Why Voice Over Training?

People ask me all the time, “How do I get started in voice overs?”  Great question! Great person to ask too as I’ve been actively involved in this industry for over 20 years as a voice talent, producer, and after significant experience, as a coach.  So they ask this question with eager anticipation, awaiting the answer they want to hear!  I am not a Magic 8 Ball! I am a voice over professional, so I give them the honest answer, the real answer, and am mystified by their response.  I tell them to make the decision to do it and to get proper voice over training and professionally produced demos, which are essential to their success as a voice over talent.

At that point a litany of excuses pour out about how they want to make money now, they’ve been told they have a great voice and should do voice overs (mind you these comments come from people outside of the voice over industry!), they cannot afford or are unwilling to pay so much money for training, etc., …basically, they want to hear that, “I’ve never heard such an incredible voice in all my life and, of course, I will help them get started for free, and make them an overnight sensation!”

Reality check!  Ask a doctor how to become a doctor and inevitably the answer will include going to medical school; ask a pilot how to get started as a pilot and inevitably the answer will include flight school; ask any professional how to get started in the field in which they are working and training will be part of the answer.   The voice over industry is no exception! Here’s the bottom line, as stated by best-selling author of The Fred Factor: How Passion in Your Work and Life Can Turn the Ordinary into the Extraordinary, Mark Sanborn, “Amateurs wing it; professionals prepare.”And in the field of voice overs, winging it simply doesn’t fly!

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When Business Gets Slow, Are You Covered?

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What’s your game plan when business gets slow? Are you COVERED?

Compensation is the direct result of habits and stimulating it requires fostering the specific habits of Organization, Vacation, Evaluation, Relation, Education, and Dedication.

Organization is an ongoing task that is often overlooked until we are completely overwhelmed and forced to deal with the ramifications of clutter and procrastination!

Vacation or simply taking the time to relax, rest, and rejuvenate is just as necessary to productivity as long hours spent in the studio recording, editing, and auditioning.

Evaluation and introspection are imperative in honestly assessing business goals and marketing strategies, uncovering opportunities and areas for improvement.

Relation to audiences and clients is vital to building business, as is effective networking with other voice over talents and creative directors.

Education, coaching, and staying abreast of the latest trends in the industry are all critical components of a successful voice over career. No one is ever too good to keep learning!

Dedication is evident in our attitude, in how we approach our business and how we choose to invest in it through self-improvement and in giving back to others in the industry and community.

So go ahead and get your files, books, and financials in order!  Clean your studio!  The mess has been getting to you anyway.   Get that therapeutic hot stone massage that is so long overdue!  Go away for the weekend and just be! Revisit your goals and brainstorm ways to market yourself.

Update your website.  Reconnect with past clients.  Join your local chamber of commerce.  Update your Facebook Fan Page.  Take that improv class or meet some friends at a comedy club.  It’s okay to laugh and study delivery at the same time!

Subscribe to magazines like Adweek, Brandweek, and Variety.  Become an expert on topics in the industry or interview those who are and create an e-newsletter and blog!

Find a way to add value to what you already offer!  Business slowdowns will occur, but I’ve found it’s much better to be COVERED than to lower my head and feel sorry for myself!

Here’s to your success!

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Are You Teachable?

The key to finding voice over jobs lies in how well you market yourself! The key to landing voice over jobs is your level of preparation and execution. The key to preparation and execution lies in teachability. Outstanding actors and actresses are outstanding because they listen to the director! Even coaches get coaching. I do!

Teachability determines success, especially in the voice over business. Successful voice over talents are directable. They are active listeners who crave to learn and improve, willing to implement the direction given, and strong enough to put their personal opinions aside for the sake of learning something new and delivering what the client wants.

Some of the greatest rewards of being teachable include learning to see the script in a different light, correcting bad habits such as rushing the script and redundancy, and maintaining a humility that keeps one approachable and a pleasure with which to work. I’ve learned that no one is ever too good to stop learning and those who think they are too good to learn are not that good!

Do you mimic the commercials you hear on the radio or TV? What a great opportunity to practice and learn from others who have been cast! Additionally, practice reading all kinds of scripts, listen back to the audio, and record again. It’s amazing what one can learn by simply doing that! Also, take an improve class! Aside from being a ton of fun, its great practice for thinking on your feet, releasing inner creativity, and really getting out of the comfort zone. Further, practice reading scripts that aren’t comfortable for you; it will make the easier ones better!

So how vital is having a quality coach and mentor in voice over work? It’s a must! Like learning an instrument, it takes patience, dedication and commitment. The right coach and a teachable attitude is the difference between playing Jingle Bells and Beethoven’s 5th!

Are you teachable?

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Terry Daniel at Voice 2010

It’s official! I am very honored and excited to announce that I will be speaking at “Voice 2010″ in Los Angeles this summer! I will be teaming up with my esteemed colleague, news anchor and voice talent, Dave Courvoisier. We’ll be conducting a seminar on Profitability, Productivity and Results: Getting Voice Over Work through Social Networking!

I am thrilled to be presenting with Dave on this topic as we are good friends and have developed some awesome chemistry over the years. This is sure to be a phenomenal event! I’d like to thank James Alburger and Penny Abshire for inviting us to be a part of the largest voice over event in the world! Stay tuned!

For more information on Voice 2010, click on this link; http://voiceacting.com/dap/a/?a=517

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If The Mic Isn’t Rockin’, Start Walkin’

When the mic is rockin’, don’t bother knockin’! Okay, so what do you do if it’s just not rockin’ and you’re having a tough time getting it to come out right? Instead of getting frustrated and stressed out, take a break and come back to it.

That’s right! Go for a walk, turn up some music, make yourself a cup of green tea or take a power nap. Fifteen minutes can do wonders! While excessive napping doesn’t pay too well, either does excessive stress. My personal favorite? I go out and play football with my dog, Kaytee.

The point is to just break away from the studio – completely remove yourself and escape for a bit so that you can refresh! If you force it to happen when it isn’t, you’re frustration will come across in the recording. The voice is transparent and modulates to express our span of emotions. Any frustration, anxiety, and stress will show through, stalling the flow, zapping the energy and enthusiasm from your voice.

It’s like a good major league pitcher who just doesn’t have his good stuff on a particular day.

So go ahead and break away! You’ll come back to the studio refreshed, full of vibrance in your voice, and ready to deliver!

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Gamehide TV Commercial

Here’s a TV spot that I did a while back.


Find more videos like this on VU

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The Perfect Home Studio

I’d like to invite you on a video tour of my home studio. This is proof that you don’t need 10K to have an effective set up. All I did was put up a wall with some sheet rock and then sound proofed the room with Auralex. I discuss all kinds of equipment in full detail in my core-training programs.

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Procrastination is Poison

How many times a month do we hear ourselves utter the phrase, “I’ll get to it tomorrow”. I’ve been guilty of it. We all have. What we do about it? Take action! Action is the cure for the poison of procrastination. Even the slightest bit of action seems to scare procrastination away.

As a voice actor, discipline and focus are an integral part of being successful and is needed to ensure projects are completed in a timely manner to create and maintain a foundation of trust with each client.

The greats have known this for a long time. The esteemed writer, historian and teacher, Thomas Carlyle asserted that, “Our grandest business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what clearly lies at hand.” Renowned English philosopher John Locke remarked that, “The actions of men are the best interpreters of their thoughts.” Procrastination blocks our personal magnetism; it weighs us down, bringing upon us negative, counterproductive feelings of guilt, shame, and anxiety. It robs us of opportunity and prevents us from enjoying our successes by filling up precious space in our minds with what we have failed to do! Even describing it sounds depressing!

So I challenge you to pick one thing, just one thing, you have been putting off and begin to take action. As you do, you will feel the negative power of procrastination dissipate and you will exude a new-found level of joy and confidence. Make this a habit and see how your life transforms! Now if you’ll kindly excuse me, I must get back to the task at hand… right after I let my dog out! :)

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Can You Take The Stress?

Starting a business is one of the most stressful things you can do. It will affect you mentally, physically and emotionally. You need to be strong to deal with this kind of stress, and you need to have someone to turn to for support.

Are You a Survivor?

There are some people who always seem to make it in the end, regardless of what life throws at them. You need to be the kind of person whose response to things going wrong is to work harder and get it fixed, not someone who cries and goes into hiding.
Many entrepreneurs say that this, more than anything, is the secret of success. You need to be a ‘never say die’ kind of person. You need to be always ready to try again, no matter what gets thrown at you. Remember that it’s not when things start to go wrong that you fail – you haven’t failed until you’ve given up.

Be Prepared to Work Hard

If you’ve been doing a standard nine-to-five job, you’re probably used to a world where it’s someone else’s responsibility if the work doesn’t get done – you work as fast as you can for the hours you’re told to, and if it’s not done on time then it’s the manager’s fault for not hiring enough people. When you work on your own, though, there’s no-one to blame – the buck stops where it starts, with you.

Do you have a Start-up Plan?

A Startup Plan is basically the list of everything that must happen to get the business up and running from the initial idea to scouting locations to securing vendors to getting licenses to stocking the shelves to opening the doors to marketing and advertising to managing growth and on and on.

A Startup Plan is not as detailed as a business plan. It is essentially the “to do” list for starting a business, though it is every bit as important as a business plan because the Startup Plan serves as the blueprint for getting the business up and running.

Trying to launch a business without a Startup Plan is like taking a trip along a curvy, mountain road without a map, driving at high speeds, while wearing a blindfold. You will eventually arrive at some destination, but it’s likely to not be the destination you had in mind and your trip will be anything but smooth.

Create you startup plan with a simple spreadsheet and build out from there. Start by simply listing everything that you can think of that must be done to launch the business. Once you have the list break down each task into individual action items, assign each item to a responsible party and set a target completion date. A task without a deadline will not get done.

You Need to Satisfy The Customer.

When you run a home business, you can’t afford to lose any customers. You need to always be nice to them, trying to meet their needs. You have to remember that you’re the most senior person they can talk to in this organization, and you have to act like it – when there’s no-one other than you to handle complaints, you have to either give in to customers at every opportunity or watch them take their business elsewhere.

Do You Really Love Doing Voice Overs?

If you don’t love what you do, then sooner or later you’re going to want to stop doing it – and when you run a home business, that’s difficult. Besides, you can’t run a home business if you’re always sitting and thinking about how great it’ll be when it’s the weekend. The only way to succeed in home business is to be absolutely sure that you really love what you’re doing. If you can think of another job you’d rather have, then you’re in trouble.

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Thankful For Family

What a month this has been. One sister has a car accident, another has a seizure and yours truly is taken to the ER for shortness of breath. We are all okay and these incidents have only made our family stronger and closer.

This is the time to slow down and appreciate everything that presents itself. You can’t predict what will happen from day to day. Take a deep breath, smell the flowers, and do something wonderful for someone.

Have a great Sunday! :)

Terry Daniel

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