How to Avoid Running Out of Breath

1. Keep your volume to a minimum.  The louder you talk, the quicker you will run out of air.  Remember, too, that voiceover delivery is an intimate medium.

 

2. Mark the places where you can catch a breath:  ends of phrases, ends of clauses, end of sentences.  Commas generally are good places to take a breath, especially in front of prepositional phrases, or in front of a conjunction (and, or, if, but, when, as, etc.).

 

3. You can take a big breath (and a big pause) at the end of a paragraph that leads into a transition – a change in time and/or place or a change in subject material.

 

To increase your own breathing and endurance capacity, take a deep, quick breath.  Then close your mouth tightly, pursing your lips to form a very small opening.  Let the air out slowly, and keep pushing it out until you are absolutely out of air.  Then breathe normally.

 

Wait 3 or 4 minutes, then repeat this.  This time, when your last breath is expelled, let the breathing in that follows be the intake for the first line of a script you’re working on.  Then read into the script without a breath or a pause, and see how far you can go on that one breath.  Do this every day with a different script. Count the number of words you made it through, and try to go a word or two further each time you do this.  You will be amazed at how your endurance will improve over time.

 

To summarize:

 

  1. Keep your volume at a close-up conversational level.

 

  1. Mark your scripts for breathing opportunities.

 

  1. Look for transitions for deeper breaths.

 

  1. Work on your endurance and capacity.  Remember that breath and energy are handmaidens in this business.