Trends to Takeaways
When I first began my career, the conversational trend was just beginning to trend. As a guy without that "big booming announcer" voice, I was excited that nationally-advertised products were requiring less of an over-the-top sound, and developing into a more genuine connection with consumers. People weren't looking for a cheesy voice anymore, and while that style still had its place within certain markets, the general consensus became focused on nuance and understatement. As brands became ever more engaged, they realized that audiences demanded transparency; a great ad spoke directly to people instead of at them.
Because of this trend and its impact, my own voice found its position, and I've been able to parlay the "conversational" style into career success. Today, as the trend morphs into the standard, and conversational-type voices saturate the playing field, standing out can be tricky. Still, it's the consideration of "conversational" that matters, and breaking it down remains less about trends and more about what started the trend in the first place. The brass tacks of conversational itself.
When working with voice talent, conversational is more than just talking to a friend at a bar. It's more than applying a smile to your read. It's more than "having fun with it" or "being laid back." The truly conversational voice over is engaged with the subject matter as it relates to others. It speaks to someone in a way the ad agency or producer hasn't expected, because it is genuinely how you would connect! It involves being human.
And isn't this the true beauty of working in commercial entertainment?
Booth director & acting coach Hugh P Klitze makes the case for a more "refined" and "real" read, claiming:
"It’s a read connected to the emotions underneath the copy. It’s a non-sell. It’s letting the words work for you. All the stuff that makes a great commercial read great. Just more subtle and unique than ever. "
Bring yourself to the read.
Engage with the brand's audience.
Be unexpectedly YOU!
Below: an example of the conversational read in an online spot for Intel. Produced by Space Junk Media.