Now, more than ever, the spoken word has become so very important. Zoom meetings, conference calls, virtual presentations, audiobooks, and podcasts are commonplace. When we are in a virtual meeting, we want to be as professional as possible. Therefore, ensuring that everyone can hear you is essential to getting your point across and keeping your audience engaged. How well someone hears you is as important as what you have to say. As a college student, or anyone interacting with others via digital recording, we want to present ourselves in the most professional way.
This week’s guest knows the importance of good quality audio. You may have heard her voice before as she is a highly successful voice actor. You may have heard her performing the taglines or voiceovers for such brands as Dell, Frito Lay, Marriott, Target, and Walmart, to name a small sampling of her clients. You can hear samples of her work and get in contact with her at her website VoiceOversAndVocals.com. I hope you learn as much as I did speaking with her on this week’s podcast. Please enjoy this conversation with Voice Actor, Jodi Krangle.
As the world gets even smaller, amidst virtual meetings and remote workplaces, how well we communicate our ideas is dependant on the clarity of our voice. So, in addition to her insights on our career journey, Jodi gives us some great tips about recording our voices. We begin with three insights in this extended Action Item List and then conclude with three audio recording tips.
Do Not Be Afraid To Fail
As I talk about often if you are not failing, you are not trying hard enough. Failure is the process of success through learning. So do not fear trying something new. However, prepare yourself to learn from the experience, be that attempt successful or not. Today, plan on trying something completely new, but when you do, prepare accordingly. What I mean by that is give yourself the time to make a valiant attempt and then time to reflect. If you are going to try learning to play tennis, give yourself the resources to succeed. Take a lesson or two, join a beginner league, and devote a specific amount of time to the task of learning and practicing. In this example, make a time commitment to yourself. Two months of education and practice and then evaluate if you enjoy the game. Apply this process of plan, act, and check to anything new you want to attempt. You cannot expect to try something once and succeed. No one ever got good at anything doing it once; instead, it was an immeasurable series of failures that led to success. Get out there and fail to succeed.
It’s Okay To Be Self Employed:
Everyone talks about graduating college and working for a big company, climbing the corporate ladder, and so on. But, most of the time, the best time to start your own business is when you have the least amount to lose with the most amount of time to make it up. Climbing the corporate ladder is not for everyone. It is perfectly okay to strike out on your own, build your network, and provide value to others on your terms. It takes discipline and a lot of effort; however, the rewards of being self-employed can be significant. If you find your career path is guiding you to an opportunity of self-employment, do not let anyone deter you from that path. In the end, you will know if working for yourself is something that benefits you or if you are better suited for a career working for someone. If you think working for yourself may be in your future, find a mentor who started their own business. Talk to them and seek their experience and advice while planning to enter into the world of business ownership.
Do Not Worry About the “Shoulds”
Jodi talks about the “shoulds.” For example, you “should” work for a big company, you “should” get your master’s degree, or you “should” have three internships before graduating college. Do not worry about the “shoulds.” A prescribed career or life plan may not be well suited for you. An unconventional path may be just the right path for you. It may be the thing that sets you apart from the competition. If someone says, “well, everyone does it,” you are not everyone. You are an individual, and you should do what you feel is the right thing for you, not everyone else.
Audio Tips for Recording Better Audio:
Hydrate: Jodi says one of the things that can make your audio sound better is to hydrate. Drinking water at least 30 minutes before you record will ensure you are adequately hydrated. A dry mouth does not sound so great when recorded, so drink up. It is a simple yet often overlooked preparation item to achieve great audio.
Slow Down: We often feel like we have to say things quickly or lose our listeners’ interest. The truth is, take your time and annunciate your words correctly and clearly. If your audience has to guess what you are saying because you are speed-speaking, you will lose your audience. Also, being deliberate and conscious of what you are saying will prevent you from saying “Ummm” and “Aaaaa” a lot. Prepare and practice, so you are comfortable with what you are saying and speak at an average pace.
Soften your surroundings: Preparing the environment you are recording in can significantly improve your audio. For example, select a room with a low ceiling, hang a blanket behind or around you to absorb background noise and echo. Try to use a microphone arm stand if you have an external mic to prevent vibration noise. And, do not worry about the sounds you cannot filter, like trucks or noisy neighbors, be patient and wait for them to quiet down if possible.
Audio is paired with video in all of our virtual experiences. I would say it is the most important of the two. You can have audio without video, but video without audio does not work. So, make sure you prepare your environment and use tools that can help you achieve quality sound. You will need to speak publicly and virtually in your life; that is not going to change. Prepare yourself to get a good start when you have to talk by following the advice of a professional recording actor like Jodi.
Jodi recommended some free and low-cost audio tools, and you can find them below.
- GarageBand (FREE) with all Apple computers and phones.
- Audacity (FREE) cross-platform audio software
- Reaper (Low-Cost) complete digital audio production application
I appreciate feedback of all kinds, so please email me any questions or feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org. Have a great week, and remember, it doesn’t take a lot to get a good start; you just have to start. Thank you.