Got a Great Speaking Voice? Why That Isn’t Enough – Part 2

In Part 1 of this blog post I touched on certain basic techniques that a voice over artist needs to develop, Pitch, Pace & Pause

Now, to do each of these techniques justice I would need a whole blog post for just a single P, perhaps something I’ll do in the future if anyone is interested, but for the moment all I’m going to say about them is that we each have a natural speech pattern that generally does a good job when it comes to pitch, pace and pause.

Yes, you heard me right we instinctively employ these techniques when we’re just being ourselves.

You do it, I do it, your mother does it, we all do it and the biggest challenge when training new voice over artists, ironically enough, is actually getting them to be their natural selves.

Let me take a moment to just illustrate this point because I think it’s an important one to grasp.

Imagine that you and I are both at a party and we’ve been chatting away for the last 15 minutes. You’ve been telling me about something that recently happened in your life, something that really excited you, and quite naturally, you’ll speak with a certain pitch, possibly high pitch when excited, and probably low pitch when being sombre or conspiratorial.

Now, you’ll pace yourself at a certain rate, when something important is being conveyed, you’ll slow down, to emphasize its importance and speed up again when you think I got the message.

Your voice will have a certain quality about it; in that situation it’ll probably be friendly, natural and perhaps confident.

OK so what’s the point of all this you might ask?

Well, if I was to produce a transcript of everything you just said, handed it to you on a sheet of paper and put you in front of a microphone; it would be like this miraculous transformation takes place.

It’s like you’ve suddenly turned into a different person – you’ll use a different voice, different pitch (with men it’s usually lower – just think about the “corporate voice” you use when you get up to make a presentation in front of Senior Management!)

You use a different pace and your natural affinity for pausing will go out the window, you’ll even employ a different set of inflections. And trying to get you back to being your natural self will take quite a bit of work, but that’s a topic for another day.

So next time someone says to you “you’ve got a great voice, you’d make a great voice over artist’….ask yourself the question, do I also have the technique to be an engaging voice over artist?

Do you feel your “live” voice sounds different to your “recorded” voice? Let me know below.

Speak Up. Be Heard



  • Rose

    Reply Reply March 11, 2014

    Wow! I just realized how it makes sense, that just because you have a great voice that’s not necessarily what people are looking for.

    I am a singer, and have had voice training and had thought about doing voice overs, but I hadn’t had the time to look into the equipment aspect of it. I guess I thought I could be a natural at voice overs.

    I realize now, that there’s a lot more involved! It is definitely something I might like to learn in the future.

    The information you are providing is very enlightening.

    • Con Dolmas

      Reply Reply March 16, 2014

      Hi Rose,

      As a singer with voice training, you’ve got a fantastic base from which to start thinking about voice overs, especially voice overs for your own marketing material. Now having said that, it may surprise you to hear that its not the “great voice” that give you an advantage, it’s your training around breath-control that will serve you most. You see, as a trained singer, you’ve more than likely mastered the art of breathing from your diaphragm, and that’s something many non-singers struggle with.

      Thanks for sharing your comments here.


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