To be in shape for recording voice over, I read out loud for at least 15 minutes daily (or add the minutes up and make up for the missed day/s when I skip that practice). When I read, I do it pronouncing the words very clearly and honour the punctuation to adjust my intonation accordingly. Exactly how I would if I was reading for the voice over recording. If there are pieces of dialogue, I sometimes act them out too, makes it so much more fun. For this practice I’d use a book I’m currently reading, news or blog article that I clicked to read or even a lengthier friend’s social post.. So, it is incorporated into my routine quite effortlessly, I read at home, on the terrace or by the lake, choosing relatively quiet places where I wouldn’t necessarily be seen or disturbed/disturbing others. So yeah, I avoid this practice in social places, like on the bus or in cafeteria, although that could have been quite a funny experience, especially if I’d set up the camera to record reactions of the people around me (sketch idea?).
Before recording I try not to eat or drink dairy products like milk, yoghurt, cheese etc, any sugary things like chocolate or sweets, caffeine, sodas, alcohol or greasy/spicy foods. Also, nothing too cold or too hot. Eating greasy and spicy foods or dairy products can give heartburn, dairy products thickens the mucus that will imply me having to clear my throat more often, which is the last thing I’d want to be doing during the recording. Caffeine and chocolate dries out the throat and sodas contain not only sugars but also the bubbles, which might prompt belching in front of that microphone.. Emm, yikes, nope thanks. What I do eat/drink is room temperature water or herbal tea, a spoonful of honey, fresh fruit, nuts, salads. All of these keep mucus membranes and throat nice and healthy.
On the day of recording I’d warm up with some breathing exercises to make sure I’m using my diaphragm rather than the chest voice when I record, stretch my face muscles by making funny faces and do the lip roll. By the way, I also sometimes go through this routine before I start with my daily reading.
Lastly, when recording, I speak clearly and with confidence, as if I’d be talking with a friend and telling a story and make sure that I mean what I say when I say it so it sounds believable, rather than something I’m reading off the piece of paper. Having attended tonnes of acting classes and spent time on film sets and theatre stages certainly helps acting out the text and sounding natural, adjusted to the situation I’m meant to be in.
Hope this was somewhat helpful. Click –> HERE to hear the latest voice over that I have done for the ACM‘s video on Multiparty Privacy in Social media. I also appear in the video’s b-roll browsing social media and taking selfies 🙂