A little bit about me…

I should probably start with this one fact……I have this approach to life where I like to do at least one personal development activity per year, whatever it might be. Sometimes I learn a new skill, sometimes I help others do the learning.

Either way, these activities help me to grow, and in some cases help me to help others grow too.

So what do these personal development activities look like, and what’s the point of it all?

Well, on one particular occasion back in 2007, my personal development activity was to enrol in Australia’s National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) and learn the art of voice over. 

As fate would have it, one of my instructors turned out to be one of Australia’s most prolific big brand voice over artists. Switch on the radio and television in Australia, wait a few minutes and chances are you would have heard his voice, it’s just that abundant. Now he was one of the instructors at this course and we kind of clicked, so much so that when the opportunity presented itself to be coached by him one-on-one in his personal recording studio, I jumped on-board.

Now just in case you’re wondering how my voice stacked up before I started this training and coaching…well…to be brutally honest, I thought I was a bit of a legend when it came to my voice…ok there, I admit it…. but what I didn’t realise was exactly how ineffective I really was. I used to think it was all about how the voice sounded, and didn’t really even think about the message I was really conveying.

Side story here….at the time I went to NIDA I was working as an organisational change manager for a large Aussie company and we were rolling out a massive financial system across several countries. As part of that rollout, we were implementing a new finance support team, and so we had set up a help desk and a telephone helpline so staff could contact the support team when they had problems.

You know what it’s like, we didn’t really have a budget for this type of thing so we ran an internal completion for one of the staff to be the “voice” of the Finance Help Desk. People who wanted to enter the competition just called in and left a message on a voicemail and there were a handful of managers on a panel who chose the winner.

And I thought, you know what, I’ve got a great voice I’m a shoe in, I’ve got this nailed.

And so I practised and practised…I actually have a recording of me practising my very best “John Laws voice” to do that recording…sheesh….. and so there I am doing my best imitation of a deep, bombastic radio announcer….and in hindsight, it was just so inauthentic that it was horrible….it sounded so fake and disengaging….there was no real meaning being communicated….it was just a guy trying to sound like somebody else, nothing authentic in that at all.

But at the time I thought it was magnificent because my ear over the years had been tuned to FM radio and my idea of what a good voice sounded like was the big bombastic radio announcer voice; anyway, back to my story…..

They’re about to announce the winner and I’m thinking I’m a shoe in… nobody who entered the competition sounds as deep and bombastic as me.

But you know what? I didn’t even come close…a friend of mine got it and when I heard what she recorded, I couldn’t tell you why I liked hers more than I liked mine, but I just did…..and that’s one of the reasons why I went to NIDA, I thought I don’t know what she’s got, I don’t know how she did it but she instinctively understood the 3 or 4 things she needed to do to make it sound engaging and authentic….it just really drew you in. So I decided I’m going to learn how to do this because I never want to feel that way again, I never want to be the guy who thinks he’s nailed it only to find out how crap he really is.

To cut to the chase here, I spent the next few years studying voice-over technique with my new mentor, learning the art of using voice to communicate meaning in a way that engages the listener….and 6 years down the track I’m still a student of voice and communication, but I’m also a voice over artist in my own right, and my voice has been heard on corporate training and business communications for some well known brands including Microsoft, Vodafone, Telstra, LG, ANZ Bank, Symantec, Novartis Pharmaceuticals and K-Mart; together with work for many more not so well known, small-to-medium business brands.

I’ve started this blog because I want to shared what I’ve learned over many years of personal and professional development, to share with you some of the tools, teachings and techniques I’ve acquired over a lifetime of learning. And as I acquire more of the good stuff moving forward, I’d like to share it with you along the way…fair enough?

Follow me on my journey as I carve out my own unique corner on the Internet, and help you build and deliver your own unique message also.

Phew….this “About” section turned out to be MUCH longer than I expected…..to anyone still reading, I hope it wasn’t too boring…thanks for listening and I look forward to hearing what you have to say 🙂

Speak Up. Be heard.



  • Richard

    Reply Reply March 4, 2014

    Hi Con,

    I’m also part of the P2S program with week 4 now completed. Just a couple of pointers concerning your blog:

    1) Did you go for black and white for your social network buttons for a reason?

    2) I was advised by a well respected UK marketer Martin Avis to break posts down into small chunks to make them easier to read…max 6 lines per paragraph…just thought I would share that with you.

    Please feel free to comment on my blog too:-) I think is is good for SEO to comment on the blog rather than the members forum or Facebook…the more links coming and going the better I think.

    Good luck!


    • Con Dolmas

      Reply Reply March 16, 2014

      Hi Richard,

      Thanks for the brilliant tip about max 6 lines per paragraph…that’s one I’ll be implementing immediately.

      In answer to your question, I went for the black and white social buttons purely for aesthetics.

      Thanks for leaving a comment.


  • Kim

    Reply Reply March 11, 2014


    I’m going to follow what you have to say here, it sounds really interesting 🙂


    • Con Dolmas

      Reply Reply March 16, 2014

      Thanks for the kind words Kim.

      Please let me know if there is anything in particular that you’d like to hear about 🙂


  • Gordon Smith

    Reply Reply April 18, 2014

    Hi Con,

    What an interesting page, and I for one will be following what you have to say about developing your own voice for recording. I think everyone in the P2S course will more than likely be developing a video within their product for the course any tips for developing your voice will be very useful.

    Doesn’t Sean Connery have a great voice? Bond, James Bond.

    I can hear his voice in my imagination.

    look forward to those voice over tips.


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