Join Voice Over Expert Bettye Zoller in her podcast, “Improving Your Delivery of Printed Texts.” Bettye expresses the importance of using your voice with sincerity, how to infuse it with freshness, and gives a number of practical suggestions that you can apply immediately when interpreting and delivering copy.
Transcript of Improving Your Delivery of Printed Texts
Julie-Ann Dean: Welcome to Voiceover Experts brought to you by Voices.com, the number one voiceover marketplace. Voiceover Experts brings you tips, pearls of wisdom and techniques from top instructors, authors and performers in the field of voiceover. Join us each week to discover tricks of the trade that will help you to develop your craft and prosper as a career voiceover talent. It’s never been easier to learn, perform, and succeed from the privacy of your own home and your own pace. This is truly an education you won’t find anywhere else.
This week, Voices.com is pleased to present Bettye Zoller.
Bettye Zoller: This is Bettye Zoller and my topic today in this Voices.com podcast is your oral delivery of the printed text can become more effective when you follow these guidelines. First, at all times, articulate words clearly and precisely. Don’t over-articulate. Of course there are times when the script is a character voice. You don’t want precise articulation in those kinds of scripts. Next, vary the pitch inflections used throughout the text delivery because pitch inflections are the roller coasters of speech, I like to say. The variety in vocal interest becomes greater with added pitch inflections. If I talk like this, wouldn’t it get boring? Instead, I try to vary my pitch inflections and you should too.
Vary your vocal volumes you use while carefully avoiding volumes that are too loud or too soft at the microphone and if you are working with a recording engineer, you’re not recording yourself. Tell the engineer what’s going to happen before it happens. Tell him or her that a scream is coming up, so be careful and with extremely loud volumes, you want to back away from the microphone a little bit. Try it out two or three times with the engineer to find out the best way to do that loud passage. Frequent pauses, break-up phrases, and paragraphs in this varies the ebb and flow of your speech. In fact, I’ve heard it said that pauses allow listeners to absorb materials more completely before you say something else. You know, pauses in speech are important.
Vary your pacing, speed up when it’s more excited or enthusiastic or if the person is nervous or to suggest importance and slow down for dramatic effect to add emphasis, to explain a passage clearly and completely especially if the passage contains difficult or complicated concepts or difficult vocabulary. Try to vary your vocal tone colors by alternating soft or breathy tones with harsher tones and remember, various volumes help too as we said before. Maintain a naturalness of speech as if conversing with a friend. Some people say, think of talking into someone’s ear. Talk with sincerity in your voice, not phoniness.
Of course if the text is one of a preaching tone or demanding or an angry attitude, that’s voice acting but whatever the copy intent, we hope that you will learn to sound as if there were no script. This is coming from your head. This is coming from your thoughts. That’s the test of a true voiceover professional. Use an accent or dialect cautiously and don’t ever do an accent or dialect unless you are absolutely wonderful at it. Can you sustain your voice attitude or tone colors and phrasing so that everything matches across the duration of copy? That’s particularly difficult in long form copy. Long form means anything that’s longer than a minute. Audiobooks are particularly challenging long form copy. The character voice you use for say, the witch at the beginning of the audiobook, does the witch sound the same 4 hours later? That’s a true test.
Using your voice for maximum impact when reading is so important and before I close, are you a good sight-reader, good at reading cold copy? If not, start reading things you’ve never seen before at least 15 minutes a day. Just grab a book of the shelf, grab a magazine off the coffee table. Don’t read silently, read out loud. Reading out loud things you’ve never seen before, that’s called the cold read, is the substance of our business. If you’re not as good as you should be at reading out loud, practice is the only answer.
Occasionally with a student who really needs help reading out loud, needs help with a cold read, I suggest a community college course in reading improvement. The community colleges everywhere are very good at teaching better reading skills to students who have not had that much experience reading out loud in the grade schools and high schools. Students tend to sit silently too much in school. So if you need to take a remedial reading course, a nearby community college can help you. I hope this helped. Thank you for listening and thank you Voices.com for asking me to do a podcast. I wish you all success and keep working diligently at improving yourself in your voice acting skills. This is Bettye Zoller.
Julie-Ann Dean: Thank you for joining us. To learn more about the special guest featured in this Voices.com podcast, visit the Voiceover Experts show notes at Podcasts.Voices.com/VoiceoverExperts. Remember to stay subscribed. If you’re a first time listener, you can subscribe for free to this podcast in the Apple iTunes Podcast Directory or by visiting Podcasts.Voices.com. To start your voiceover career online, go to Voices.com and register for a voice talent membership today.
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Bettye Zoller is one of American’s most-heard voices (Bravo and Weather Channel Promos, American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, PBS, Seven Eleven Stores U.S. and Canada, Lionel Trains and other toys to name a few). This is her 30th year as a voice actor. She’s also an educator who has served on faculties of many universities and now accepts guest professorships. This year, she guest taught at Lansing Michigan and is the Feagin Guest Artist in Theatre at Tulsa University, Oklahoma. She presents workshops and lectures nationwide. A degreed voice speech improvement coach, she works with on-air personalities and actors at two national cable networks (non-disclosure agreements prevent naming them!) and has clients from all walks of life. “It’s exciting and every day is different. I love the variety.”
Bettye has started hundreds of students in careers.Home base is Dallas Texas where she owns a recording studio and is a skilled audio engineer known for demo creation and audio book production. She is a Simon and Schuster audio author, reader, producer. “Speaking Effective English” with Foreword by TV Film Star Edward Asner (2 CDs) is a recent release. “Commercial$peak” (1 CD featuring many voice talents and special interviews) was nominated for an Audie Award when published several years ago and is now a favorite worldwide. Her website is http://www.voicesvoices.com