[Rob Sciglimpaglia, Voice-Over Talent, Coach and Producer]
Just as you want each line of a voice over to sound distinct from the next, you also want each of your voice overs in your portfolio to stand out as being unique compared to the next. Imagine you send a prospective client a demo of material -- and each copy sounds the same. You will have cornered yourself into a niche without even realizing it.
The key to making each copy sound fresh, new and polished is to vary your P.A.V.E. That is, play with your Pace, Attitude, Volume and Energy. If you can learn to alter these four aspects of your voice with control, your range and variety will begin to grow exponentially -- and so will your market.
Whether you read the spot fast, medium or slow is your Pace. You're probably not going to read every single line with the same pacing unless it's a lot of copy that you're trying to cram into a short period of time. In that case, it will mostly be fast, but you are still going to vary your speed. Depending on the mood of the piece, you may want to have a sweet tone, a sarcastic voice, speak with authoritative command, or speak in a neutral flat-tone. This is called your Attitude. Your Volume, which we highlighted in last month's newsletter, should get louder or softer depending on where the climax is, when you're trying to create intrigue, or catch the listener's attention. Finally, Energy is similar to Pace and you might choose a high-energy, hard-sell or a low-energy, soft sell. Even for a high-energy spot, you will want to bring the Energy down and then up again so that you don't over-whelm the listener or lose their attention.
If you can get the right combination of variety for Pace, Attitude, Volume and Energy for every single spot that you perform, you will have a much more dynamic resume than just reading it straight the same way each time the same type of copy comes across your desk. To experiment with your range of effects, try reading the same piece aloud, focusing on one of the four aspects at a time. When you've got that down, try combining two points, and so on. You may discover a hidden potential that will lead you to different types of auditions!