The question “How to practice voice acting?” is one that I get asked a lot from friends who do voice acting or from people who are interested in learning how to do it. For some reason, when we are asked that question, we tend to blush a little, either laugh a little or say that we would never dream of trying to do that. I find that a lot of times the person asking that question is either intimidated by their own lack of talent or they just don’t care enough to really try to improve it. Whatever the case, the answer is simple: practice makes perfect.
Now, I don’t want to leave the impression that voice actors who are relatively new to podcasting and acting are in some way limited in what they can do. Far, from it! In fact, the only people who should really worry about it are people who have been doing it for quite a while. I’m sure there are those actors out there who would love to take some time off and have a vacation. The only problem with that scenario is that they’ll probably end up with a sense of regret. Not because they didn’t work hard enough, but because they couldn’t ever relax and take a break.
The first thing you should do is take a minute to think about how many podcast voices you have heard and read. Then start listing your favorite podcast voices down. Find a couple of podcasts that speak highly of your voice and then you can start practicing your lines there. Read some of their dialogue and maybe add a few words to suit the character.
If you find yourself stuck, I recommend that you go back to the podcast you listened to earlier and listen to that character’s dialogue again. What were they saying? Were they talking slowly or shouting? Notice the way they exchanged the words? Was there room for error or did everyone match up?
This isn’t just an exercise in vocal exercises. There are many great acting courses online that give you acting tips and tricks. They may offer basic acting lessons or advanced acting classes. Try going to one of these acting training websites and check out their advice and instructions on how to improve your acting skills. Most of them are updated every month, so it won’t be long until you see the changes.
In my experience, beginners who take acting classes rarely improve much. They usually respond best to an instructor’s teaching of basic acting skills. It’s generally the case that the best teachers have the most experience in whatever field they teach. After a while, the student begins to feel that the acting world is really small and that there are only so many acting styles. That’s when the novice starts to feel frustrated because he or she has trouble understanding what others are talking about and where they are coming from.
The other group that usually benefits from good acting instruction are actors who are trying to convey a message using non-verbal communication. Good coaching will help them learn how to do this. For instance, if you were presenting a business proposal, you could practice the speaking tone, the pause, the pitch, and the enunciation. Only after all of that information is mastered, would you then begin practicing how to deliver a sales speech or answer a customer question.
I often recommend that newer voice actors sign up to podcast so they can get the feedback from a broader base of people. People listen to podcast just as much as they read articles or watch videos on the web. Even if you don’t want to do voice over work, podcasting can expose you to a whole new world of people who are interested in the same things you are. The bottom line is that you will make more money if you continue to learn how to practice voice acting. If you’re a member of an acting class, check out some of their podcasts.