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Voiceovers need to be able to control their speed, tone and pitch

Read the script below as you would normally.

Have you ever tasted paradise? Have you ever tasted a chocolate so delicious you fall in love?

Excite your palate with the smooth creamy chocolate from Chocolate Heaven. Chocolate made for chocolate lovers.

Time:


When we get to the end of this lesson, I'll ask you to read this script again. Feel free to record yourself so you can listen to the difference.

 


Here is an excerpt from one of our most important lessons: Slow Down


I’d like you to imagine that you can play a musical instrument very well, say for example, a piano. As a brilliant pianist you’d be able to play dramatically or gently. You’d be able to play fast tunes or slow tunes. You’d be able to play with greater confidence. You would have full control of your instrument.


Well your voice is just like a musical instrument, and as a professional voiceover or presenter, you need to be able to exercise the same control over how you ‘play’ your voice as a brilliant pianist has over his instrument. Just as a pianist needs to be able to play according to the directions of a conductor, as a professional voiceover or presenter, you need to be able to read according to the directions of a producer. In this and the following two elements we’re going to learn just that. We’re going to learn how to control your voice more effectively.


There is obviously a major difference between reading to a child of three or an adult.

For a moment, I would like you to imagine that you are about to read a fairy tale to a three year-old child. I’ve no doubt that if you have a young child and you read or tell them a bedtime story, you speak slower and in a softer voice.

That’s because you’re reading by instinct and the love you have for your child helps you to read it correctly. But it’s entirely different when you’re in a recording studio with strangers.


Visualise the child brimming with excitement and almost bursting out of her skin knowing that you are about to read her a story.

The first two significant differences are that you would need to read more slowly and softly to a child. The third major difference is that you would need to read with energy and enthusiasm just to keep her attention! In other words, when you read to a child, it is just exaggerating everything.

Many people speak far too quickly, so in this element we’re going to concentrate on taking control of your instrument, your voice, to slow down the pace of your read.


This is Element 3 – Read Slowly.


I want you to read and record the sentence


‘On Christmas Eve many years ago, I lay quietly in my bed’.


And I also want you to time, with a stopwatch, how long it takes you to read the sentence. Remember to make a note of how long it takes you to read sentence.


I have been using this exercise with my students now for 20 years and from experience I would guess that you read this sentence in about 4 seconds. Now I want you to read, record and time the same sentence again. But this time I want you to slow down the time it takes you to read the sentence. I want you to read this sentence in 6 or more seconds if you can.


Read the sentence again and try to slow it down


‘On Christmas Eve many years ago, I lay quietly in my bed’.


How long did you take? Most of my students don’t manage to stretch reading this sentence out to 8 seconds on their first attempt, but if you did, that’s just great!


Imagine words are made of rubber - they are flexible and you can make them as short or long as you want. This will enable you to talk and read at any pace, but particularly to slow down the rate of your speech which is very important in this day and age.

I don’t mean by leaving longer gaps between words – that’s cheating, and not allowed!


The way to slow down is to stretch out every syllable in every word. This requires concentration because I really mean that you need to stretch out every syllable in every word.


Even the word ‘I’. ‘I’ is a pretty innocuous and skinny word, but you can still stretch it out to say ‘Iiiiiiiiii’ rather than ‘I’.


Concentrate on lengthening every syllable in every word. At this point the quality of your read doesn’t matter. Ultimately the point of this exercise is slow down the speed of your reading by stretching the words out.

Read the sentence again and try to slow it down to 12 seconds


‘On Christmas Eve many years ago, I lay quietly in my bed’.


It may sound awkward, but you must remember that we need to put new software in the computer in your brain, so don’t worry.

If you can do it in ten or more seconds, then it will be very easy to record it in 7 seconds which is about the right length when reading to a child. In this way, you will be reading well within your limit.



 

The result


Read (and record if you want to) the script again and see now much more time it takes you now.

Have you ever tasted paradise? Have you ever tasted a chocolate so delicious you fall in love?

Excite your palate with the smooth creamy chocolate from Chocolate Heaven. Chocolate made for chocolate lovers.

Last Read:


The correct length for reading this script is about 24 seconds.

 





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