The “Conversational” voiceover read has become an industry standard.
Everyone; from producers, to casting directors, to agents and coaches, continuously demands that talent be able to deliver a read sounding just like a human “conversation.” We’re all looking for an authentic, comfortable, pulled back, somewhat easy-going, thoughtful read. Not that traditional, presentational announcer sound, or the amped-up, too-friendly read or the down & dirty, raspy read. We’re after connection.
Most VO talent are pretty sure they have this one in their back pocket.
However, what has become tricky and somewhat daunting is that the new conversational seems to morph and distort with trends. Just when you think you’re nailing exactly what “conversational” means today, you may discover that what you thought was “conversational” has changed. A typical conversational style doesn’t remain typical too long in today’s world.
As a VO instructor, I work with a lot of younger people who have a huge influence on marketers – especially in the advertising and gaming industries. These youthful attitudes and their ways of communicating are even more laid back and thoughtful than what normally passes for a standard conversational read. One could almost miss the emotion or point of view completely, but it’s definitely still in there, and I’m learning new things about subtlety from working with this new conversational group. Their opinions are hinted at, rather than presented, as though the underlying thought is “I definitely believe in what I’m saying. I’m just not going to try all that hard to convince you.”
The new conversational. Loving it. Working with it. Helping it evolve.