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SpeechMasterPro Helps Pros Speak Better

By Carmi Levy

October 22, 2014

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SpeechMasterPro Logo - 320.pngJust because you're a public speaker - or an actor, or a voice talent, or someone else who speaks for a living - doesn't mean you're immune from speaking challenges. We all wish our pronunciation, elocution and overall precision could be that much better.

In fact, you don't have to be a professional at all, and improved speaking skills can benefit pretty much anyone. The more clearly we speak the more confident we sound, which directly drives our ability to succeed in our chosen career or role.

If you've ever been tongue-tied, a simple solution from a teenaged inventor who wrestled with speech issues as a child could be the answer. Read on for more details on how his invention, SpeechMasterPro, could help you raise the level of your speaking game.


 

When Famous Actors Voice Video Games

By Carmi Levy

October 21, 2014

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Captain Picard in Quarters - 320.jpgIn the space of a generation, video games have morphed from crudely built graphics and simple computer-generated sounds to near-cinematic quality storylines and equally sophisticated audio.

Thanks to this increasingly capable technology, the opportunities for voice talent have never been greater. And as the quality of video game production continues to grow, the platform, which once trailed movies and television in the race for ultimate credibility, has come into its own. Which means major talent who once might have shunned video games are now lending their voices to today's massively scaled productions.

Which members of Hollywood royalty are gracing your favorite games? Read on to find out.


 

Why Voice Trumps Music When Calling Customer Service

By Carmi Levy

October 20, 2014

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Telephone keypad - 320.jpgIt's a scourge of the modern age, and it plays out with depressing regularity: Call any toll-free customer support or service number, then sit for entirely too much time listening to heavily massaged instrumental hits from the 70s, 80s and 90s as you wonder whether you'll ever come out the other side.

It doesn't have to be that way.

A British hospital system's decision to replace its phone system's on-hold music with recorded messages from an actual person is reinforcing the value of the human touch in what has become the epitome of inhuman interaction.

How can the basic phone be a strategic channel for improving customer satisfaction and engagement? Read on for some real-world examples.


 

How Analytics Levels The Playing Field

By Carmi Levy

October 15, 2014

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Salesforce Wave - 320.jpgIf business isn't immune from buzzword fever - and let's be clear, it isn't - then you might want to add this one to your personal dictionary: Analytics

It's variously described as the study of business information or data to gain greater insight into business operations, which can in turn drive better decision-making. In short, it's inward-looking visibility into how your company works, and it can save you from some nasty surprises further down the road.

Advances in analytics are rapidly making this once-expensive, once-complex capability significantly more attainable to any business, of any size. Salesforce.com just announced its Wave product at its annual Dreamforce gathering. Read on for more on how this can - and will - affect you.


 

Press A Button, Silence Someone's Voice

By Carmi Levy

October 10, 2014

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Someone lost her voice - 320.JPGImagine pointing a device at someone across the room, pressing a button and rendering the person on the other side speechless.

It isn't science fiction. Japanese researchers are working on technology that listens to your voice, then plays back what you said after a brief delay.

It's like focused audio feedback, and it short-circuits the average person's ability to speak.

Like all technologies, it can be misused. For example, police states and totalitarian regimes would probably love to get their hands on such a device. But the upside is even more inspiring. Read on to learn how.


 

Does Environment Affect Vocal Performance?

By Carmi Levy

October 9, 2014

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CTV Canada AM In Waterloo Ontario - 320.jpgPicture the scene: You're in a studio, and are about to get down to work laying down some voice tracks. The mic awaits, the producer sits ready at the sound board, and your voice is primed to do what it does best.

Or is it? If you're feeling cold, hot, stressed or otherwise less than 100% before you're scheduled to perform, you may not be able to deliver the goods. As it turns out, our voices are a lot more sensitive to environmental conditions than we might have otherwise realized.

Fortunately there are ways to avoid the risks and maximize your vocal performance no matter the weather. Read on to learn how.


 

Optimus Prime, Sheriff Woody & What Makes A Character Great

By Carmi Levy

October 7, 2014

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Optimus Prime in Universal Studios FloridaAt first glance, Optimus Prime hardly seems like a paragon of character-craft perfection. The center of the Transformers universe is as straight-laced and stoney-faced as they come: The perfect cartoon hero.

But there's more to his story. Much more. And just like Toy Story's Sheriff Woody, who also manages to transcend cartoonish shallowness with a complexity that might amaze the average adult, Optimus Prime has, in three decades of existence, taught us all a thing or two about not judging a book by its cover.

For more on how great writing and great voice work can create generationally significant characters, read on.


 

Should you Ello?

By Carmi Levy

October 6, 2014

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Ello logo - 320.pngEllo is the hottest thing to hit social media since Facebook first made it a reality for most of us. It's so popular that mere mortals can't even get in: They have to wait for an invitation.

But amid all the hype, there's a sobering reality: Just because it's getting a lot of buzz doesn't necessarily mean it's meant for you.

In this first of an occasional series examining how voice over talent can best use social media platforms and tools to grow their business, we'll discuss why Ello stands out, and why it's a long way away from threatening established services like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

If you're still on the fence over Ello, read on for some timely advice.


 

Do You Dread Public Speaking? Try These Exercises!

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

October 4, 2014

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Female public speaker in a business conference setting. Holding a microphone.From what I've heard, the fear of public speaking is rampant, and is even more of a frightful thing for most people than death itself!

Where do you stand on public speaking? Does it come easily to you or would you rather get a root canal?

Guest blogger Remie Purtill-Clarke shares her story of overcoming fear and provides tips that anyone can use, regardless of profession to get over the anxiety that often comes with giving a public address of some kind.

Join us in today's Vox Daily to learn more about how you can cope with this fear and get to a place where you have overcome it.


 

Vox Talk wants YOU!

By Carmi Levy

October 3, 2014

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Vox Talk Studio Session - 320.jpgAre you a Vox Talk listener? Do you want to do more than just listen? Well, we want to hear from you.

Vox Talk is our weekly look at everything that's happening in the voice industry, and it's become a pretty popular resource - the #1 voice acting podcast - that covers industry news, business tips, and technology.

Here's where you come in: We want you to join us. Because we shouldn't be the only ones to have all the fun.

Read on for details on how you can be a podcaster, too!


 

How To Present Yourself As A Native Speaker

By Carmi Levy

October 3, 2014

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The Old Neighborhood - 320.jpgDid you ever fail to get a job because you didn't sound like you were "from here"?

Native speakers often get the edge in voice work because they sound like locals. From language, to dialect, and to accent, when they speak, they authentically represent the place where they come from.

Whether you were born there, or whether you've simply lived somewhere for a long time, you absorb what makes this place unique. And taking the time to recognize the subtleties that separate native speakers from everyone else could be the key to growing your voice career.

Read on for more.


 

Should You Insure Your Voice?

By Carmi Levy

October 1, 2014

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stethoscope - Flickr - Lora Zibman - 320.jpgFor people who use their voice professionally, the health of their voice matters more than anything.

Even if you take care of yourself and your voice, you never know when the unexpected can happen.

Lose your ability to speak or sing or otherwise communicate and you may as well close up shop and call it a career. If your voice is your meal ticket, what options are available to you if you lose it?

Fortunately there are options. And with a bit of advance planning, you can ensure you're covered even if the worst case scenario occurs.

For more guidance on how you can minimize the risk, read on.


 

Why Should Radio Stations Hire Freelance Voice Talent?

By Carmi Levy

September 30, 2014

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Woman in a radio stationTo save money and time, radio stations often use in-house talent to voice their ads. It may seem more efficient to use announcers who are close-by, but it can cause more problems than it solves.

When the same voices are selling everything, all the time, listeners tune out.

To keep things fresh, consider bringing in freelance voice talent. It drives on-air diversity, reduces the potential for the same voices to run into each other in the same market, and benefits advertisers by maximizing listener engagement.

For more background on why freelance voice talent should be on your radar, please read on.


 

5 Steps To Building A Great App Preview Video

By Carmi Levy

September 29, 2014

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Voicesdotcom iTunes app page - 320.PNGIf you're one of the growing numbers of businesses or individuals who are thinking of creating an app to market yourself, you need to know this.

For the first time ever, Apple has decided to allow the app preview page in its online App Store to include videos. Up until now, app preview pages have been static, with only snippets of photos, graphics and text to tell your app's story.

All that changes with video, and it's a great way to stand out from the crowd - 1.3 million apps and growing - and get your app the attention it deserves.

For a rundown of the 5 things you must keep in mind as you begin building your video app preview, read on.


 

Bringing Your A-Game and Getting Involved

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

September 25, 2014

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Friends visiting outdoors, drinking smoothies.Have you been longing to join the greater discussion around industry?

Are you looking to ride the wave of progress, be inspired and capitalize on the amazing things that are happening every day?

If so, you've come to the right place.

The Vox Daily blog, Vox Talk podcast and Voice Over Times are vessels that we use to deliver meaningful content to you on a regular basis.

Educating, empowering and equipping our customers, while having fun at the same time, is very important to us. More than that, we desire engaging with you and hereby invite you to join the conversation.

Interested?

Find out more in today's Vox Daily.


 

Vanishing Act: Movie Trailers Are Going Voiceless

By Carmi Levy

September 23, 2014

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Theatre and projector - 320.jpgYour ears aren't playing tricks on you. In recent years, fewer and fewer movie trailers use voice over narration.

Instead, the previews that pierce the darkness increasingly use mixtures of content lifted directly from the movie to tell the story in a couple of minutes and capture the attention of theatregoers.

Thanks to the Internet, how we tell stories is changing, and where we learn about upcoming movies is similarly evolving. Since Twitter and Instagram might already tell us all all there is to know about a movie before we even step into the theatre, the traditional trailer is no longer the only marketing tool available to producers.

Read on for more on how the trailer is evolving, and why.


 

Clear Channel Rebranding Reshapes Radio's Future

By Carmi Levy

September 18, 2014

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Clear Channel iHeartMedia Website Screen ShotClear Channel is the biggest operator of AM and FM radio stations in the U.S., so its decision to rebrand itself sends a significant message to the industry that the age of conventional radio is drawing to a close.

Its new name, iHeartMedia, Inc., recognizes the tremendous influence of Internet culture on traditional radio listening habits, and the urgent need for companies like Clear Channel to radically reorient themselves if they hope to survive.

The future of radio is digital, online, streaming, mobile, and social. While iHeartMedia still owns some 850 radio stations, how it reshapes those once-conventional - but no longer so - properties - will influence the industry for years to come.

Read on for our take on why this matters to you.


 

Apple App Store Video Preview Is A Gamechanger

By Carmi Levy

September 17, 2014

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iPad Apple App Store IconThe Apple iTunes App Store on iOS is undergoing a radical upgrade. Effective immediately, app preview pages now support videos in addition to photos and text.

If you've got an iOS8 device - or a Mac running a beta version of the soon-to-be-released OS X Yosemite - you can already see the first few apps with videos on their app preview screens.

The change opens up an entirely new way for users of Apple devices to find just the right apps. It also makes it easier for app developers to market their titles and stand out from the crowd.

Read on for more info on what could be a significant new change to a familiar online marketplace.


 

Don't Ignore Your Vocal Health

By Carmi Levy

September 16, 2014

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Various remedies to maintain voice healthAre you doing enough to take care of your voice?

It's that time of year again when the temperatures go down, windows close up, furnaces get turned on and everyone heads back indoors.

In a way it's a perfect storm of unhealthiness, an environment built from the ground up to spread illness.

And for folks who use their voice professionally, it's one of the worst times of year. The combination of everyone getting back to an indoor routine coupled with an acceleration in demand now that everyone's back from summer vacation often means bad news for voice talent.

For more on how to keep the worst at bay - and what to do if the inevitable happens - read on.


 

Microsoft Buying Minecraft Creator Will Drive Mobile Voice

By Carmi Levy

September 15, 2014

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Microsoft Minecraft Acquisition Opens Up Audio OpportunitiesMicrosoft has shaken up the gaming world with its $2.5 billion U.S. purchase of Mojang AB, the company responsible for the popular Minecraft game.

The acquisition of the Swedish game developer is a significant bet by the world's largest software company in the future of gaming.

Given Minecraft's popularity on mobile platforms such as iOS and Android, the deal also reinforces the fast-changing nature of mobile games.

Expect the deal to accelerate development of new platforms for enhanced voice work, and open up more opportunities for voice talent and audio production professionals.

Learn more in today's VOX Daily.


 

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