Learn Voicing Tips From Robin Williams

by Ann S. Utterback, Ph.D. on September 3, 2014

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photography-williams-robin-actor-wiliams-world-premiere-premiere-his-new-movie-robots-march-los-angeles-ca-paul-smith-featureflash-image35318112What legacy did Robin Williams leave for voiceover artists and broadcasters? He showed all of us how to push the limits of what voice can do in terms of portraying emotion and not just in raucous comedy. Listen to him talking in this clip. Try not to listen to how hilarious he is, but listen only to how he’s using his voice.  You’ll hear him pushing the envelope of what the voice can do.

Robin Williams had a huge range in his vocal repertoire.  He could create any type of voice he needed by changing his pitch, rate, volume, and resonance.

Imagine how your packages or vo’s could improve if you could do the gymnastics with your voice like he did with his.  As a broadcaster you would not want to go too far on the air but having a larger range can improve anyone’s voice.

Let me suggest some tips to help you broaden your vocal range.

First, try reading a good children’s book out loud. Pick Cinderella, Snow White, The Three Pigs or any story with lots of characters and emotion. Read to a child if you can, and make the emotions as big as possible. Stretch your voice in terms of pitch, volume, and rate.  A child will quickly let you know if you’re doing a good enough job.  If you don’t make the evil witch sound evil, you’ll hear about it!

Next, take a page of copy and do the same thing.  Exaggerate the emotions.  If it’s a sad story, sound really, really sad like you’re about to cry.  If it’s about a happy event, overdo the happiness in your voice.

This technique can work even in the booth if you feel you’re not bringing a script to life or if you think your energy is low.  Read your script a couple of times overdone and then pull back your delivery for the actual taping.

I’ve used this practice technique with clients in my office for years, and you’d be surprised how well it works.  A couple of exaggerated readings before you tape can do wonders when the mic is live.

Want to know more about improving your vocal range?  Ck out the fifth edition of BROADCAST VOICE HANDBOOK by clicking here.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: