Creative direction requires one to be an excellent communicator. Language and terminology play a major role in creative direction. It so happens that, over a period of time, a lot of terms get used to an extent where their original meaning is completely lost.
Words have the power to impact people negatively or positively. What you say or write can give or take away life. So, the way you use certain terms can make them completely ineffective. That’s why, as a creative director, you must choose your words carefully, when dealing with your voiceover talent.
For instance, avoid using terms such as “energetic” or “high energy”. These terms are vague and do not communicate what you need to exactly say. Using vague terms will only cause your talent to misunderstand you and become confused.
The first and most basic thing to do here is to use a dictionary or thesaurus. Start looking for the terms you use the most. You are sure to find synonyms to those terms that are more specific and capable of communicating exactly what you want.
Also, adding fresh terms to your vocabulary can eliminate the nuisance of voiceovers misunderstanding you. Using specific words/terms will tell them exactly what you want.
Concrete language refers to the use of descriptions to help your voiceover artist develop tangible images with details that can be visualized. Abstract terms are poor at evoking images this way. To understand the difference between abstract and concrete language, let’s look at these two examples:
- Sara is an unhygienic person.
- Sara doesn’t brush her teeth.
Here, we see that the 2nd statement is specific. We see why Sara would be considered unhygienic. On the other hand, the first statement is generic and can be misinterpreted at any time. Specific statements tend to do a better job of helping out listeners make sense of what they are hearing. However, the first statement does the exact opposite and this can often lead to assumptions.
The second statement is an example of Concrete Language, while the first sentence is an example of an Ambiguous Statement.
Apart from specificity, it is necessary to choose terms and words that are clear and precise. Unfortunately, words and their meanings can be subjective. For instance, the term “expensive” is subject to one’s perception of wealth.
So, instead of saying “A” is expensive, it is better to say “A costs more, when compared to B and costs less, when compared to C”.
The point here is to make sure that language and term usage are given priority when communicating creative direction with a voiceover talent.
Roberta is a Professional AND International Award Winning trained Voice-Over Actor, as well as an accomplished On-Camera Actress and Spokesperson. She is the owner of Roberta Kennedy Voice Talent and RK Productions, Inc.
As a professional voice actor located in the San Francisco Bay Area, she’s recorded Voiceovers for companies around the world using her state of the art, broadcast quality studio. Her home studio is equipped with state-of-the-art ipDTL and ISDN with phone patch capability and lightning fast turnaround times.
A Voiceover talent with over 20 years of voiceover acting experience, she offers a full range of voiceover services at highly competitive rates & will work with your budget to help you promote your business to new levels of excellence!