Voice-over ad-lib cheat sheet – 20 transitions for a smoother read

When it comes to voice acting, the script is everything. It’s the foundation upon which the performance is built. But what happens when the script is poorly written? The lines may not flow smoothly, the pacing may be off, and the story may not be clear. In these cases, it’s important for the voice actor to have a few ad-libs up their sleeve to help smooth out the rough edges and keep the performance on track.

One of the most important things to remember when dealing with a poorly written script is to stay calm. It’s easy to get frustrated or flustered when the words on the page don’t make sense, but getting upset will only make the situation worse. Instead, take a deep breath and remind yourself that you’re the professional and you can handle this.

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One way to fix a poorly written script is by adding emphasis. Sometimes the script may not make it clear which parts of the dialogue are important, but by emphasizing certain words or phrases, you can help the listener understand the significance of what’s being said. This can be done by using inflection, pausing, or using a slightly different tone of voice.

Another way to improve a piece of copy is by adding emotion. A script may not convey the emotion that the writer intended, but as a voice actor, it’s your job to add it in. This can be done by using a different tone of voice, altering the pace of your delivery, or even adding a sound effect. For example, if a character is supposed to be angry but the script doesn’t show it, you can raise the pitch of your voice or speak more quickly to convey anger.

Another thing you can do is slow down or speed up the pacing. Sometimes the script may be too fast-paced or slow-paced, and by adjusting the pacing, you can help the listener understand what’s happening. For example, if a script is too fast-paced, you can slow down your delivery to give the listener time to process the information. Conversely, if a script is too slow-paced, you can speed up your delivery to keep the listener engaged.

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In addition to these techniques, it’s also important to remember that it’s okay to ask for clarification. If the script doesn’t make sense, don’t be afraid to ask the director or writer for more information. They may be able to provide more context or explain what they were trying to convey.

Lastly, it’s important to have a list of ad-libs ready to use in case of a poorly written script. Ad-libs are useful for transitioning between paragraphs, providing additional information, or clarifying the scene. Here are 20 ad-libs to help you navigate a poorly written script:

  1. “Now moving on to the next point…”
  2. “Let’s shift gears and talk about…”
  3. “Another aspect to consider is…”
  4. “Building on that thought,…”
  5. “Going back to the subject at hand…”
  6. “Let me elaborate on that point…”
  7. “Switching gears,…”
  8. “Let’s delve deeper into the topic of…”
  9. “Expanding on the previous idea…”
  10. “Another important factor to consider is…”
  11. “Going off on a tangent for a moment…”
  12. “Let’s take a step back and look at…”
  13. “Moving forward,…”
  14. “Let’s return to the main topic of…”
  15. “Taking a different approach,…”
  16. “To continue,…”
  17. “Getting back to the original point…”
  18. “As I was saying earlier…”
  19. “To sum up,…”
  20. “In conclusion,…”
Photo by Jessica Lewis Creative on Pexels.com

A poorly written script can be a challenge for any voice actor, but with a few techniques and ad-libs in your toolbox, you can navigate these challenges and deliver a strong performance. Remember to stay calm, add emphasis, emotion, and adjust the pacing when necessary. It’s also important to ask for clarification if the script doesn’t make sense, and to have a list of ad-libs ready to use for transitioning between paragraphs or providing additional information. With these techniques and ad-libs, you’ll be able to handle any poorly written script and deliver a great performance.

Look out for yourself! 🖐😌

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