Recently, I recorded a narration for one of my clients that provides English language lessons for people moving to or already living in Canada. The subject matter of these lessons varies quite a lot from lesson to lesson and is meant to give the listener a firm grasp on different conversations or situations that they may encounter while speaking English. One of the most interesting things for me is seeing the notes that are written after the script that I record. They will explain colloquialisms or slang for the student that I may have never considered because I'm a native English speaker.
The latest entry I was contracted to voice over was an essay explaining the art of public speaking. As is usual with these lessons, my narration was to be recorded at three speeds: Slow, normal and fast. This is still a challenge for me as I tend to naturally speak rather quickly, despite my voice over, broadcasting and acting lessons having repeatedly reminded me to SLOW DOWN.
Although I, as the narrator, am essentially the "teacher" in this scenario, performing these eLearning language lessons has taught me a lot about Voice Over. In many aspects of life, I had the tendency to try and speed-run my way through (Likely a symptom of being an avid gamer). However, since starting these narrations, I've found that it's helped me to temper myself and take my time, which has in turn improved my Voice Over skills.
Hopefully this is a trend that I can continue and apply to other aspects of life, whether personal or professional.
Do you have a story about learning new things from unexpected places? Share it with me in the comments or shoot me an email: [email protected] - I look forward to hearing from you!
Take a listen to said lesson below...
I haven't written a blog in a long time, almost 15 years to be exact. The first blog I ever contributed to was one that I created out of my extreme fandom for the smash-hit video game Star Wars Battlefront II. Yes, the first blog post on my professional Voice Over website's blog is going to be about a third-person shooter from 2005. Don’t worry, there's good reason for this weird throwback.
Reason #1: Star Wars Battlefront II is one of the greatest games of all time. It has a fun story mode that gives you a glimpse into some of Star Wars’ most stoic characters: the Clones. This was all before the universe was fleshed out by The Clone Wars television series premiered and took it to another level (it’s a great show). Another of my favourite modes was Galactic Conquest, which had you traversing the cosmos trying to secure every planet and system for your faction. Most important was the multiplayer, which pits you against other players from around the world both on land and in space.
Reason #2: Battlefront II taught me how to type. Of course, I grew up in the era where typing lessons were becoming standard for schools. However, something about the urgency of typing messages to your teammates while battling it out on Hoth refines your skills just as well, if not better, than All the Right Type. That software still exists, but it’s online now and not installed with a floppy disk like it was back then.
Reason #3: Battlefront II was the origin of a hobby that indirectly led me to Voice Over. During the height of my obsession, I began making videos to post on YouTube. Content like gameplay compilations, fan-made “trailers” and even music videos all using Battlefront II. GameCam was my tool of choice to record and I used Windows Movie Maker to edit the videos. Editing quickly became something I loved to do and continued through college into adulthood. This hobby even informed my career when I graduated from BCIT, choosing to pursue Audio Production jobs editing, mixing, and mastering primarily for radio stations. From there, it’s not too far of a stretch into the realm of voice over.
Now, is an obsession with Star Wars Battlefront II the only contributing factor to a career path that eventually led me to Voice Over? Probably not… but it makes for a great blog post. Also, what may have been had I continued to make video game related content for YouTube? Starting in 2005 I would’ve had a significant head start on some of those multi-millionaire YouTube/Twitch gamers that now dominate the platform. Maybe my old uploads will please the YouTube algorithm and shoot me into super stardom! After all, they’re still live on the site but I’ll never share the name of that channel… those videos are just for me now.
Do you have anything you posted online years ago that you never deleted but will also never share? Tell me about it in the comments!
Tim Main is a professional Voice Over Artist based out of his home studio in Vancouver, British Columbia. This is the second blog ever created by Tim, the first was originally from 2005 when his main focus was Star Wars Battlefront II. That blog still exists somewhere but it will never again see the light of day!