These tips will help you to make smooth, clear and enjoyable voice-over narration

Find your voice:

The best voice-overs are casual and conversational. Gone are the days of the ‘announcer’ voice. You know the one, the big deep voice that makes everything feel like an advert or the start of a theatre show. This is good news for the first-time narrator since you don’t have to supercharge your voice to get a recording that sounds current. However, you do need to speak clearly and decide where your voice character fits in the narration spectrum. There’s a large gap between your typical public announcer and Peter Dickson who reads for The X Factor.

Larger than average:

While your normal speaking voice may be fine in person, it loses a little spark in a voice-over. To compensate, you’ll have to crank it up just a bit. Finding the balance between natural speech and enunciation is a great place to start. You need to make sure your words are distinct and that no words are slurred. You can practice this using a voice recording. Certain word pronunciation or slurring of words are easy to correct with some practice. Add some more emotion, make your words clear, and you will be pretty much there.

Know the material:

By pre-reading the material several times before you start, you will begin to learn the script and therefore make your performance a lot easier. Rehearse out loud, because the script will sound different in your head. This will also help you by not adding in any phrases such as um, like, err, as you will begin to know the script off by heart.

Standing delivery:

Consider recording your voice-over standing up. Standing opens your breathing and makes it easier to speak clearly and consistently. A standing position also allows you to be more animated. Imagine you’re speaking to one specific person and let go. Point, nod, wave your arms, whatever it takes. Believe it or not, these motions impact your emotional delivery and can be heard (in a good way) on the finished recording.

Take care of yourself and just breathe:

Singers consider their voice an instrument and for a good reason. Coffee, alcohol, cigarettes and screaming can all have a negative effect on your voice. Whether you do voice-overs all the time or just this once, take care of yourself. A good night’s sleep and ensuring you drink enough water is a great start. A vocal warm-up before recording is always a good idea; it will get you into the swing of things.

Follow these top tips and you are bound to give the perfect voice-over narration. Good luck!