Friday, August 28, 2015

“You Can't Take That Away From Me”

Thank you George and Ira Gershwin for composing that song. I have decided to adopt that as my anthem. I wasn't around in 1937 to hear that song when the film Shall We Dance first played in the theaters. But, I've certainly heard it a few times, in my lifetime.

When I first decided to make voice work my full time focus in 2011, after doing it as a part-time freelancer for two decades and after two other very successful careers, one as a broadcaster and another as a public relations practitioner, I was often told: “You need to shed that announcer sound.” I took that advice seriously. But, now I'm having second thoughts.

I spent many years developing that voice, learning how to resonate from my chest, how to enunciate, how to sound authoritative, how to project, but at the same time how to sound warm and friendly and conversational.

Those are characteristics few in the voiceover community possess these days. Everyone wants to be the guy or gal next door because it has been suggested that the younger generation wants to be “told not sold.” Ok. I buy that. But what about my generation? The generation that is now retiring and has money to burn? The generation that grew up with that friendly, likable announcer on the radio. What about them? They like announcers. They feel comfortable with them. They grew up with them. Why shouldn't they trust them like they always have.

“Here's a new product that will make your life more enjoyable.” “Here's a great place to retire, trust me.” “Our health is important. Here's some advice.” “You'll love this. It's so warm and comfortable.” “I'm just like you and we're in this together.” They are announcer messages. And I believe baby boomers, my peers, respond favorably to them.

So, I'm dusting off that “announcer” that I put on the shelf several years ago. I suppose I could say I'm polishing him up. There is a bit of a shine in places where I used to have hair up there. So, I guess that's appropriate.

Announcer for hire because, “No No, They Can't Take That Away from Me.”

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