Do you get a little nervous before doing a voice over session with a client? I do and It’s perfectly normal. Though I get a lot less nervous than I used to. A large part of the that is due to my training and preparation. When I know I’m prepared, then I worry a lot less. But a kernel of that nervousness is always there and I believe that’s what makes it exciting!
When I was in college and training to sing in opera live on stage, I would get much more nervous, probably because in a live performance you have a larger audience than you do in a voice over booth with just a client or a director listening. To see if there was a way to combat these nerves, I enrolled in my college’s performance psychology class. What a huge help that was!
Each day that the class met, we had what I call “shock therapy.” The instructor would tell us without warning to leave the classroom, go find a random person in the building, and sing them a song. Or we’d go perform impromptu skits in the main open area of the building where there were constantly people studying, or walking by. This exercise taught me to deal with sudden stress and to just push through it. By having these frequent experiences, I got used to dealing with the anxiety and I developed more confidence.
YOU ARE THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN STOP YOU FROM SUCCEEDING
We also talked a lot about mindset. The key thing to remember for anything in the performing arts, and in voice over, is that YOU are the only one who will stop you from having a great performance. In fact, those who are listening want you to succeed. It’s the inner voice of doubt that will mess you up. Overcome that and you’re home free.
Another helpful tip for dealing with butterflies right before your session is to do breathing exercises. Sit in an upright position. Inhale to the count of three, then hold your breath while tensing as many muscles in your body as possible. Hold this for 3-5 seconds then exhale to the count of three as you relax those muscles. Do this a few times and you’ll find that you can actually slow your heartbeat down and relax the crazy voices of doubt in your mind. I find this exercise very helpful in helping me move past my fears and perform in spite of them.
The final thing that will help you is practice. The dreaded “P” word. Put it into practice and it will get easier. It did for me, and it will for you too!