An amazing number of my students have holes in their language skills. Errors in pronunciation of many words that are used in everyday conversation. Not being able to identify parts of speech or understand how they are used in writing books, articles, or media scripts. Not knowing what words in a sentence or phrase should be emphasized (or not emphasized). Not being able to discern when a phrase ends or is read through to a longer destination and why.
So much emphasis has been placed by many voice over coaches on acting out the script and delivering in a natural, conversational manner (which is no less important) that understanding how and why the language is structured seems to get lost in the muck. That skill is crucial in deciphering what a script is about and delivering it in an easy, flowing, conversational manner.
It is impossible to make sense of a script if one doesn’t understand the structural issues of the language. My book, The Voice Over Actor’s Handbook, is the only book in the industry that deals with these issues in depth.
Americans, in general, know very little about their language and how it works. There has been a steady decline in the teaching of English in public school systems and colleges in the last thirty years. I have read in many sources on the subject that 40 percent of Americans couldn’t pass a 4th-grade English test. As a result of the low prioritizing of English in the schools, many of my students, who are otherwise very well-schooled in other areas, sometimes have serious deficiencies in English language dynamics.
In my voice over training sessions, I devote a lot of time to educating my students about language dynamics issues.
Many people who want to train with a good voice over coach are only thinking about the acting side of delivery and don’t even think about the challenges of figuring out what’s going on structurally in the phrases and sentences. This is not as much of a problem in commercial scripts, but in narrations, especially medical and technical scripts, as well as audiobooks, which can encompass great complexity, this becomes a real issue. The reason? These scripts are much more complex and developmental. They take a long time to develop a message or idea.
Language dynamics play a crucial role in the success of any voice actor. A proper understanding of language nuances, accentss, and tone can help bring your characters to life and create a powerful emotional connection with your audience. A skilled and experienced coach like John Burr can help you develop these techniques and prepare you for the challenges of the voice acting industry. With John’s expertise and guidance, you can master language dynamics, gain confidence in your delivery, and stand out in a competitive field. So, if you’re serious about advancing your career in voice acting, don’t hesitate to contact John Burr and start honing your language dynamics skills today.