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5 Tips For Interpreting A Voice Over Script

When I first started voicing commercials in radio, the concept was simple. Rip n’ Read. In other words, rip the script off the printer, go in the booth, read. It was really that simple.

The game has changed a lot since those days, though.

No Announcers Please

marking-your-voice-over-scriptOn any given day, you’re going to see auditions with very specific instructions. “No announcers please.” Gone are the days are cranking out spots with hard sells, fast paces and little to know emotion or inflection.

Today clients all want the same thing. Conversational. Friendly. Guy (or Girl) Next Door. It should be simple enough for voice actors to do, but for many, especially those coming from a radio background, achieving this can sometimes be easier said than done.

With that in mind, here are a few things to consider when you’re looking over an audition script.

5 Tips For Interpreting A Voice Over Script

1) Who Are You? No. I’m not asking for your name. Who are you refers to the role you’ll be playing in the script. Are you a trusted friend? Are you the boss? Is your role that of a mother or father?

You can’t portray your role until you know what it is.

2) Who Are You Talking To? Who’s your audience? Men? Women? Children? Teenagers? Seniors? High income? Low income? Executives? Home owners? People will financial struggles? People suffering from illness?

Identify your audience and change your delivery and tone accordingly.

3) What Is The Purpose? In other words, what is the end goal of the piece you’re voicing? Is there a call to action? Are you trying to sell something? Are you providing instruction? Is the piece more informational? What does this piece intend to accomplish?

Understanding the purpose of the script upfront will make it easier to give a more effective delivery.

4) What’s The Key Line? This is more so for commercial reads. In every spot there is a key line. It could be a tag line. It might be a transitional line. There will always be that one line in the script that is meant to standout.

Identify the key line and give it the attention it deserves.

5) Who Is It For? In other words, what’s the name of the company, product or brand? Whether you’re voicing a commercial, an explainer video, or an on-hold system, there will always be a name. Find that name.

Give the name special attention. Nothing over the top. Just a little kick to make it stand out.

Mark The Script

man-reading-a-scriptTake a couple of minutes to look for these 5 things. Mark the script accordingly. Use your highlighter. Mark text digitally with bold, italics or underlines.

Figure out what works for you so that when it comes time to record your audition you’ve able to interpret the script for the best read possible.

Good luck!

QUESTION: What tips do you have for interpreting a voice over script?