skype-logo

How To Have A Great Skype Workout Session With Me

Hey, there!

I coach voice over talent in a number of areas, including the traditional performance coaching for VO artists. And I love the transformations that occur during coaching sessions (I call them private workouts).

When I work out with someone, I can either do it live, in-person in my Los Angeles studio, or I can do it live and in-person, but over Skype, the free audio and video messaging system.

And lately, I’ve suggested far more often that my clients and I hold our sessions via Skype, even if they live within driving distance – for one very important reason.

It’s simple: you’ll be working with your equipment, in your space, with your environment around you, and your equipment’s positioning – plus, I’m able to see your body position with regard to the mic, and how you address your mic.

Plus, you can share your computer’s screen with me so I can help you adjust Audacity if need be.

That all means you don’t have to transfer what you’d learn in an in-studio session (my studio, not yours) to try to map it to your studio’s particular set-up. You actually get instant use of what we discover together, and can apply it immediately to your day-to-day working environment.

As I’ve watch engaged, enthusiastic students and clients make great use of their Skype workouts with me, I’ve jotted down some of their best practices. Use these, and you’ll get a lot more out of the time we spend together.

Here’s what you should do to prepare for your Skype workout session with me.

1 Make sure you respond to my request to become one of your Skype contacts. Once we set a date, I’ll ask you for your Skype username so that I can request to become an approved contact for you. Make sure you respond to that so that I can instantly call you on the day of our workout. Here’s what it looks like when I make a request:

skype-contact-request

You’ll get a message asking you to confirm me – please do so.

2 Adjust your audio settings. Well before our session, open Skype’s preferences and adjust your audio inputs and outputs. If you work with a Macintosh, you’ll find this by going to the Skype menu, choosing Preferences, then clicking on the Audio/Video icon:

skype-preferences-menu

If you’re using a Windows computer, go to Tools >> Options in Windows, and click on the Audio Settings button:

skype-tools-options-win

Once in your Audio settings, be sure to select your AT-2020 USB Plus for both input and output. Of course, if you use a different mic than that, select whatever mic or USB bridge you use for your voice over work appropriately. The settings will usually be the same settings you choose for input and output in Audacity.

You’ll find your audio settings will be under the Audio/Video icon in Mac:

skype-adjust-audio

And you’ll find the same settings under Audio Settings in Windows:

skype-adjust-audio-win

Make sure the checkbox next to Automatically adjust microphone settings is not checked. Skype has a nasty habit of making all of your apps automatically change input levels if you select that. It should look like this:

skype-adjust-audio-auto-win

3 Make sure your studio space is quiet and well lit. Make sure your door is closed and any fans or lights that make noise are off. Do make sure that you are well-lit and easily seen, and that your equipment is also easily seen. You can see this on your video preferences screen: your camera will be turned on and you’ll be able to see yourself:

skype-adust-camera

Adjust your camera so I can see both your head and your microphone.

4 Make sure you have the right camera selected.. In some cases, there will only be one choice:

skype-select-camera

You may not have a Facetime camera – that’s usually just on Macintosh, but whatever cameras you might have listed, make sure the right one is capturing your lovely image.

5 Have your questions written down. If we dispatch with what you have for your clear goal with me, we can explore the other things you need. One of my favorite questions is “How can I help you?” and “What would you like?” Have your laundry list of questions you’d like answered somewhere in a notebook or a text file, so you can ask those if time allows.

In the comments below, share with all of us your best practices when it comes to Skype. Any tips you want to share?

Oh, and by the way – if you want to schedule some time together, just visit the VO2GoGo Workouts page to get the skinny on how that all works.

Hope this helps.

David

10 Responses to 6 Steps to a Perfect VO Demo

  1. Kelli August 18, 2011 at 2:58 am #

    I feel really good about my demo. It is a quick and fun process, even for someone like me who gets very self concious. :)

  2. David Britz September 5, 2011 at 11:25 pm #

    The demos are great. Superb quality. Why go anywhere else?

  3. David Britz October 20, 2011 at 3:51 pm #

    Can’t wait to record my Narration VO Demo!! :))

  4. Mike Brang December 31, 2013 at 9:44 am #

    Having a well-produced demo is one of the most important things in the VO business. I had a number of demos made from other producers in the past and they all had one thing in common — that manufactured, cookie cutter sound!
    What sets David apart from the rest, besides his affordable price and tremendously fast turn around time, is that all of the clips you record with him sound unique. Each spot sounds like an actual commercial you recorded for a job.
    My agent loved the quality and even asked who produced it to refer his other talent there!

    Thanks again, David for producing such a great, high quality demo for me. You made the process relaxing and enjoyable. I urge anyone reading this unsolicited reply to listen to David’s student demos to hear the difference for yourself. Anyone would be lucky to work with him

  5. Kristy Liles February 9, 2017 at 7:04 pm #

    I can not thank you enough. I worked so hard on 15 page IVR project, one day I cryed, look for answers, pull my hear (not really) but I was about until another VO send me this great tool. Thanks!

  6. Frank June 11, 2017 at 9:51 pm #

    David

    When v123 indicates the audition is for a student/ nonprofit are we to assume it is for $0. If so, why does the audition ask for an amount to be entered?

  7. shirley jordan June 12, 2017 at 5:58 pm #

    David,
    I did get this scam through Voice 123. In our discourse, they offered me the gig and they gave me the name of a legit local place to record and the same runaround with the money. I didn’t send anything, but instead, I called the studio to make sure the booking was for the day we set up, and lo and behold, the people there had no idea what I was talking about. I then tried to call back my “contact person” who was setting this up and there was a fax machine beep on the other end. I immediately contacted Voice 123 and told them what had happened. You know what they say…if it sounds togaed to be true, it probably is. Thanks for the reminder!
    Shirley

  8. shirley jordan June 12, 2017 at 5:59 pm #

    …too good…not togaed.
    The one time spell check didn’t work!

  9. Bernard Prame July 1, 2017 at 9:44 pm #

    extremely helpful demo. Thank you!

Leave a Reply