Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #496: Turning Print Words into Spoken Words

As air talents, we get handed some pretty unwieldy things to put on the air sometimes. Even with the best of intentions, sometimes a contest or promotion is written up as awkward sentences that no human would ever say to a friend in a real-life conversation.

So let me help you with two thoughts – one from the great voice acting coach Marice Tobias, and the other from the amazing British character actor Charles Laughton. Here they are, in reverse order:

The starting place is to take the copy and figure out that one word in each sentence that matters the most. Laughton said that you hit that word and just toss the others out there. This is really important. “Announcer”-types and bad disc jockeys try to “hit” too many words, so it comes out hype-y and unnatural.

And Marice Tobias uses the thought of just “noticing” a word, rather than “inflecting” it. That’s a very cool way to look at it. More subtle.

Following these two simple guidelines will turn “print words” into spoken words that are more comfortable and genuine-sounding. The goal is to inject natural emotion and purposefulness into the copy.

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Tommy Kramer
Talent Coach
214-632-3090 (mobile)
Member, Texas Radio Hall of Fame
© 2022 by Tommy Kramer. All rights reserved.