Are you loving the TikTok voice over challenge? I am. There’s been some amazing reads so far. Seeing talented people put their individual spin on each spot has been amazing. It also confirms that there is no “ONE READ” for any particular spot. Some of the great reads sound completely different, yet all suit the script perfectly.
There is a lesson in that. STOP trying to sound like someone else and just read the script with your perspective! Producers and casting directors are not looking for one particular sound. They are looking for a read that they believe in. They want to hear the spot and say “Yep, I believe what the VO said - I TRUST them.”
Advertising has given itself a bad name over the years. Consumers have figured out that if a commercial sounds like it is trying to sell you something, most times we switch off and stop listening or watching. But if a commercial sounds real, helpful and trust-worthy, then we are more likely to buy from that brand. This is where the conversational/natural read came from. And believe me, there has been a huge amount of study into this to prove that it works.
Take the first Nike spot in the challenge for an example. The heading on the read is cool. Now, my definition of cool is much different from your definition. And that’s how it should be. Bring your cool to the read. It doesn’t make it right or wrong for the spot, but it DOES make it right for you. Trust that your version of cool is good enough to book the spot. And why shouldn’t it be? The original spot was recorded by Tom Hardy and is a very flat, unemotional read. That was his interpretation. Now, it helps that he is famous, but it works well for the spot.
Be yourself. Just remember - what made it right for Tom Hardy doesn’t make it right for you. When you read the script, take a moment before hand, and figure out what greatness means to you. Really think about that. Who do you think of when that word is mentioned? How do they make you feel? Capture that moment and then read the script in that emotion. That’s when the magic happens. People will listen back and connect. They’ll think “yep, that’s how that person feels about greatness”. Then your job is done. You may not book it – but you made it believable. That’s all you can do.
Be confident in you. You bring a unique perspective to any subject. No two people are the same. That’s what makes this world so much fun. I want to hear how you feel about the subject that you are voicing. Not you – pretending to be Tom hardy, pretending how he feels about it. Where’s the fun in that?