How To Lose The Dreaded Radio Voice

How To Lose The Dreaded Radio Voice

In this series of “Vital Signs”, have two fabulously talented educators with me here on VOX Daily sharing their thoughts on how those of you who come from radio can free yourself from broadcast radio bondage. What I’m saying may come as a surprise to many people but just because you come from radio doesn’t mean that you’re by virtue of that fact already a voice actor or that voice acting will come easily to you.

This is explain how voice acting and radio differ and will help those who come from radio lose their “radioness”, ditching the sing-songy sound that some women carry over from broadcast and also the announcery baggage that men bring to the table when they enter the business of voice over.

This idea has been floating around in my head for a number of years and now seems to be the appropriate time to explore it. When deciding how to present this, we wanted to give you the perspectives of two voice over teachers, their thoughts, and also share how people from radio who enter voice over (this is a very large number of people) can make it in the voice acting business without sounding like they’re still behind the mic at the radio station which is a very different style of speaking than that of what is expected of a voice over actor.

Here are the differences:

  • For DJs, personality and vocal quality are the stars of the show. With voice actors, the client information is the star and the actor’s voice and acting skills support that key information.
  • DJs spend a lot of air time ad libbing. Voice actors ad lib a little, but primarily read from a script and have to learn how to make those words sound natural and real.
  • When a voice actor records a commercial, the spot is read many times and often cut together to mine the most impact out of the copy. Radio personalities rarely read a commercial more than once; they either read it live or record it down and dirty at the end of the day to satisfy an obligation.

For a radio personality to break into the freelance voice-over world, they have to leave their DJ job at the door and learn how to step back from the starring position, relax the “pipes,” let the words motivate the listener to take action, and sound REAL. It takes practice, but it can be done.

Bonus Tip:
One way to help with switching voices is chewing gum. The chewing motion of your jaws forces your mouth into different shapes and positions as you talk. There are plenty of gums to choose from, but we recommend either peppermint or cinnamon Exceed brand gum from Melaleuca: The Wellness Company. These Melaleuca products are not as soft as other gums, but that’s a good thing. The harder gum really makes you work to chew it, and as you practice talking, you’ll find your voice changing for the better.


February 23rd, 2017

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