Creating Natural Voice Over Reads

Want to know how to make your voice over reads sound more natural?  

Let me give you a great technique that I use when I’m voicing a script that requires a very friendly, natural read…a bit like you’re making it all up as you go along.

Voice Over scripts come in a variety of different forms.  There’s:

  • Announcer style, full of information and details.
  • Naturalistic style, just like a conversation with a friend.
  • Retail and Promo, energized, full of information and usually pretty fast.
  • Character, not necessarily a ‘funny’ voice, often just you in someone else’s shoes, and
  • Character Driven, these are the ads that don’t even mention the product…the announcer tag does that usually at the end.

They all aim to deliver the message to a specific market (group or person) in a way that convinces them to take action.  

And they all do it using language in very different ways and in different structures.

One of those styles though, naturalistic, needs you to sound like those words are your own.  

I’m often sent demos from budding voice actors who’ve made the demo, sent it out and received no work.  When I listen to their demos, their reads sound ‘like they’re just reading words’.  No wonder no work comes from it.  You must be able to connect with the language and sound natural.

So I want to talk about this style and how to create reads that audiences believe!

When I began coaching a dozen years ago, I really had no idea that there were specific differences, or even what those specific differences were.

It seemed that I was just able to do voice over naturally and automatically.

In order to teach what I knew, I needed to analyse what I was doing. 

I revisited work I’d done, listened to it and asked this question, “Why have I made that choice?” 

It was fascinating research and I discovered all manner of wonderful tricks and techniques that I was using just because it felt right!

Interestingly, this analysis helped me to become a more expert voice actor and my work increased. 

That’s the most wonderful aspect of teaching what you do – you just learn more about it!

When I coach voice over actors, I give them techniques that:

  • help sort through the words on the page,
  • look for the language that reveals what the message is, and
  • teach them how to deliver the copy with conviction and meaning.

After all, the best way to convince someone that you know what you’re talking about is to ‘sound’ like you know what you’re talking about.

I also give voice actors techniques for working out how to find where the “power words” are.

Knowing where these key words or phrases are and how to give them emphasis, will make the advertiser and the producer happy, and at the same time sound completely natural – just like these are your words.

This can be tricky to do with some scripts, where the language is formal and rather clunky – the enemy of sounding natural!

In this blog, I want to share with you a technique that you can apply to naturalistic style scripts, that will help them sound natural.

Here’s What You Do

Put someone else in the room with you!  

This is how you do it.

If you are given a script and the producer wants you to sound like you’re just talking with a friend, a useful thing to do, is to find places in the script where your friend would naturally respond.

Then improvise what they would say, that works with the next line of copy.

Here’s a short, naturalistic style script.  Read it through and then I’ll show you what I mean!

“I have a confession to make. I really don’t like gardening

The mowing. The mulching. The weeding. The pruning…

the constant battle between me and mother nature.

So, I’ve given up. Quit. Resigned.

Turned it over to the pro’s:

Jim’s Mowing.

I say: “mulch”. They mulch. I say: “mow” – they say “how high?”

Now I love gardening

I could sit and watch it all day long.”


Now let’s have a look at some places where you can put a response from your friend, which you, in turn, respond to, that will help you sound more natural.


“I have a confession to make. 

            Friend:  What’s that?

I really don’t like gardening

            Friend:  Why not?

The mowing. The mulching. The weeding. The pruning…

the constant battle between me and mother nature.

So, I’ve given up. Quit. Resigned.

            Friend:  What about the garden?

Turned it over to the pro’s:

            Friend:  Who’s that?

Jim’s Mowing.

            Friend:  Are they good?

I say: “mulch”. They mulch. I say: “mow” – they say “how high?”

            Friend:  Sounds good to me!

Now I love gardening

I could sit and watch it all day long.


Doing this allows you to focus on talking with that one person.

Done well, it creates a read that’s more immediate and connected and, if you’ve done it well enough, the next booking is sure to follow!

Happy voiceovering!