“But we do have to remember that when we are communicating, when words are coming out of our mouths and reaching somebody’s ears, that’s a connection, that’s a strong connection, and if we are not really believing in the things that we are saying, or feeling the things that we are saying, or able to create a feeling that’s strong, then that connection won’t be strong enough. And that’s really important in both communicating and advertising and providing information, and all of the things that we do as voice people. We are communicators first and foremost, always.” — Dan Friedman
This episode’s guest has been in the voiceover industry for nearly two decades, voicing projects for Crowne Plaza Hotels, Hulu Plus, Walmart, Hardees, Aetna, and many more, and a professional audio engineer for twenty-five years. He’s produced, directed, and provided his voice to thousands of audio productions, and in 2010 he published a book called Sound Advice: Voiceover From an Audio Engineer’s Perspective. A first of its kind in the industry, the book covers audio engineering and studio session etiquette as it relates directly to voiceover talent.
He continues to write a popular blog on his website, Sound4VO.com, and he’s a well-known voiceover coach, teacher, and home studio consultant., as well as a certified coach in the Roger Love Voice Method. His name is Dan Friedman, and I’m looking forward to sharing his perspective on how we can learn to better communicate. He’s seen it all, from both sides of the glass, so I know he has lots of golden nuggets to share.
As always, if you have any questions for my guest, you’re welcome to reach out through the links in the show notes. If you have questions for me, just visit www.audiobrandingpodcast.com where you’ll find all sorts of ways to get in touch. Plus, subscribing to the newsletter (on the www.audiobrandingpodcast.com webpage) will let you know when the new podcasts are available.
Hearing and Getting It
We start things off with a look at Dan’s earliest memories of sound. He tells us about the first song he ever fell in love with and the chills that Mary Clayton’s voice in “Gimme Shelter” still gives him. He recalls his early career, and how a surprise job opportunity as an audio engineer inspired him to pursue a deeper understanding of the science of sound. “Here I was,” he says, “working for these big acts at times, and just thinking ‘I get it, but I don’t get it. I can hear it, but I don’t get it.”
An Emotional Connection
Dan tells us about his experience becoming a certified Roger Love Voice Method coach, how he discovered an unexpected talent for singing, and the further insight it gave him into the different elements of voiceover and voice performance. “All of these things,” he explains, “are interesting nuances that I can add to my repertoire of coaching and direction, and that’s just really been transformational.” But the most important aspect of voiceover is something less tangible: “To be successful,” Dan says, “you have to have an emotional connection in some way.”
We Are Communicators
We continue as Dan elaborates on the emotional core and personal connection that voice can provide between the speaker and listener. He explains how a voice coach can help with forging that connection, and talks about some of the mistakes that even highly trained professional voiceover artists can make. As he puts it, “people don’t hear their own voices that way. So when you work with a coach, when you work with a director, they’re able to steer all this so that it’s a cohesive package.”
All the Pieces of the Puzzle
The first half of our interview ends with a look at how a flexible tone and sense of nuance can bring a script to life, how experienced performers can sometimes find the process even more of a challenge than artists who are just starting out, and how a voice coach can help them both. “Part of the benefit of coaching,” Dan says, “is that we get you to slow down and think a little bit, so that we can make sure that you’re putting together these things so that all the pieces of the puzzle are there.”
- Dan’s first musical love and how he became a sound engineer
- His experience with the Roger Love Voice Method
- Forming an emotional connection with the power of voice
- How directors can help create a more dynamic performance
- Finding the heart and the story inside each script
Be sure to tune in next week for the second part of our interview as Dan offers some practical public speaking advice, as we talk about the differences between video and audio roles and how social media is blurring the lines. We also take a more personal look at his life as a proud husband and father.
Connect with the Guest:
Follow Dan Friedman on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dan.friedman.sound4vo
Connect with Dan Friedman on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/danfriedmanvo/
Dan has also very kindly offered a $30 discount on your 1st coaching session with him – or 1 free session if you book 12 –
through The Studio resources page that you gain access to after subscribing to the podcast newsletter at https://audiobrandingpodcast.com .
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This interview episode was very skillfully made to sound beautiful by the talented Humberto Franco.