05 Voice-over

1. Do it yourself. The audience recognizes the individual personality of the reporter by his voice. A slight dialect can be interesting: It shows the speakers person and his closeness to the region.

2. Content comes first. This is true for speaking as well. Content is best conveyed when you follow the words you are saying in your mind. It is called „Thinking by speaking“.

3. Be authentic. Read as you would  if you were talking.  Observe if your voice sounds different when you are reading from when you are relaxed and just yourself.

4. Deliberately choose the attitude of adressing the audience which makes the basic „mood“ of the text transparent. Your manner of speaking must make it immedialtely clear if the text is meant to be funny, sad, ironic or factual.

5. Speak lively. The audience realizes immediately if you speak emphatically or indifferently. A monotonous voice with unchanging rhythm and unchanging speed is boring.

6. Slow is boring. The audience needs a certain speed of voice. Speak slightly faster than normal, using lively and intensive emphasis. Slowing-down passages gives them more importance. Speeding-up passages gives them more intensity.

7. Emphasize crucial and new aspects – irrespective the words and where they occur in the sentence. The more information a word carries, the more likely it is that it will be emphasized. Each sentence has only one main emphasis.

8. The commentary should never sound ever-repeating. Short sentences in a row, all equally spoken with the voice falling to the full stop, are boring. A voice that stays up all the time, signals: I have not finished yet. Structure the sentences like a melody that indicates if a thought is finished or if more is to follow.

9. Once you are in the voice-over booth, forget everything. Just speak: – it will most probably be alright. Don’t reflect about breathing, voicing and emphasizing, or else you’ll run the risk, that what you say suddenly loses its meaning.

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