practical experience as a reader.
Voice over coach Bob Cook shares an illustration of how our vision and manner of reading deciphers and anticipates changes in vocal inflection, timing and cadence in today’s VOX Daily.
THE EYES ARE THE NAVIGATORS!
By Bob Cook
The EYES are your navigator when it comes to reading a script. Your eyes not only let you see the words you’re reading but they also look ahead so you know where you’re going. Let me show you how it works.
The following script reads:
Once upon a time in the old west a gunslinger named Jesse James robbed trains and banks.
Let’s LOOK at the first 5 words, ONCE UPON A TIME IN. It will take less than a second to see them. But to say those same 5 words out loud takes about a half sec longer. Now I know we’re talking a small fraction here but remember it’s these small differences that always make good great and winners losers.
Now that your eyes have let you see those first 5 words you can now say them. But what are your eyes doing now? Well they’ve moved on to the next five words, which are THE OLD WEST A GUNSLINGER. So while you’re saying ONCE UPON A TIME IN your eyes are already on THE OLD WEST A GUNSLINGER.
Your eyes are scoping out your path so that you’ll know where you’re going. Your eyes not only make you aware of the words ahead of you but they will let you know there are pauses coming, end of sentences, the beginning of new paragraphs or possibly a change of tone.
Now the fact that we are talking about such a small difference between a half sec and a full second makes this type of work all the more precise, which is why you must read out loud everyday for the rest of your life.
As some of you know when you read for pleasure the more often you read the quicker you are able to get through a book. No different here but you have to do the work and it will be frustrating at first. Reading out loud trains the eyes and the mouth to work together, which will make both body parts quicker and more efficient. Plus, reading out loud also works the 40 something muscles around the mouth.
Bob Cook is the Director of Training at Ta-Da! Voiceworks in Toronto. He is available for on-site coaching as well as by Skype. He can be reached at email@example.com.