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winding down my sentences

 
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mikekakuk
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2005 1:43 pm    Post subject: winding down my sentences Reply with quote

Hi Everyone,



Just discovered this board and I am fairly new when it comes to voice over. One thing that has been suggested to me that I need to improve on is winding down my sentences. How do I get out of this habit and sound more natural. I tend to speak too quickly and when I slow down I seem to get stuck doing this



Thanks very much
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MichaelJ
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2005 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mikeakakakkukkkukaak....



I think everyone has his/her own tricks. Here's one that I use:



I tend to be very analytical AND visual in everything I do, and I use this habit to govern my delivery. If I have a chance to preview a script (which is USUALLY the case), I map it out in my head by phrase/sentence/paragraph/section/etc. in a sort of linear fashion.



For example, I recently narrated an educational video heavy on medical terminology. The direction I was given suggested that the video/graphics would be the focus of the DVD, and that the narration should be unobtrusive and SUPPORT the video. With this in mind, my delivery was--for the most part--a straight line. (It was nearly 45 freakin' minutes long, too! I nearly put MYSELF to sleep!)



Another way to think of this (since I don't think I explained it very well): Think of your everyday conversation in these terms.



For example, when you ask a question, your voice will be (generally) flat until the end of the sentence, when it slopes upward to indicate to the listener that it's a question, rather than an answer.



When you're excitedly listing a series of events, your voice will probably be more like a Charlie Brown zig-zag. Try this: "The concert was wicked awesome, man! The smoke machine exploded, then there was this hellacious fire, and the curtains melted, and even the strobes started popping, before the sprinklers came on and put it out! And the band kept playing!" If you actually make a fool of yourself (as I suggest you should) and read this as if you were living it, try really hitting the words "smoke", "hellacious", "curtains", "strobes", "sprinklers", and "out". Do that, and I DARE you to trail off the last sentence ("And the band kept playing!").



Okay...I'm getting carried away and punchy. I'm tired, and it's really cold in here.



Hopefully, this response will confuse you enough that you remain in the realm of educated/experienced guesswork in which the rest of us exist.



Good night.



-MikeWWWWWWWW
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mcm
Smart Kitteh


Joined: 10 Dec 2004
Posts: 2600
Location: w. MA, USA

PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2005 4:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

These days people are in the habit of speaking as if they're asking questions; you want to get into the habit of landing your sentences as if they're statements. Divide your copy into phrases, and vary the place where you land each one-- i.e., don't land all your sentences on the same musical note. That's monotony! Practise it with a telephone number. Try saying 1-800-555-1212. The 1-800 should be a phrase unto itself. Normally you would probably make it sound like there's more to come, but don't, make it sound like a statement, like "good for you!" the 555 would be a bit lower in pitch in its landing, then fold your arms, nod your head and utter a knowing "1212".



Listen to commercials on TV-- after paying attention to them for a while, you'll get the idea of what to do or not to do. And practise practise practise! There is no substitute.
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mcm
Smart Kitteh


Joined: 10 Dec 2004
Posts: 2600
Location: w. MA, USA

PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2005 5:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sorry-- I think the "555" should be a bit higher in pitch than 1-800, not lower. Clearly, you can think about this a lot.
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billelder
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Joined: 12 Nov 2004
Posts: 859
Location: K-Mart, Georgia

PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2005 7:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LOL! Yeah. Have you ever started to see how many different ways you could deliver a line? Eventually none of the words have any meaning. <g>
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Bill
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2005 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

billelder wrote:
LOL! Yeah. Have you ever started to see how many different ways you could deliver a line? Eventually none of the words have any meaning. <g>




or did you mean "Eventually, none of the words have any meaning.?" :twisted:



but seriously..i remember a college intern at my old tv station, had her in the sound booth trying to cut a track and every sentence, phrase etc, dropped off at the end into a pit of darkness. I asked her why she did that, and she said, that's what her teacher told her to do. ARRGGHH!!!



I suggested she listen, closely, to the newscasts, commercials, everything and try to emulate what she heard, but most of all remember she was speaking to someone, not reading.



we joke about the inflection, but it's good practice, play around with the inflections, and listen to which sounds correct to your ear.
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scooter2
Contributor IV


Joined: 11 Nov 2004
Posts: 111
Location: Rocky Mountain West

PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2005 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Count the different ways you can say. "Look at him."



I use that phrase in my workshops and have over twenty examples. Pretty challenging, especially, for the new comers.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2005 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the quick reply to my topic. I appreciate any advice I can get. Thanks very much.
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