top of page

Want to Improve the Way You Interpret Copy? Then Try Writing!

There are dozens of techniques that voice talent can employ to learn how to interpret copy. An actor may have a tough time choosing the best method, or learning all the methods in order to best determine what will work for them. This is not an easy task. And if you are like most voice talent looking for work, you've tried MANY copy interpretation techniques.

However, even with all the options available, you may still be struggling with copy interpretation. One way to improve the way you look at the “words on the page” is to try writing them. Learning basic copywriting techniques begins with your willingness to put pen to paper.

You don’t need to be a great or even good writer; just learning the fundamentals of copy writing will help you to better understand the mind set of most copywriters and help you grasp the meaning behind most of their scripts.

Copywriters are the brains behind most ad campaigns. It is their vision, their words, and their story that make the ad come to life.  At many advertising agencies, script writers play an integral part in pitching or selling an idea to a client. Because, who better to explain a concept than its creator?

In most instances when a voiceover talent interprets a script what you are really trying to do is interpret the copywriters meaning.  The best way to do this is to get 'inside' their heads.  Walking, perhaps not a mile, but a few feet in their shoes, can make a huge difference in your performance.

I worked as a broadcast copywriter for many years in radio, advertising agencies and at a few message-on-hold marketing companies. There are a few tried and true formulas that copywriters reply on to begin the creative process, while also making certain that they meet the advertising needs of a client. A.I.D.R.A is a great one to help get the creative juices flowing.  It stands for Attract Attention, Create Interest, Create Desire, Reduce Resistance, and Urge Action.

Another popular formula was created by the Broadcast Advertising Bureau many years ago, hence it’s known as the BAB formula. State the main selling point, prove it and make it believable, apply it in terms of a listener’s benefit, and finally, urge action.

My personal favorite is S.A.M.E ,as in we all want the “same” thing, – Security, Authority, Money, Ego. Even if you find that a formula is not for you, at least try to use positive action words, mention the client often, include the listener in the narrative and use theater of the mind to show the story.

Begin by picking an advertisement from a newspaper. Any type of business will do and believe it or not,  the less copy the ad has the better. Too many copy points will stifle the creative process so less is better.

Take a moment to think about the type of buyer or client the advertiser is trying to attract. Then think about the benefits, or reasons why a client would buy. Keep your ideas simple and very focused by using one of the formulas. Remember, you aren’t trying to win any awards, nor is this really a writing exercise so keep your expectations low.

Try to write in a casual, relaxed, conversational tone. You are attempting to mimic what professional copywriters do everyday – write for the purpose of reading.  It’s not as easy as it sounds. Once you have something down on paper, read it out loud. You might be surprised to find that much of your punctuation needs to be moved or changed. You may even find that some of your phrases are difficult to read or that they are tongue twisters. Make whatever changes are necessary in order to make the piece easier to read.

It takes as little as 15 minutes a day to practice your mock script writing. With a bit of time and practice, you will find that your interpretation skills improve greatly because you are thinking like an ad writer.  You will be more attuned to script subtleties, and the nuances in the copy you receive for auditions.

Gabrielle Nistico, Gabby Nistico, The Voiceover Vixen, The Business First VO Coach, #VoiceoverVixen #VoiceOnFire #BusinessFirstVOCoach Voiceover, Success, Entrepreneur, Marketing Strategies, Copywriting, copy, advertising, conversational, broadcast, Voiceover Coaching, VO Coaching, Voiceover Coaches, Working Actors, Los Angeles, New York, Charlotte, North Carolina, VO Demo, Voiceover Demo, Demo Producer

45 views0 comments


bottom of page