Caution Signs For Voice Over Talent


    Do you notice caution signs in your copy? Lisa Rice gives you guidance on how to identify caution signs and ideas for how you can adapt your read to finish a project within its specific timing parameters. When hired to voice a script with more words than allotted time, you can apply the same strategies you would use when driving on a winding road to your copy. Learn how to drive the read as quickly as you can, apply the brakes when it’s critical and get there on time.

    Transcript of Caution Signs For Voice Over Talent

    Welcome to Voice Over Experts brought to you by, the number one voice over marketplace. Voice Over Experts brings you tips, pearls of wisdom and techniques from top instructors, authors, and performers in the field of voice over. Join us each week to discover tricks of the trade that will help you to develop your craft and prosper as a career voice over talent. It’s never been easier to learn, perform, and succeed from the privacy of your own home and at your own pace. This is truly an education you won’t find anywhere else.
    This week is pleased to present Lisa Rice.
    Hi! I’m Lisa Rice. Here to talk to you today about caution signs. You know, those yellow diamond shaped traffic signs often placed strategically along winding roads, each one warning us to slow down, and pay more attention because a dangerous curve lies ahead. And if your experience is the same as mine, they always seemed to pop up when I’m running late. Ultimately though, we know they’re posted there for our own good and in turn they benefit the drivers coming toward us in the opposite lane.
    When I see one of these signs, I’m reminded of a little voice over trick that I learned several years ago. But before I share it, allow me to explain why we need to use it in the first place. In a perfect world, every piece of copy we voiced would be written with timely finesse, just the right amount of words for the allotted time. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen.
    Many scripts have been so stuffed with information they feel like tongue twisters. Good succinct writing takes time and skill or a smart [0:01:43] explains to a colleague, “Sorry about the long letter. I didn’t have the time to write you a short letter, so I wrote you a long one instead.”
    To be fair, many producers work with tight budgets and schedules. They’re force to juggle several responsibilities and do the best they can, and sometimes their customer with no media training whatsoever refuses to part with their scripts they themselves have written with every company detail crammed into it in order to get their moneys worth. Now, this is not usually a problem for non-broadcast jobs because post productions can tweak things by adding more videos or longer transitions.
    Broadcast projects however are entirely different. Advertising is purchased in intervals and these snippets of time whether they are 15 seconds, 30 seconds or 60, can be quite expensive. In broadcast, minutes ad seconds matter. A voice over for a 30-second spot must commit at exactly that or preferably even a second or two under. If not, the domino effect of one spot running over into another as time slot comes into play.
    So, whether we like it or not as voice over professionals, we’re expected to adjust our read to fit the time frame. Of course, we can ask the producer if there’s anything that can be taken out before we record. And many times this works, by removing a word here or there, or substituting a multi-syllable word with a shorter one. Little steps like these can make a big difference when seconds count. But if they’ve done everything they can on their end, the job must move forward.
    So, how does this all tie in with curvy roads and caution signs? Well, when we’re hired to voice one of these scripts we can apply the same strategy as driving on a winding road. Move through the copy at the safest speed possible all the while keeping an eye open for the curve in the road so to speak.
    How do we identify the curves? Take the script and look for the most important parts: a customer’s name, their slogan, key phrases, tricky pronunciations or words needing more emotion. What’s left can be voiced differently better yet some parts can be handled like straight aways. Move through them as fast as possible. The advantage here? No speed limit. Fly through the www in the website address, a telephone number if it’s mentioned several times or anything else that might have visuals on that screen. Drive that read as quickly as you can. Apply the brakes when it’s critical and get there on time.
    You know, this technique can also be applied to the road we called life. Using the brakes in our personal lives on a daily, weekly and yearly basis helps our journey become richer and more meaningful. The only difference here is that the warning signs manifest themselves in the form of health issues, spiritual anemia and relationship problems.
    By allowing ourselves to recharge our batteries so to speak, and refuel with things we enjoy that aren’t work related. Our voice over business only stands to benefit. We also become better equip to negotiate those hairpin turns everyone eventually comes upon: illness, family issues or death and let’s be honest we probably won’t be on our death bed wishing we spent more time working.
    So, when faced with a voice over script Mark Twain would apologize for; let’s remember it’s no different with a curvy back road. We’re in control of the read. When work threatens to overcome our personal lives, let’s remember the risk of crashing emotionally, spiritually or physically. Worse yet, not staying in our own lane and the next time we feel disdain on one of those yellow diamond shaped caution signs, let’s appreciate why they are posted there in the first place, for our own good.
    I’m Lisa Rice, wishing you the best through every curve that comes your way.
    Thank you for joining us. To learn more about the special guest featured in this podcast, visit the Voice Over Experts show notes at Remember to stay subscribed. If you’re a first-time listener, you can subscribe for free to this podcast in Apple iTunes or by visiting To start your voice over career online, go to and register for a voice talent membership today.


    Lisa Rice, Lisa Rice Productions, voice overs, voice acting, tips for business, persistence, Voice Over Experts

    Links from today’s show:

    Lisa Rice Productions

    Your Instructor this week:

    Voice Over Talent Lisa Rice

    Lisa Rice Voice TalentLisa Rice is an experienced communications professional. She landed her first radio job as a disc jockey at eighteen. Then, an announcer/producer stint with Trans World Radio took her to Guam. After graduating college with a degree in Communications, she began producing, writing, and directing. Her one-on-one interviews have extended from the White House and Capitol Hill to Nashville.

    Other experience includes on-camera work, print modeling, sales, marketing, and motivational speaking.
    Voice work has been Lisa’s passion since she first discovered the thrill of recording – when the red button is on, so is she! Her voice-over work includes customers and organizations from a wide range of business and corporate levels as well as advertising and marketing agencies, radio and television stations, non-profit groups and ministries. While voice work has been a mainstay, her production experience helps meet the expectations that accompany results-oriented, deadline-driven production work – she knows that your time is as valuable as your project.

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    Stephanie Ciccarelli is the Co-Founder and Chief Brand Officer of Classically trained in voice, piano, violin and musical theatre, as well as a respected mentor and industry speaker, Stephanie graduated with a Bachelor of Musical Arts from the Don Wright Faculty of Music at the University of Western Ontario. Possessing a great love for imparting knowledge and empowering others, her podcast Sound Stories serves an audience that wants to achieve excellence in storytelling. Stephanie is found on the PROFIT Magazine W100 list three times (2013, 2015 and 2016), a ranking of Canada's top female entrepreneurs, and is the author of Voice Acting for Dummies®.



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