Your #1 Voice Acting Skill
By Susan Berkley


There are a lot of moving parts to a great voice over performance (I’ve identified 15 in all) but if you do nothing else, you must get the first one right. It’s job one. What is it?

The #1 voice acting skill is relationship. When performing a voice over you must always know who you are and who you are talking to. But the problem is most voice actors never take the time to figure out who that is and that’s a recipe for a bad case of announceritis.

Here’s why you have to do this.

In order for the spot to work, the listener must see a vivid movie in his mind of the product or service. Then he or she must see themselves as the star of that movie and experience what it feels to be that star: adored, loved, appreciated, satisfied, relieved, happy, smart, uplifted etc.

Your voice is merely the transparent vehicle that paints this picture and conveys these emotions. In fact, if they notice your voice at all and perceive that they are being “announced at” the spell is broken and the spot will fail.

The starting point for all this magic is relationship. It’s the first of 15 voice acting guideposts we teach in our Voice Over Bootcamp Recording Studio Immersion Experience

Here are the steps for getting this right.

1. One person

Always visualize a single individual, never a crowd or a group. People listen to and react to voice overs on a personal level. They care about what this means to them. By visualizing that single individual, you’ll create a more intimate, powerful connection.

2. Be very specific

It’s never just a guy or a woman. It’s Ben or Mary. Form a full color image of your listener in your minds eye. Fill in all the details of what they look like, what they’re wearing, how old they are, what they do, where they live, the more details the better,

3. Choose someone you know

Make this easy on yourself. Choose someone you know so filling in all the details is simple to do.

4. Match the person to the product

If you’re advertising a community for active seniors, don’t visualize a working Mom or a 20-something. If you don’t know anyone who matches the product, make someone up, using characters you know from films, TV shows or novels.

5. Sometimes the person is you

In some spots we are the voice of our own conscious, talking to ourselves from inside our head reminiscing, recollecting, giving ourselves a pep talk or some good advice. You see this a lot in car commercials on TV where you are inside the head of the on camera actor as he or she delights in the driving experience.

Give yourself the gift of the best voice over training and the confidence that comes from getting expert coaching in a state-of-the-art studio. Join me for the Voice Over Bootcamp Recording Studio Immersion Experience and make 2012 your best year ever! Go here now: Questions? Contact Bill at 800-333-8108 x229 or

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Susan Berkley is a top voice over artist and founder of The Great Voice Company, a company devoted to teaching great voices around the world how to become successful voice over actors. The Great Voice Company is an international leader in voice over training and in providing top quality voice over recordings in all languages to discerning businesses and marketers. For additional information visit

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