A Voice For Voice Over – Beginners Guide

A voice over, or V.O. is the staple of any television newscast. Count the types of stories you see on the news and you’ll find the majority are voiceovers. A voiceover is a script read live by the news anchor. As the anchor reads the story, video is shown. Usually voiceovers are 15 seconds to 30 seconds in length. This type of storytelling is best for easy-to-understand reports on house fires, car wrecks or ribbon-cuttings.

Voice Culture is a branch of knowledge, which deals with the accurate practices of right Voice Production.   Vocal study deals with the right way of voice production and presentation of various styles of singing. The practice of technically developed exercises will help people to analyze the own voice and to manipulate the vocal apparatus for the perfect voice modulation.

Voice Quality
Voice quality is the result of a combined action of basic function of the vocal organsand developed components by scientific and systematic training and practice. Genetically determined factors of the vocal mechanism cannot be changed but with the help of the techniques one can manipulate them to make the voice better. Voice Culture is said to be a science and all the techniques and exercises are developed after an in-depth study of Psychology and Yoga.

Yoga & Psychology plays a major function Voice training
The primary source of energy to produce the voice is the smooth flow of air provided by the breathing apparatus. All varieties of voice modulation and the voice levelling can be mastered only when we have enough breathing capacity. Incorrect breathing can cause disorders in voice production. Hence Yoga and Pranayama are integrated in the voice training methods with a set of Asanas, Breathing exercises and Meditation specially selected and developed.

Many disorders of voice and failure of successful performance are due to psychological reasons. Voice problems are due to Organic and Functional disorders. Organic disorder is due to chronic infections, diseases and genetic factors. But functional disorder occurs because of incorrect breathing, wrong way of practice, imitation of somebody’s voice and vocal abuse in the day today activities. Functional disorder will reduce the voice quality and range developing a kind of uneasiness and strain on the voice. If neglected it may lead to injury to the Vocal Cords resulting permanent loss of voice.

Work on Voice captivation:
Breathing: The First Step toward a Powerful and Captivating Voice.  You can speak only as well as you breathe. Practice to control your breath and you begin to control your speaking voice. One more thing, better breathing reduces tension in the neck and shoulders that can inhibit your best natural voice. The voice is a wind instrument. Try the following exercises to get yours in tune!

Get ready. Stand with your feet not quite shoulder width apart, your weight forward, more on the balls of the feet than the heels. Relax your hands by your sides. Start to pay attention to your breathing. As you exhale, release your shoulders, relax your neck, unclench your teeth, and see if you can’t manage a yawn and maybe even a smile.

Diaphragmatic breathing. This is breathing from your belly. It fuels your voice and releases tension from your upper body. It’s also called belly breathing because as you inhale, your belly expands (and your chest and shoulders don’t move). This is the opposite of what you might do on the beach where many people suck in their bellies and puff out their chests.

Place one hand over your belly button. Slowly inhale one long breath through your mouth while silently counting “one… two… three… four.” Your stomach should expand, pushing your hand forward (your shoulders and chest should not move.) Feel your hand move out as you pull the breath deep into your lungs. Now, hold that breath and count silently, “one… two… three… four.” Next, exhale the breath through your mouth while counting silently, “one… two… three… four.” Do this until you are comfortable and breathing easily. Now, you are ready to make sound. Ha… You are going to make a gentle “Ha” sound, using up an entire breath on just that one sound. Take in a full belly breath, and as you exhale say a very gentle and quiet sustained Haaaaaa… until you run out of air. Do it again, being certain to really open your mouth as you softly sustain the Ha.

Shoulder bounce. Once you’ve mastered the Ha, start to release tension from your neck and shoulders. First, lift your shoulders up toward your ears, hold them for a count of four, and then let them drop, completely releasing them. Now, do this rapidly. This is the shoulder bounce.

Next, combine the shoulder bounce with the Ha. With your hands relaxed by your sides, take a full belly breath, and then exhale a gentle sustained Haaaa, running out of air as you did before. Only this time, while you are doing the Ha, simultaneously the shoulder bounce for the entire time you are making sound. This will help release tension from your vocal chords and help you prepare your voice to speak.

Keep it up. Doing these exercises regularly will help prepare your breath to support your voice. Each time you do them you improve your breathing and release some of the tension that can easily accumulate throughout the day. They will help you prepare to speak, not just physically but also mentally; by reducing any anxiety you may be feeling.

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