Friday, September 30, 2022

Set up your You Tube channel (It's a good idea for business!)

 There are many ways to promote your voice over business. I'm on Linked In, have my own website with my voice over demos and customer testimonials, email marketing, and this blog, to name a few.

My You Tube channel allows me to showcase work I have done for others needing a pro voice over for their videos. It's a great way to show your versatility. The channel is free. You can log in once you set up your account and rearrange your videos. Mine begins with a voice over I did for a San Antonio engineering firm. From there, I picked other videos that show another style of read from me. 

Here's a list of some of the video types I have on my You Tube channel...

A video showcasing a pressure washer (They wanted a "gritty, masculine" voice for this.) 

One about a Palm Beach golf resort. I used a very quiet voice for this one. Relaxing feel. ("Shhhhhh...somebody's putting!")

A TV commercial for "Think Like a Cat." One of four I voiced that aired on Game Show Network. Amusing voice. Light and happy. Fun

A mysterious book trailer voice over

A  narration I did for "In Pursuit of Passion," an inspirational TV series

A learning voice over for a video about plagiarism ("Salami Slicing")

An auto TV spot for a Texas dealership

An episode I voiced for "Grand Theft Auto." This one is mob/guns/drugs/shoot 'em up

A playful video voice over for a kid's charity

And a number of other videos with my voice; about 25 I recorded  voice over for.

The whole goal is to show you're versatile and not a "One Note Johnny."

And don't forget to freshen up your YT channel from time to time. It shows you're working.

Here's a link to my You Tube channel. You'll see and hear the videos I have listed up above.

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Communication is gold ("Tell me what you want... or what you think you want")

 I've been recording voice overs for quite some time and have recorded for many different types of projects. If you're working with a first time client/customer, it's really important to chat a bit and ask them what type of read they want for their copy; corporate voice, casual/conversational, instructional tone, etc.. And you do this BEFORE you step to the microphone. Certainly, as you look at their copy, you can take cues from the way it's written. But remember, there are almost always multiple ways to voice the copy. And neither may be wrong. Try and save yourself a headache or two and ask before you record. Some clients will be very specific with their direction and take away the guessing factor on your part. Some will give you initial direction and then change their minds midstream after they hear a take or two from you. And some will have no clue as to what they want. I try to never assume anything. ASK!

I once recorded a script for an engineering firm out of San Antonio. My voice over would be used for a video promoting their services; a marketing video. Copy was emailed to me and I recorded here in my home studio. I asked the producer from the agency who was working for the firm how he heard the voice over. Did we want to go with a professional corporate tone of voice or a more casual read? He indicated he wanted a corporate tone of voice. So, I recorded a take with that in mind and emailed the voice over to him with a download link. As a voice over talent, there's usually a waiting period to hear back from them with their feedback. Sometimes within the hour... or sometimes next day. Don't be paranoid if it takes them some time to give you feedback. There can be a number of "chiefs" behind the scene weighing in. The producer got back to me and said it sounded good but asked if I could make it  more local.  I'm thinking, "More local? What's that suppose to mean?" In all my years of taking direction, I've never heard "more local." I thought maybe he wants it less corporate voice and kind of less polished sounding. I went with that in mind. Eventually, he liked what he heard on the third or fourth take. But he was having a bit of trouble conveying to me exactly what he wanted from me. No doubt, it can be frustrating. Keep your cool. It becomes a bit of a guessing game on your part. Then you'll have the client who has no idea what he/she wants and will tell you something like, "Oh, I'll know it when I hear it." This type of non-direction can mean multiple takes, and frankly, can drive you nuts. Your time is valuable and you likely have other jobs to record. "I'll know it when I hear it" is really not acceptable direction at all. ALWAYS ask before you record. Communication is key. Never assume!

Monday, September 26, 2022

Common Errors with Word Usage. ("I told you you were saying it wrong!")

 Here's a really terrific guide to word usage that I think is fascinating. Don't be surprised if you find that you have made (or are making), some of these same mistakes. I know I have.

WARNING: Once you click on one word and explore, you'll want to keep clicking on one word after another. That could take all day! It's a very long list.

ATM machine

“ATM” means “Automated Teller Machine,” so if you say “ATM machine” you are really saying, “Automated Teller Machine Machine.” 

Thanks given to Paul Brians for posting the lengthy list and sharing. Credit to Nancy P. McKee and George P. Kennedy, who wrote "Correcting Common Errors in Writing," published by Kendall/Hunt Publishing.

About this blog and "time flies!"

 It's hard for me to believe that this blog is now 13 years old. I want to thank a friend of mine, David, for helping me set up the tech...