A lot of people are a bit scared of using their voice in order to promote their business because they think it might not be good enough or they don’t really like the sound of their own voice. But we’re here to tell you that you have to put all of that aside; that it doesn’t really matter! The point is, you have a voice and people are out there to listen to your message. We have to get over our own little fears and realize that our voice is there to give a message only. If not, then you can always make use of somebody else’s voice. But we’re going to focus on how you’re going to use your own voice and how you can do it well to promote your own business and propel it forward using simple techniques to do with the voice, how to use it, when to use it, and exactly what to do to get it up and running so that your promotional video will move forward. When we’re talking about voice, we have to consider these aspects.
The first thing that we have to look at is that it has to be your own VOICE. As mentioned, a lot of people think that they don’t like their own voice or they don’t like the sound of their own voice. But once you get over your own fear, you’ll realize that you’re not listening to yourself; other people are listening to the methods that you are talking about, and if you realize that everyone sounds different, you should be right. So people are not judging you, they are actually listening to your message.
But you might ask what happens if you don’t have a booming voice or a radio voice similar to those DJs which you hear on the late night shows with really deep and beautiful sounding voices. If you don’t have one of those, well it doesn’t matter. It really is a matter of just being you. Don’t try to be something else and don’t try to be something different. You just need to relax, have a drink of water, and have everything prepared and practiced. Practice what you’re going to talk about. Just remember, it’s your voice and you should be proud of it. When you talk, when you actually use your voice in the video for promotional purposes, you just need to talk as if you’re talking one-on-one to someone else; not to millions or thousands of people, but just to one. Pretend you’re talking to your best friend about your business and how it started. So that’s the aspect of your voice.
The second thing we need to consider is DICTION and how well you sound your words, how crisp and clear they are. Do you have clarity when you speak? Are your words clear? Can people understand the words you are speaking? A good trick to do to make sure you have good diction, and certainly what a lot of good radio DJs do as well, or even stage play people when they get up on stage and practice, they open their mouth, as if you’re talking like a wide-mouthed frog. In other words, you don’t want to mumble, and you don’t want to keep your mouth closed while you’re talking. When you’re talking on the radio and you want to promote something, open your mouth and pronounce your words very well. Talking with your mouth half-closed will make you mumble. It will make you unclear to hear, your diction will be muffled, and you won’t sound as clear as you probably should. So one of the tips we say on practicing you diction is to open your mouth and pronounce your words very well, and sound the words out with your mouth, if that makes sense. As is someone’s watching you and they are watching your facial expression and you are pronouncing every expression on your face as you’re talking very well. That is a way of giving proper diction to your words.
The next major aspect in using your voice in a promotional piece is your ACCENT. Everyone has an aspect to their voice and it’s called an accent. Don’t worry about this because we all are speaking of a message and that’s the point. Just realize though that when you are speaking your own language, try and listen if you are sounding slow and drawn-out. This is because every country has a different accent within that country as well. When you’re speaking in your own language, you have to make sure that you are speaking clearly, and in diction that everybody in the world can understand. You can do this by imagining that you are travelling overseas. If you’re greater audience is indeed international, imagine that you’re travelling through one of these countries. If you’re speaking way too fast or way too slow, they might not understand your accent. You could watch what you speak of and how you speak, imagining that you’re talking to the greater international population. They are not all English-speaking countries with English-speaking people.
I’m not saying you have to go out of your way and put on an American accent or an English accent, especially if you’re from another country. I’m just saying, slow down and listen to your words as you speak and ask yourself, “Would someone else understand what I’m speaking of because I’m talking slowly, using the proper diction in our language, and sounding my words out?” There’s a big difference. The main thing is just be you. Use your own accent and just relax. If you’re doing a video for your business promotion, they will want to see you as the promotional person, so they will want to see your accent as well. They will want to hear your way of speech, not some other put-on character. This is because they would want to do business with you and they would want to see you in person. So don’t worry about your accent, and don’t try to be something that you’re not, just be yourself.
The next aspect that we would want to consider if we’re doing a video or voice over for business promotion is DON’T RACE. We need to be patient, we need to speak slowly and well, so don’t race through your speech. If you notice that when you’re in school or when you have to get up and do some sort of oral presentation or speak in front of a few people, most people get nervous and tighten their chest up and they speak a lot quicker, trying to get through it all. But when you’re doing some sort of voice over, it’s very important that you don’t race. Take your time, just speak clearly, and you can even pause between words. Silence is okay for a short period. And if you look at a pause in some sort of speech, sometimes you mean to do pauses. Sometimes you want to emphasize things with a pause. Sometimes you need to slow down and emphasize certain words without racing, not speaking too quickly, and taking your time through what you want to deliver. They will understand what your message is a lot clearer and a lot more precise.
The next major aspect is EMOTION. When we speak, we speak with emotion. Believe it or not, you can have so many emotions coming through when you just do a simple speech. You can sound excited, sleepy, just plain uninterested, or you can sound happy. We have to understand that certain words need to be emphasized. When we emphasize them, we can put emotion into them as well. If you’re telling a really sad story, you would want to put a certain emotion into it. If you’re telling a happy or joyous story, you would want to put a happy emotion into your speech. When you’re talking about your business, you can certainly put raw emotion into your speech as well. That’s what we’re really giving, a delivery of a message with some sort of intent, an emotion that we want to spark in our audience, to our listeners. They are always open to emotion and you being the speech giver, just through your voice, can deliver a really happy, really sad, really anxious, or a well-controlled speech which gets people interested in what you have to say. It’s all in the delivery of what we are trying to portray.
Certain words need certain emotion put into them. You need to understand this concept so that when you give your speech or presentation, the whole thing changes meaning. Speaking of meaning, there are different types of videos or audios for different types of delivery. An introduction video or speech would sound totally different to a sales video or speech which would also sound totally different to a welcome tutorial or some sort of training video or speech. They all have different emotion and they all spark different feelings in your audience. So when you’ve giving these, you’ve got to analyze what type or presentation you are giving, whether it is an introduction, a sales, a lead capture, some sort of training video, or whatever it might be. You don’t want to give the wrong impression. You want to make sure you give the right emotion in the right type of speech or voice over. This is particularly important when you’re doing video. We need to consider that these aspects have to fall in line with what we are trying to achieve.
The next question to ask then is, “What voice should I use?” Essentially, you need to match your voice to the target market. That might mean that your voice is not suitable to the target market. It might mean that you need to get a voice over from somebody else. It might mean that you need to get a professional voice over. To determine this, you really need to analyze what type of market you have. If you’re selling ladies underwear, a man doing a voice over might not be quite apt or suitable. If you’re selling men’s workshop tools, building sheds, or outdoor equipment, then a quiet lady voice might not be suitable as well. If you’re video has to do with elderly people and the products and services that they might want, then a young and impressionable voice might not be suitable. You might need to get an older voice on there as well. So you see what we’re doing? We’re trying to match our voice to the market. And especially if you’re doing some sort of video product, video presentation, or even just a promotional piece for your business, your voice should match your market.
This also comes down to what country or audience is the specific nationality that you might be targeting. You might be targeting mostly Americans, and in that case, you might be better off getting an American to do the voice over, or some similar thing. It really depends on whether you have an international business or a local one. Your promotional piece or voice over should really match your market. If you understand this right up front, it will make it a lot easier to proceed forward.
Here’s the key to this point, “Which voice should I use?” That is, you can get people to do voice over for you, within a fraction of your estimated time. There are so many professionals out there who just want to further their career or expand out and do something different. You just have to identify your target market so that a professional will have an idea on what your target audience is. Just remember that it’s your message and you would want it delivered in a way that would suit your business and your customers.
I find the best way to record and do things professionally is to use a very good microphone. You can also make use of the built-in microphone in your iPhone or Smartphone if you wish, provided that it’s some sort of unidirectional microphone. You don’t want to get an omnidirectional one which picks up sound from every which way. You would want to make sure that it is directional and picks up your voice only, without all of the background noise in there.
When you’re doing the recording, use a simple but effective method, speak clearly, right into the microphone (without breathing into it), and you don’t want to have any echo in the room or anything which can distract the listener from your message. So if you’re speaking and there is an echo, people will then start to focus on the echo itself, rather than your message, and it will all become distracting later on. You would want some editing software as well, which could chop out background noise if necessary, if your microphone is not up to scratch.
One other aspect to do with recording is that when you’re using a microphone, you would want to use it correctly. You need to speak your message at a constant distance from the microphone. I say this because, sometimes, when you listen to some sort of radio DJ, they’re speaking away, but all of a sudden they get quiet and then they get really loud, that’s probably because they turned their head away from the microphone and then back again. We would want to modulate the way we speak, but we certainly don’t want a major change in volume as we speak. We want to keep the column constant, and the way to do this is to keep the microphone at a constant distance from our mouth. Another thing is that we don’t want to breathe into the microphone. So when we position the microphone and speak into it, we don’t want to put the microphone directly in front of our mouth or under our nose. That is the position where you breathe and all you can hear is the sound of the wind blowing in and out of the microphone. This can be really annoying and that is something to consider. I always just set up a microphone slightly to the left so in that way, you can continue speaking without blowing right into the microphone and making that “wind” sound. They will become distracting to your listeners as well.
So all these are little tips for your voice or voice overs so that you can do your little promotional video or business promotion video. Don’t be alarmed about mistakes because you can always redo them. Just remember that in old times we only used to get a recorder or a cassette recorder. You would record yourself and it’s very difficult to edit this and put it together. Nowadays, however, it’s all digital. It’s so easy to mix things up. You can literally change the whole meaning of your sentence by chopping it up and changing around, right in front of your computer screen. It’s really simple to do and that’s the beauty of great editing software.
Now here’s another final tip for your voice. If you’re filming a long way from the camera, then I would suggest that you use a microphone and another recorder on your person and speaking at the same time as you’re filming. You can see and listen to it. You can always dub out that very unclear sound and replace it with sound that you’re recording on your iPhone or Smartphone, with a little microphone out of your lapel or collar. That way, they will be listening to your nice and clear voice, rather than trying to pick up your voice from a long distance. That is a great tip, and I recommend it for everyone.
As you see, you can use your own voice or someone else’s professional voice for your promotional video or business venture. There are so many little aspects you need to consider. You do these correctly and it will sound so much better and your message will go through very clearly. If you do it incorrectly, the mistake(s) will stand out as well. So, use voice to your own advantage, put emotion into it, use your own accent, use raw emotion, be yourself, match your voice to the market, and above all, just have fun. Your promotional piece should be fun and it should be inviting. As long as your message gets delivered, it’s what’s important.