This is the first of the more ethereal topics I will be covering in this series. Finding your voice is a thing that can just happen but it usually takes a lot of letting go.
To return to our voice, the voice we’ve always had, we must remove all the influences we’ve admired and subconsciously assimilated into our performances.
I, too had trouble believing this but, after some soul searching, there they were. Spike Milligan, John Cleese, Alexei Sayle were all, just a little bit, part of my delivery. It took some fifty episodes to clear them. They still make an appearance from time to time but I see them and now they are an homage to those three geniuses rather than me thinking they are me.
So how does this work?
It depends on your style of show. If you’re doing a conversational program with a friend as co-host, it should be fairly easy to drop into your voices. After all you’ve had conversations with each other before. The same can be true of the interview show. Here though it is possible to try too hard. Just relax, ask your questions and then, above all else, listen to the answers. If you stick to this you’ll be you and that’s when your style of interviewing will come forward. That will be the moment you find your voice.
A fully scripted show depends on the writer.
If you are using the fully scripted method, then you really should write your own script. If not then you are a voice over artist rather than a podcaster would be my feeling.
Writing for audio is different from writing for blogs. Sentences and paragraphs are shorter. We can read more quickly that we can talk and hear. So shorten your sentences. Know what the message is you’re trying to impart and, as if by magic, your authentic voice comes forward.
To mis-quote the great Groucho Marx: “Authenticity is everything, once you’ve learned to fake that, you’re home free.”
In some way pretending to have a voice, leads us to one as well. Adding nuance, colour and expression to your reading will also bring us to our voices. Because we always subscribe to our own podcasts, we can hear the development of our skills. Particularly if we have scheduled our shows some days in advance. This gives us some distance and fresh ears.
- Authenticity will out.
- Take your time.
- Critically analyse your work.
- Enjoy the process.