OK…so I have finally given in!
OK…so I have finally given in!
As the school year starts for kids all over the Northern Hemisphere, I think back to how we all define ourselves:
In High School & College were you:
The geek, jock, egghead, band member, cheerleader, yearbook editor, or goth?
At home are you the:
Spouse, oldest/middle/youngest child, parent, grandparent, or in-law?
As a voice talent are you:
The voice talent, engineer and producer?
As the owner of your own business are you:
Chief cook & bottle washer?
But, how do your clients define you?
As: my voice of choice, a great person to work with, someone who delivers clean files just the way I want them on time and on budget? Someone who is fun to work with?
I love Tennis. And it has been a family tradition for the past 25+ years to watch the Men’s Finals at Wimbledon every year.
This past Sunday I watched the epic 4 hour and 27 minute match between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. It was the longest match ever played in Wimbledon history and it was the best match I (& John McEnroe!) have ever witnessed.
Even if you’re not a tennis fan, bear with me…you’ll see how this relates to VO in a bit. [Read more…]
OK…in the old days…yeah, OK…not so long ago, when you decided to “Get into Voice Over,” you made a demo (a demonstration reel – demonstrating what you could do & the “sound” that you had). Years ago demos were on reel-to-reel tape, then audio cassette, then CDs and now, more and more they’re digital .mp3 files.
The world has changed. [Read more…]
Well, I’m here to stand up and proudly proclaim: “Hi, I’m Liz, and I am a voicemail recorder.” Actually in our business we call them Interactive Voice Response or Message On Hold recordings (IVR and MOH for short).
Let’s face it, these days, the IVR/MOH system is usually your first contact with a company. It’s the first impression you get and usually that’s the impression you stay with when dealing with a company forevermore.
We’ve all heard horror stories of being trapped in a voice mail maze, or about the awful voice you had to listen to while on hold. That’s not the impression that a company wants project. Those awful recordings were probably recorded by – if I may be so bold as to to assume – the cute receptionist that was pressed into service to “just record this into the phone.”
Clients that hire me and my fellow IVR/MOH specialized voice talents know how important it is to give a good first impression. They know that by having an effective IVR or MOH system in place they are putting their best foot (or voice!) forward.
An effective IVR or MOH recording will keep a company’s clients happy by routing them to the correct department quickly…which gets their questions answered quickly…. which keeps them coming back and doing business with the company. An effective Message on Hold recording educates customers about your business and your services
So the next time you are asked to “Press 1, for Sales” or to “Ask our representative about our 10% discount on bulk orders” say “Hi!” That pleasant sounding voice may just be mine!
Once again my friend Peter O’Connell has stepped up to the plate.
Ever the one to work at finding a solution to a problem, Peter has written and produced 2 public service announcements to get the word out on how to donate funds directly to UNICEF for the cyclone relief effort in Myanmar.
If you know of any radio station or television station program directors, internet radio stations or podcasters, please tell them about these ready-made, ready to broadcast PSAs.
Again, tell your contacts to go here.
This is what our global social networks are really for!
Not only did I have a great time, but it was heartwarming to know that all these people were there for the same reason. Because they knew how important finding a cure for Alzheimer’s Disease is. (Yeah, OK, there was some networking going on, but frankly it had the feel of an intimate dinner party, and I felt really lucky to be there!)
Yes, I met some of the top voice over artists and industry people in the country today.
Stewart Wilson-Turner (the creator of VoiceBank.net) & I
Yes, I got a night out,
Yes, I got a respite from my caregiving duties.
Yes, I got a kiss from both “The Don” and Joe Cip!
But what was even more important to me was that I showed up, supporting a great cause and validating to myself that as a working voice talent, I am doing what I love and showing up for my dreams. I am so happy to belong to an industry where the people are nice, generous and talented!
It’s a night I won’t soon forget!
(OK…how appropriate a comment is that for an Alzheimer’s event! 😉
Sometimes in this business (and yes it IS a business..more on that in a minute) you hear about/learn from some amazing talent. Bob Fraser is one of those people. Bob posts on several of the Voice Over groups I’m on, and a post this week really resonated with me.
When people first find out that I speak more than one language, I often get asked “Don’t you get confused?”
It’s as if the fact that I speak two languages is a hardship. Actually, quite the opposite is true. It’s a gift. Having a second vocabulary opens up the world to me, it doesn’t shrink it.
I admit, when I was a kid, I did sometimes mix my languages.
Notice I didn’t say mix UP.
I combined them not, because I was confused, but because I was choosing just the right word that fit the meaning I wanted to convey. And sometimes that word happened to be in a different language than the one I started my sentence in!
Luckily, my parents pretty quickly made it clear: “Finish your sentence in the same language you started it in!” It was another exercise in finding the right word in the particular language I was speaking in.
Now, some languages are just more precise in certain concepts than others are. Take the Inuit who have over 200 words for our word “snow,” describing all its different facets.
So what does this have to do with Voice Over?
A lot actually.
As a voice over artist, I work with words every day.
All types of words: silly words, sales words, medical words, technical words. They all convey a meaning.
My job is to bring that meaning to life.
As voice talent, we’re not just reading, we’re telling a story, and to do that well you need the right words.
This is not as obvious as it seems, especially when you’re dealing with a script that was translated incorrectly.
I often record bilingual scripts – one version of the script in English, the second in French. Sometimes the translations leave something to be desired.
So here’s my advise: If you need to have a script translated, use a professional translator.
Do not use “Sophie in HR” who happens speak French. Or “Maria in A/R” who happens to speak Spanish.
I speak French fluently, but when it comes to translations, if a client asks me for that service, I provide it by working closely with a professional translator to make sure that my client gets the best and most accurate script possible.
Yes, it makes my voicing of the script a lot easier.
But, more importantly, using the right words will make my client look and sound good to their clients. And happy clients are always a good thing!