Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #259 – The Death of the Big Voice, and Why

“He’s got such a great voice.”

We used to hear that a lot, but today, it’s virtually meaningless.  In L.A. and New York, the big voices are doing tractor pull spots and horror movie spots, and you still hear the network TV guys doing that big, mighty “announcement” thing some, but be honest – doesn’t it just sound kind of cheesy?

The voice that gets the most work today is the midrange voice with great inflection.  But even then, it’s not the old-school radio “emphatic” read; it’s more, as the great voice acting coach Marice Tobias says, “noticing” a word.

And as more and more jocks realize what today’s radio is all about, the big-voiced jock or Imaging guy sounds like a dinosaur.  Here’s why: Radio is about Companionship.  That friend in the car who’s just fun to be with; the one who makes everyone laugh.  The one you want to invite to your backyard barbecue because he or she is good company, someone your guests will like.

No one stands up and ‘announces’ “Pass the ketchup, PLEASE.”
So if you’re a PD, rethink how your Imaging voice comes across.  An INTERESTING voice is better than just a big one.

And as an air talent, let go of the big voice thing, even if you’re blessed with one, and just talk.  Stop trying to make an impression and start trying to simply CONNECT with the listener.

Tommy Kramer

Tommy has spent over 35 years as an air talent, programmer, operations manager and talent coach - working with over 300 stations in all formats. He publishes the Coaching Tip

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