Master the voicing your Clients
& Listeners want to hear
Add captivating and engaging elements to your VO reads and Audiobook characters
Learn the most in-demand voiceover skill!
It’s the most common client-direction in voiceover today: “We want this to sound conversational and NOT SALESY!” It’s also the most deceptively difficult skill for voiceover artists to master. What does it even mean? How far should we take it when we interpret our scripts? And how do we achieve this seemingly mythical sound?
The only thing that’s clear is this: If we can learn how to sound truly “conversational and authentic”, we can win far more auditions, please far more clients, become far more in-demand…and ultimately, earn far more money!
In this course, you’ll learn from Donny Baarns, who’s voiced over 10,000 projects in a decade-long career, and has become known for his ability to nail conversational reads. Don Baarns, the world’s foremost Voiceover Tech expert, also contributes his decades of experience in the performance world. Between their insights and banter, you’ll learn, laugh, and grow your skillset exponentially.
The “Mastering Conversational Voice Over” Course is a comprehensive and immersive journey designed to empower you with the art and science of impactful vocal communication. Using fun and illuminating real-world examples from film, television, and voiceover scripts, this course will equip you with advanced, actionable techniques that will set you apart in the hyper-competitive VO world! Learn how to harness the full potential of your voice, allowing you to convey nuance and emotion effortlessly.
Here are just some of the concepts you’ll learn in “Mastering Conversational Reads”:
Mastering Conversational Reads
Here’s everything you get, instantly!
Book more work, and harness the full potential of your voice
Focused Video Modules
1 - Conversational Voicing: Challenges, Frustrations, and Solutions
Reading "conversationally" is one of our biggest challenges as a voiceover artist. We discuss what "conversational" actually means, why traditional voiceover coaching sometimes doesn't adequately help us with this, and how we're going to break down the foundational elements of an authentic sound in this course. Get ready for the Seven Habits of Highly Conversational Voiceover!
2 - The 1st Habit of Highly Conversational VO
You've probably restricted yourself from doing this one simple thing when reading your scripts, and in many cases, you don't need to. We'll show you what it is, and how this simple trick can instantly make your reads sound far more natural and comfortable.
3 - Habit #2: How to add endless variety & life to your reads
This skill is so powerful and multi-faceted that it can transform your voiceover career (over time, as you master it!) Learn how you can create endless variation, subtlety, and energy for your performances. If you get really good at this Habit, no one will EVER accuse you of being an AI voice again.
4 - Habit #2, Part 2
As we'll do throughout the course, we look at some real-life scripts, and show you how we could apply our newly-learned Habit to them. How does viewing our scripts like a winding road help us interpret copy and make it jump off the page?
5 - Habit #3: Creating an Intimate, Personal Sound
We explain a technique that seems counter-intuitive, and even impossible at first. But it's actually very doable, and it can put a completely different spin on the same copy. The ability to do this often sets established, proven VO talents apart from the newbies; you can get there far faster, though, because you'll be armed with it!
6 - Habit #3, Part 2
We apply this latest Habit to some real scripts, and show how we can use it to make listeners lean into our voices, instead of forcing our voices on them.
7 - Habit #4: It's Not Just Your Mouth
We're often completely focused on what our mouth is doing, while we completely ignore the rest of our body! But good voice acting is good acting, which means that we need to involve our whole body as much as possible. We'll show you how, and discuss how you might overcome some of the challenges that your recording space presents.
8 - Habit #5: The On-Ramp
Have you ever found the very beginning of a script (or a particular paragraph) to be the most difficult part? Have you felt that once you're into the copy and in-flow, it seems much easier...but that opening line just flummoxes you and feels awkward? We'll show you how to build a personalized mental device that will get you into a script or a paragraph in a much more natural and conversational way, so that you can nail that opening line with genuine-sounding comfort and confidence!
9 - Habit #5, Part 2
Concrete examples from real scripts, and example On-Ramps that you can steal and use right away (or use them to brainstorm your own)! This technique is highly customizable, and when you get good at it, it should be done in your own voice.
10 - Habit #6: Is Your Equipment Making You Sound Stiff?!
This trick is so dead-simple that most people completely overlook it, and then they tend to fight it once they're made aware. But there's a particular piece of studio equipment that you're probably using, and if you'd be willing to do without it (at least partially), you would likely start to sound much less like a "voiceover person" and more like a human person. 🙂 We tell you what it is, and build the case for why you should try what we're suggesting!
11 - Habit #7: English Teachers HATE This One Weird Trick
Seriously, your school's English instructor would've Failed you for this...but in voiceover, it can add a HUGE amount of spontaneity, personality, and organic-sounding authenticity to our reads. When a client absolutely demands that a script sound like "a real conversation and not an ad", use this technique and watch them be wowed by how you deliver exactly what they've been looking for (and what so many other voiceover artists couldn't give them)!
12 - Habit #7, Part 2: Where and How?
This technique is especially powerful in some very specific voiceover situations. We'll show you examples of what those are, and how this Habit transforms these particular kinds of reads.
13 - Frequently Encountered Challenge #1: Word-Salad Client Briefs
How do we give our best, most authentic read when a client has given us a Brief that sounds like a thesaurus? How are we meant to hold twelve different adjectives in our heads at once? ("Conversational! Yet professional! Authoritative, but not too heavy-handed! Genuine, with a big hint of good humor, but also serious; like you're an older sibling but also a loving and slightly exasperated parent sitting on a warm rock in the summer sunshine while feeling the mist of a waterfall in your hair and admiring the majestic gait of an adorable llama! Also, please make it sound authentic!") How do we simplify, cut through the fog of client bluster, and focus our minds on what matters most in that script?
14 - Frequently Encountered Challenge #2: Lists & Triplets
How do we deal with a client who insists that they want a "conversational read", yet who also loads their scripts with bullet-point lists and triplets ("The benefits of our product include this, this, and this")...neither of which are how we tend to talk in real-life? We'll demonstrate a couple simple ways to make these recurring, stiff-sounding script elements sound much more natural.
15 - Frequently Encountered Challenge #3: Dense, Technical...yet Conversational?!
What happens when a client says "We want this to sound like a conversation, not a lecture", and then hands you a script full of dense technical terms and completely non-conversational syntax? We discuss how to communicate with clients, how to interpret what they might actually mean, and how to "tenderize" a particularly tough piece of voiceover meat into something that sounds much more palatable.
16 - Frequently Encountered Challenge #4: When Client Notations Just Don't Work
Ever received a script where the client has seemingly bolded every other word in nearly every other phrase, and also included copious notes in the margins on how every word should be emphasized? Well, the customer isn't always right, and we talk through what to do about that. 🙂
17 - Frequently Encountered Challenge #5: Big, Bold, and STILL Conversational
There are some particular types of voiceover scripts that actually require a fast, hard-sell sound...yet still need to sound conversational as well. How do we do both of those things at once? It's possible, and we show you how.
18 - Wrap Up: Mastering Conversations AND Mindset
The course ends here, but the learning never does! We wrap up by talking about practical mindsets that you'll need in order to implement and develop your own applications of these Habits and techniques. Keeping these principles in mind will put you in a terrific place as you separate yourself from the crowded voiceover pack!
About Your InstructoRS
Donny Baarns & Don Baarns. We’ve spent years voicing, optimizing, and teaching Voicing techniques to people just like you! Learn from masters of the craft…on your own time!
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