VAM 126 | Speech Problems that Might Be Holding You Back

VAM 126 | Speech Problems that Might Be Holding You Back

Welcome to episode 126 of the Voice Acting Mastery podcast with yours truly, Crispin Freeman!

As always, you can listen to the podcast using the player above, or download the mp3 using the link at the bottom of this blog post. The podcast is also available via the iTunes Store online. Just follow this link to view the podcast in iTunes:

In this episode, I’d like to spend some time discussing how important it is to be aware of what you sound like when you’re speaking. I have watched too many of my voice acting students struggle because they are unaware of what their own voice actually sounds like. Unbeknownst to many, what you hear inside your head when you’re speaking is not what others hear. If you haven’t taken the time to get to know how you actually sound to the rest of the world, you’re missing out on crucial information that can make or break your voice acting career. Not only do you need to be aware of the tone or timbre of your voice, but you also need to become intimately familiar with your habitual manner of speaking and how you articulate words. Like a musician playing an instrument, it’s vital that you understand exactly what kind of sounds you are producing and how they are perceived by others. Without such self-awareness, you will not know how to modify your delivery for different characters you’re asked to play, or how to make precise vocal adjustments in order to communicate effectively to your audience.

For some actors, their habitual manner of speech might be fine for portraying certain characters. These actors may have a sound that is marketable or popular at the moment, so they may not feel the need to spend much time thinking about how they sound. After all, it’s working so far. Meanwhile, other actors may struggle to be considered for parts because they may have regionalisms or enunciation problems which make it difficult for producers to cast them. Regardless of whether you are blessed with a currently marketable sound, or have some speech challenges that you need to overcome, at some point nearly every actor will be asked to play a character who speaks with a different intonation, accent, or vocal quality than the one you use in everyday life. In those situations, you need to be able to modify the way you speak in order to suit the character you’re being asked to portray.

While at first it may seem obvious that a voice actor needs to know what they sound like and how they speak, you might be surprised at how often I work with people who seem completely unaware of either of these things. If someone on the outside points out that they might have regionalisms or limiting speech patterns, they can often become quite defensive. In this episode, I want to explain why this is and help share some useful tools to help you overcome any limitations you might be facing due to habitual speech patterns. Changing how we speak is actually an incredibly emotional topic and can make many people feel uncomfortable. Hopefully by the end of this episode, you’ll not only understand the underlying issues at work here, but you’ll have a far better grasp on what you as a voice actor can do to avoid any speech problems that might be holding you back.
Download Voice Acting Mastery Episode #126 Here (MP3)


One Response to “VAM 126 | Speech Problems that Might Be Holding You Back”

  1. Eric Rivera says:

    My parents kept me inside a lot when I was a kid. I was mostly watching Disney animated movies. However, I still slur some of my words or drop letters like everyone else.

    People don’t like criticism. It’s just the way people are. They will try to avoid it. Listening to one’s own voice opens that window for self-criticism, so people avoid it.

    Thank you for your time and wisdom.

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