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She is Susan Bennett. She is Siri, voice-activated “assistant” introduced to the masses with the iPhone 4S in 2011. She’s been interviewed by Oprah, CNN, The Huffington Post, and many others. Recently we at Ginger had the honor of interviewing her and she graciously added her advice for a career in Voice Over. Be sure to view her TEDx Talk and find out more about her here.
Public speaking is no longer about physically being present to speak to your audience. In this age of daily digital duties, more and more of our business lives can be lived by using webcams. Webinars, teleconferencing – all the cool kids are doing it… as a matter of fact ALL the kids are doing it. Connecting with an online meeting or presenting a webinar via Google Hangouts, Skype, GoToMeeting, Sightspeed, ooVoo, TokBox (the list is endless really) is becoming the “norm”.
Whether you’re speaking to a small group of people you can see, or whether you have hundreds of listeners who can see you, but you can’t see them – imagine that your audience are in the room with you. This will help you connect to real people and will make you more natural and engaging as a speaker.
Voice Over work is similar, except there is NO feedback from an audience. In voice over work you must speak to an audience that you can't see, all the while acting as if you're having an intimate conversation with someone right in front of you. Susan Bennett, the original voice of Siri, tells us all about it.
I broke into the business many years ago, and the process has changed… a lot! Here are my suggestions for how to go about pursuing a career in voice over (VO) now:
Remember that VO is a skill! It’s not enough just to have a good voice. You have to learn the “tricks of the trade” so you can be confident when you start to compete for VO work. Eventually, you’ll want to get an agent and join SAG-AFTRA to get higher level work. Check out Dee Bradley Baker’s site www.IWantToBeAVoiceActor.com as well. He’s got a lot of good advice for all levels of VO experience.
Good luck! A career in voice over is a lot of fun!