Please Don’t Fade Away!

by Ann S. Utterback, Ph.D. on June 1, 2016

dark streetI’m frustrated! I’m hearing more and more voiceover artists fading away towards the end of each sentence, which means the listener has to strain to make out the last couple of words in that sentence. I’m not just blaming voiceover people for this because it can be equally true for broadcasters.

Let’s tackle this problem. What causes the slow fade? Basically it’s because the person is not sustaining their breath for the duration of the sentence. They are not practicing good breath support.

The bottom line is that breath support must be built. I feel anyone making money with their voice should be doing breathing exercises on a regular basis if, for no other reason, because as we age our breath support gets more difficult.

I’ve written many posts on breathing and provided a video. Here’s a link to some great breath support exercises. Pick one or two you really like and do them often.

My basic advice to clients is to make the last word of a sentence as strong as the first word. That’s an easy way to avoid fading away. You can practice this with any printed text or even while making up sentences while you’re driving.

Along with good breath support comes the challenge of not letting air leak out when you pause in a sentence. To practice this, read the sentences below making the last word as strong as the first and pausing without letting any air escape at the slash marks. (These are not necessarily places you would ordinarily pause in these sentences.)

I enjoy biking/ skiing/ swimming/ and fishing.

I enjoyed visiting Italy/ or France/ or Germany/ in your world travels.

I started out lifting light weights/ but as I got stronger/ I increased the pounds I lifted.

These exercises will get you started on a better voice that doesn’t fade away!

For even more breathing exercises, check out the fifth edition of BROADCAST VOICE HANDBOOK. It’s available to instantly download on my website.

 

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