Shifting Gears Into a Voice for Radio

Nov 20, 2018 at 8:29am

Shifting Gears Into a Voice for Radio

Whether you’re considering trying your voice in the world of radio, or you’re searching for a voice talent to use for your air time, knowing the key factors of great voice talent is a necessity. Radio voiceovers are different than those for other mediums. Some of the most important vocal qualities in voiceovers for radio are:

  • Good rhythm
  • Musicality
  • Range
  • Authority
  • Clarity
  • Natural
  • Sounding interested

It’s smart to keep all these in mind when practicing or selecting your voice talent, but there’s one of these qualities that is especially important. All great voices for radio do one thing in common: speak naturally. On-air media has changed from the typical gruff sounding male and cheerful female. Now, sounding comfortable and speaking naturally, as you would in a typical conversation, is the key to successful voice overs for radio. Your voice doesn’t need to fit into any particular trope. The great on-air media stars are the ones with the natural ability to communicate, which starts with sounding like yourself -- not a radio voice you are trying to emulate. You want to sound like yourself, not like an announcer because listeners perceive greater authenticity from a voice that sounds conversational. Your goal is not to sound like you’re delivering a speech, but to be personable and intimate with the listeners.

If you’re a voice actor, how do you make yourself sound natural while reading copy written by someone else? Read through the script a few times and put at aside. Then record yourself delivering the information however you naturally would. Listen to that recording and you’ll hear the vocal delivery style you want on the air. If sounding comfortable means tweaking the copy to fit your vocal patterns, you can often do that too.

When you’re recording your voiceovers, try to imagine yourself in a normal conversation. Don’t think too hard about inflection or tone – just do what comes naturally. That’s what will speak to your audience.

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