Where did you grow up? Do you naturally sound like the members of your home community or have a natural bent to your voice? You may. What is your background, or do you have an accent? Do you herald from a particular region or country? Depending upon the market, your “natural” voice can be your big money voice.
When I first started in the business, I worked hard on lessening my Mid-Atlantic sound. I was told that the most sought after (United States) English accent was a Mid-western accent. While I’ve flown over the Midwest many times, the experience did not cause me to pick up the inflection by osmosis. So, I worked hard to change my accent.
Then, one day, I ran across a lady who specializes in an urban-female voice, which is very close to my natural voice or way of speaking. This caught my attention because the lady is Caucasian and grew up in a major mid-Atlantic city. Still, she very successfully portrays urban female voice types. She even has a separate web page just for her urban voiceover demos.
This got me thinking; I can do urban (dah) since I too was raised in a similar locality. While my background is more rooted in the middle class, I can easily mimic the urban city way of speaking and acting.
Your Natural Voice
Examine your background. Do you have a specialty sound? Are you fluent in more than one language? Do you have a background in science, math, or other educational pursuits that would give you a unique and compelling bent on particular voiceover work?
Take time to determine your natural bent and try to market it. Look for jobs that need your specialty and become not just the best voiceover talent, but also the go to voice talent for that genre.
Articulate to Communicate
Having a specialty sound or area does not negate the need for proper articulation and pronunciation. You must be understood to effectively communicate, but you don’t have to give up the natural part of your delivery. Tongue twisters are a good tool to help improve articulation and speaking form.
Remember, you don’t have to be a jack of all voice over trades if you can master the right one.
Break a lip.