One of the hardest parts of voicing is to give stock or repeated phrases some spice to make them sound conversational. Whether it’s a sign off at the end of a broadcast or a toss, these phrases are a constant challenge for reporters and anchors.
For voiceover artists it might be a repeated phrase in an audio book recording. If you say these phrases exactly the same way each time, they become stale and uninteresting. Worse, if you voice these exactly the same each time, they can become a bore for you and the listener.
So how do you avoid this pitfall?
First, for your sign off or tosses, take out a piece of paper or your phone and jot down as many ways of saying this phrase as you can think of. Let’s say it’s a toss to the weatherperson. You might say, “And here’s Rob with the weather,” but that’s not very interesting.
To give it freshness every time, you could jot down some options like these:
“So when’s the sun coming back, Rob?”
“What’s with this rain slated for the weekend?”
“It’s a beautiful day out there, Rob!”
Any of these works better than a boring toss.
If it’s a repeated phrase in an audio book, you can consider stressing different words with volume or inflection each time. Let’s say the phrase is, “She knew she’d die from fright.” The first time you say that sentence stress, “die,” and the next time, “fright.” Vary the stress to keep the sentence from getting too boring.
And a third approach for either broadcasters or voiceover people is to employ the idea of talking to a person. If you think about how you say hello to a friend on the phone, you’ll realize it’s always a bit different. That’s because you’re picturing your friend when you say it. Here’s a link to my post on PREP that explains this approach in more detail.
The biggest mistake you can make is to not recognize the repeated phrases in your copy and make them robotic. Instead, try using one of the 3 options above. You’ll sound more interesting and relate to your listener more effectively.
If you don’t have the fifth edition of BROADCAST VOICE HANDBOOK, download it now to read more about how to spice up your delivery!