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How to Find Natural Rhythm in Voice Over Copy

The thing about voice acting that is most important is its ability to sound real. Even though you are reading from a script, it would be a failure if your voice were to sound robotic and made up. The key to this is obviously a well-written script but there are other things that would greatly aid you in finding your rhythm while reading. IVO Student

      1. Find Breathing Points In A Script – When one refers to a script as well written, it is not meant to stress on the language or quality of the script but its ability to sound real. A good script would always be written taking into consideration how it will sound to the ear. Perhaps, this is the reason why writing scripts for voice overs requires so much attention for detail. 

      So, you have to read the script thoroughly and find natural breathing points in it. If you force the rhythm, it will come out sounding forced and plastic. In an ideal situation, well written scripts don’t require the voiceover actor to analyze them for breathing points. The points are subtly introduced and are easy to spot. By simply including the normal speaking style of people or the voice actor, a rhythm can be easily established.

2. Utilizing Thought Groups – If you ever get a chance to observe people in a conversation, you will realize that no one speaks without stopping to think. Usually, this stopping point is filled or covered up by using words like ‘uh’ and ‘um’. These fillers are used to buy more time to think and then convert it into words to further the conversation.

However, when you are reading a script, you might miss out on introducing these short fillers because there is no need for your brain to think about furthering the conversation. This can add an element of unnaturalness to the voice over when it is read out. Learn to use these thought groups and sparse your dialogues with them, especially the long and complex ones.

Another important thing about these thought groups or fillers is that they benefit the listener as much as they benefit the voice actor. When the sentence is complicated, it would buy the listener time to process information in chunks. It would improve their attentions span and interest because no one likes to listen to something they are unable to follow.

The best way to go about this is to give a free read to the script and mark the places where you find yourself stopping naturally. Sometimes, while writing something, we do not find the need for punctuation but while saying it out loud, there are pauses and breaks to consider. Mark a slash at the place using a pencil as a reminder.

Most of the rhythm issues can be solved if scripts are written for the ear and not for the eye. However, on your part, you can make the script sound real by reading it as many times as you want. Focus on the flow of the script and not on your diction when you give a free read, you can look out for technicalities when you do the final reading.

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