Monday, 13 June 2016

Corporate Video Voice- It's not about you.

When working on voiceovers for Corporate videos on live sessions, often I find myself with a multitude of people on the other end of the line, all with valid and important input into the the script and my performance of it.
Corporate Video Voiceover
This can sometimes lead to conflicting advice and direction, and can be confusing. In some instances, it can even cause a feeling of panic. I think the thing to remember though is that you are just the final piece in a jigsaw that they have been invested in for quite some time. The end result matters to them, and has a direct impact on their business, and on the reactions to their work by their colleagues and peers. There is a reason why they are giving you feedback on your performance, and they are not always skilled at working with performers. The key thing here : IT IS NOT ABOUT YOU.

Your voice, and consequently you, are just the icing on the cake. It matters that you get it right. It matters that you are easy to work with. So don't get in your own way. Don't take any perceived criticism to heart. All they are seeking is the best vocal performance to fit their beloved project.

Do all that you can that seems reasonable to provide alternative and differing versions of your read. Ask any questions you need to that will help you understand the way they hope the video to go. Worst case scenario, ask them to say it aloud. It'll give you a better grounding in how to perform the script back to them. It isn't a failing, it is feedback. The more choices and flexibility in your performances, the more likely they are to hear something that sits right with them.

The sooner you can recover from any feedback that seems harsh or unfair, the better you finished performance will be. And the more gracious you can be about it, the better.

If you find yourself getting hot under the collar during the session, speak up and ask for a moment to gather your thoughts. The most confident performers are not afraid to do this. It shows integrity, commitment and professionalism.

After all, if you can stay calm, and be flexible, the client will get the product that they hope for, and be more likely to book you again. So speak up if you need to, and ask away.

If you find yourself getting in a fix in the booth, and feel yourself start to lose confidence, visit my Life Coaching and NLP website for Actors and Creatives to find out how we can eradicate those feelings for good.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

The power of playfulness in a Voice Actor's toolbox.

Out of a desire to better myself at coaching people for Voiceover and Audiobook Narration, I decided last year to train as a Master NLP Practitioner (NLP means Neuro Linguistic Programming, and in a nutshell is about recognising limiting beliefs littered through a person's language, and choosing alternative patterns of thinking in order to model excellent behaviours in successful thinkers and do-ers.)

It dawned on me that so many performers struggle in their careers, in whatever guise, because they are scared of taking the next vital steps, or put so much pressure on themselves to achieve: so much so  that failure becomes a deep, dark scary place, that they are not prepared to enter.  That many performers who had entered acting because it allowed them to play, lost this sense of playful exploration when they entered a business world of trying to market themselves. This realisation was so strong that I have now qualified as a Master NLP Practitioner, Hypnotherapist and certified Life Coach, specialising in Creative people and most especially with Actors and Performers.

What if failure could be turned on its head to a happy place which allowed you to experiment further with different ideas, and be playful? What if you could see open doors of opportunity in any knock backs you receive. It can be hard I know, and I know that with my recent learnings I have gleaned so much awareness of the power of alternative ways of thinking.  For example, if fear of rejection stops you from sending an email or making a phone call one more time to a prospective agent or potential client, how much better would it feel to turn that sense of rejection on its head and choose to go about your day-today career with a playful 'What If' attitude. Not only does a 'what if' attitude take the pressure away from being accepted or your own version of what it means to fail in a black and white mode of thinking, but it can also create much healthier thought patterns, and in turn greater creativity.

Think about how this would impact on your time in the booth. At an animation or gaming audition, or commercial for that matter, how much more fun would that audition session be if you went in with these thoughts:

  • It'll be great to meet some new people and find out all about them
  • I can't wait to have a play around with some characters and have lots of fun
  • I wonder what positive things will come from today

Compare this with a limited view, where failure is a possibility:

  • I feel nervous around new people.
  • I hope I do an ok job.
  • What if they don't like my work, and today's been a waste of my time?
  • I feel paranoid when I know the client and producer are discussing me and I can't hear.

I know which mindset would enable the best results for me. I know which attitude would mean that I was more up for connecting with the material, and which frame of mind would take me out of my own head of worry over how I am potentially viewed or judged.

Have a think about it - how do your thoughts limit you in the booth?

If you're interested in hearing about how my brand new Life Coaching and NLP techniques could help you as a performer to gain confidence and clarity, get in touch at

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Voiceover Business - Coaching matters

Coaching matters. Ofcourse, I would say that, I'm a coach. I coach people not only in Voiceover and Audiobook technique, but in VO business matters too, and since I am a qualified Life Coach, I also
coach people to improve their lives through changing their limiting beliefs and their mindsets. In short, I coach people to work towards their own visions of success.

I'm a huge believer in the importance of coaching. I have had many mentors, advisors and coaches during the course of my working life. Some I have worked with for a session or two, some for a few months, and some for a longer duration, over a couple of years. Coaches come and go from my life, but often their lessons have some lasting impact on the way I do business (and more importantly how I choose to live my life). One of the reasons I am drawn towards having someone help me in my business is that I have come to see that I place a high value on accountability. As a self-employed individual, working often alone (and let's face it, a lot of the time in seclusion in a booth!), it can be very rewarding to have someone to discuss the intricacies of ones daily struggles and challenges with, and to have someone to check in with along the way, and to push me to take important, but sometimes scary actions outside of my comfort zone.

A good coach will listen to woes, but also hear the language being used to describe the issues. In my experience it is when my descriptions of my current situation is littered with 'I can't's', and 'it's difficult's' and 'I'm no good at..'s', that my work flounders the most. Having someone point out to me the limiting beliefs I have created of myself at a given moment, and the negativity that I have allowed to creep into my everyday thoughts about my abilities, or about the level of success I could achieve, has been invaluable. They have set me on a higher path, much more likely to achieve the success I'm looking for at that time. Often it has been solely through the work with a coach that I have been able to pinpoint exactly what those successes that I hanker after actually are, because let's face it, everyone has a slightly different version of their dream job. And if you don't know what your dream is, how can you ever expect to achieve it?

From a Voiceover technique perspective, having a coach who can listen to my work and give me insightful pointers on what I am doing right, and what I am doing without realising that is off-putting, has been invaluable. It is one of the reasons I now choose to give back to those starting out in VO, because everyone has to start somewhere, and I had some tremendous people help me way back when. You can read some of the testimonials I've had from past clients here.

If you've shied away from coaching, albeit from a business or Voiceover specific point of view, I urge you to invest in yourself and find someone to work with. It could be the most powerful thing you do for your Voiceover business.

You can find out about my coaching at, for Voiceover, Audiobook and Success Life Coaching.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

You don't need Permission.

One of the subjects that crops up over and over in coaching sessions recently, is the idea of Voiceover as running a self-employed business, and all that that implies and entails on a day-to-basis.

Anyone coming from a theatre or film acting background, or fresh out of drama school, where so much power and influence is placed in the hands of an agent, may be surprised to learn of the vast amounts of work there is out there for Voiceover Artists going after work for themselves. Want to make sure your favourite production studio books you? Then make sure they get to hear your voice and your demo.

Anna Parker-Naples Voiceover Coach UK
You do not need permission to contact production studios, and casting directors! You are your own business, and every business needs constant sales and marketing. In Voiceovers, you can take control and manage your own career. This is especially true of those VO's with Home Studios.

How are people going to know that you have the perfect voice for their next project, if you aren't investing time, effort and energy into letting them know you are there, ready, waiting, experienced and ready to provide excellent customer service?

Anna Parker-Naples British Female Voiceover ArtistI read a great quote somewhere (and promptly forgot it), but the essence of it is this: in business, a potential customer generally needs to be made aware of you a MINIMUM of seven times before they decide to use your services. SEVEN TIMES. And that is until you are noticed, not necessarily until you are booked.  That's right - you need to up your marketing strategies to make this Voiceover business a success.  Personally, I take a lot of comfort and reassurance from that (slightly hazy and forgotten) quote. It means that I can process any rejection I might feel on not landing a gig I wanted, or not getting a response to a lead generation email that I had hoped for, as just one small step out of at least seven that I will have to take to get the potential client to notice me. It wasn't me they didn't like, it's they just have too much on their plates and haven't had enough time to sit up and take notice of me. Yet.
Anna Parker-Naples British Female Voiceover Artist
These days we have so many tools at our disposal for voiceover Marketing. To name a few options on social media - FB, Twitter, LinkedIn. We have the ability to send targetted newsletters to those on our list through online companies like MailChimp. We can pick up the phone and introduce ourselves. We can write a letter, or send a note, or a gift. We can write blogs. We can get out, and take a course with a producer. We can go to Voiceover Networking events.

So my question to you is...what are you going to do today, to make sure you notch up another of those sevens times before you are noticed?

This is your Voiceover business, and your responsibility to take action to increase your client list.

If you'd like any further advice, visit to book a coaching session.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Kickstart your year: train your brain for a successful year.

And...we're here in 2016! We've made it past even the Back to the Future future!

People are lovers or haters of the New Year, New You thought processes. Personally they make me tick. Perhaps it is the fresh clean pages of a new diary, and of a new journal, perhaps it is the feeling of having a fresh slate. Whatever it is that makes me feel ready and raring to go, there are certain commitments I make to myself at the start of January every year. I'm still working through some of them, as making changes in your life, and living a life by design rather than happenchance, takes some forethought and planning.

I thought I'd share with you some of the info that is shaping my year ahead.

I'm just getting started with this new routine, and beginning my day from a place of gratitude and thankfulness, combined with motivation and energy has already had a huge impact on my working week.

This thought- provoking short article made me think about now just what my most enjoyable year would include, rather than my most successful. It also prompted me to investigate the book Your Best Year Yet!: Ten Questions for Making the Next Twelve Months Your Most Successful Ever by Jinny Ditzler.  I think the title tells you what to expect inside. Perfect for really evaluating what can make you progress in your career.

Business and personal development books are great, but sometimes it feels so much better to have f something Voiceover specific, that hits the naiil on the head with our unique industry. Marc Scott has created a fabulous e-Book entitled:

 I think this won't be available for long, so hurry up and request your download. 

What will you read this month to kickstart your year?

Friday, 25 September 2015

Getting to the 'Success' Point

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about what it means to achieve success as a Voiceover Artist, or in fact in any performance career. The impetus for this was how mixed I felt when I won an award for Audiobook Narration recently, combined with the reading I've been doing for a forthcoming NLP Practitioner course I'm completing soon. NLP means 'Neuro -Linguistic Programming' and the practice of it allows people to make fundamental changes to how they catalogue their responses and thoughts about the world in their unconscious mind. The idea is that if you can find what triggers feelings of limitation such as disappointment, you can set about changing your language to counteract or even eradicate those feelings of not quite matching up to your ideals.

On discovering I was an Award Winner, I was delighted. I could see that my hard work and dedication to my career had paid-off in this badge of recognition. However, quickly I was consumed by doubt - had they really listened to me? Had they got the right person? What if others listened and thought I was terrible?  These insecurities and doubts triggered off feelings of 'Well I might have won this, but I'm nowhere near as good as.....(insert other Voice Actor)...., and I haven't won a (...insert other Award)...yet, I'm not even nominated.' I pretty much imploded with self-talk, and my head was not a positive place to be!

What it caused me to do was stop and think, reassess where I am, and what I now want my life to be about, not just in my career, but my personal life also. It is no bad thing, to hold a mirror up and take stock. It forced me to look at the journey I have had to get where I am today.  It forced me to recognise that my model of 'success' had changed so many times since I first became aware, almost 15 years ago, that I could make money with my voice. Back then, my dream was to create a good demo, to get an agent just to listen, and to land one single, little job. It is good to remember what it was like before I got started. The 'Anna' of 2000 would be astonished to see how far I have come, and yet (until now) the Anna of 2015 had always looked for more and thought it wasn't enough!

As a freelancer, ofcourse it is important to strive for more business, new clients, other networks to join and contacts to make. However, I 've had a wake up call that tells me it's ok to slow down once in a while, and view the journey, and decide 'Where next?'. It's also made me see that the giant leaps I have made in my career have been when I have had regular contact with an inspiring coach or mentor. And it makes me see that what I want as part of the future I am building, is to use my own successes to inspire others starting out in the Voice world to build their own model of success.  It is why I have set up my coaching website, and why I am excited about helping each of my clients achieve their own goals and dreams in this industry.

If you are interested in learning more about my Voiceover Coaching, please visit

Friday, 21 August 2015

Motherhood: Being a Girl, and making Voice work, work.

The summer holidays have got me thinking about what a great job I have, and how blessed I am to have created an environment for my children where I can be around for them all the time, and still be successful in my work. As a mother of three children, I can work from home whilst they are here too. No paying for expensive childcare, no hours spent commuting to someone else's office.  The overriding reason why Voiceover work is for me is that I choose to be first and foremost, a 24/7 mother to my children. I have chosen to work freelance and mostly from home so that I can be there for every school pick up and drop off, every school holiday. Every assembly, every Sports Day. And I know that there are many other VO girls out there, with talent and real ability, who make it work from their own studios because of the perks of the job in terms of motherhood and childcare. 

It is not to say that I don’t love my job for other reasons, because I do. I love the creative nature of my work, I love developing ongoing client relationships, I love the entrepreneurial element of my job, I love the sound of my own voice….! Yet, when I am chatting to other working mothers from more traditional type jobs at the school gate, and on play-dates, it strikes me that I am getting the balance right (or at the least, right for me. I place no judgement on other arrangements for parenting and childcare – I can only know what is best for my personal situation). I can book jobs flexibly- I can arrange ISDN sessions for when the youngest of my three children is at pre-school, and I can record any additional mp3, wav’s and material that doesn’t need direction from someone in another studio in the UK after the kids are in bed. It also leaves me the evenings for ISDN, ipDTL and Skype sessions with the US, and other places with different time zones. 
The glory of modern technology means that I can do my social network marketing whilst on the school run, I can send out quotes and invoices from my iPhone between chauffeuring my daughters to theatre school (performing runs in their blood, or so I like to think!). I can arrange coaching sessions whilst my son watches Bob the Builder, and I do the ironing. I can read blogs in between watching swimming classes, and I can do last minute short sessions whilst the fish fingers are in the oven.
In addition, I am close enough to swan into London at short notice when a face-to-face session is required in a studio, which also enables me to feel less isolated than a home booth can at times feel. And I can still be back in time for the school run.
Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t always plain sailing. The long school summer holidays can be a particularly tricky juggling act (fortunately Granny and Grandpa are a stones throw away in any ‘I have a session booked for 30 minutes time and the kids are WILD today’ emergencies). As they get older though, my children do understand that they need to be particularly quiet in short blasts from time to time. Bribery helps. (For those in similar situations, I have found that a packet of crisps allows me more ‘silent time’ than sweets or a chocolate bar!). Other sticky moments have been when they were young babies, and I had tight deadlines to reach, and my ‘fail-safe’ plan to record once they had GONE TO SLEEP backfired on me.  But on the whole, it works, and it works well. And increasingly, they are very proud of my work and my achievements and show off to their friends about it, which is just brilliant, to be honest.
So to other women interested in Voiceover work, that’s maybe the message I want to spread. That it can work, if you work hard enough to make it work. You can be a full time VO, and a full time stay-at-home mother. I know because I’ve been doing it successfully for years. So any of you VO girls who are lucky enough to be new mothers, wondering how on earth you can fit it all in, please know that you can, and it may just be the thing that saves your sanity during the baby years!

I provide coaching for Voiceover Artists via Skype. Visit, and let's get the ball rolling for your stay-at-home career.