As a burgeoning or continuing voice-over talent, you may have thought the title phrase even if you didn’t say it aloud. Like other business owners, voice actors are in the business of doing what they love and making a profit. However, there’re times, when one must step back and ask, “what have I done for voiceovers lately?” Instead of focusing on getting to get, focus on giving to give.
Network to Give
Social media is indeed all the rave, but face to face time can be a great way to connect. While that’s no new thought, connecting to learn and understand another’s journey in the voice over business takes a little more work.
After you’ve exchanged business cards at networking functions, and the casual conversations begin, quite your spirit and take the time to focus on what the other person is saying. Listen to a person’s speech and inflections. Listen for what moves them and what may be an area of concern. I’ve noticed that if you allow others to talk about their favorite subject (themselves), they will tell you quite a lot about what’s on their mind and in their career. Listen to the character cues behind the words and even the insecurity that may underscore phrases. Listen without judgment, then understand to respond.
Giving in-network can be processing what you have heard spoken and carefully suggesting or commenting to the listener. This giving is not an opportunity to lay out a full speech about you and your business, but to respond to small tidbits with information that may be useful to your listener. Your objective is to give to your listener something they can use and perhaps help change his or her future. Providing the right, brief tip shows your compassion and caring for another.
Diplomacy is listening to what the other guy needs. Preserving your own position but listening to the other guy. You have to develop relationships with other people so when the tough times come, you can work together.” Colin Powell
Network to Help
There are causes in voice acting too. Sometimes you can volunteer your time and talents to help new talent, barter for services, or mentor others. Not every networking event should have a money aim; networking is an excellent way of making a difference in the business community and educating others on the topic.
I live in a town where it’s all about competition and getting ahead. As such, listeners and encouragers have a way of sticking out even in the most casual of meetings.
Don’t miss this. If you network to give, you’re doing something more profound than just gleaning a future contact. You are learning how to listen and care about another person and give without looking for something in return.
As a voice talent, the simple act of giving will help improve your ability to connect and emphasize as you tell a story and see things from another’s perspective. In a world climate of so many people pushing for their recognition or success, being open to listening and giving to others can be a way of improving your relationships and communication.
“Turnabout is fair play,” or so the saying goes. If you focus on giving what is needed in networking and other areas, your business and life will richly develop. The next time, you could be the person who gets that little tidbit of relevant info from a new pal that changes the way you live your life and operate your business.
So, the next time you think, what has voice overs done for you lately, I hope the answer is, “it’s done a lot.” Find better ways to help others as you break a lip.