Talking out loud: Words that voice overs HATE

Talking out loud, Natalie Cooper British female voice over works from her professional broadcast quality home studio with ISDN, Neumann Mics

Talking out loud for a living

Talking out loud for a living. Getting paid to speak. Nothing to it. Easiest job in the world. As a voice over I hear this from time to time, mostly from people that have never tried to do it and don’t work in the industry. Anyone that’s spent any time in the booth, on either side of the glass, will know there’s more skill involved than an experienced voice over will ever let on. The trick is to make it look effortless. And actually, after nearly 20 years in the business, mostly it is.


The turning of a new century wasn’t a happy time for me. “Millenium” caused this new voice over more problems than I care to remember, and this week it was the word “regularly” that became my nemesis. The thing is, when said correctly, it can sound very wrong, especially when self-directing. All those pesky “L”s. All, in fact, both, of them! As I’m sat typing this, I’m saying “regularly” out loud, and guess what, it’s easy, no trouble at all. 

Over the years, I’ve also noticed that some words just don’t play nicely together. If you’re providing the words, do try reading it out loud, as you hope to hear your chosen voice read it, before finalising the script.  You might be surprised by seemingly innocuous words turning into quite a mouthful.

In a search for voice over solidarity, I thought I’d ask my fellow voice over chums if they ever struggled with this tricky word, and I was a bit surprised at the enthusiasm with which they joined in the thread.  It turns out it’s not just “regularly” that can trip us up. If you happen to be writing a voice over script in the future, you might want to avoid having too many of these in one script.

digital / digital technology





innovative, or is it innovative?


rural redevelopment


And I certainly couldn’t recommend adding this sentence to your script: “change your digital veterinary itinerary regularly … every February!”. Go on, try it!

Of course, when we nail it, we quite reasonably feel rather quietly pleased with ourselves. Making talking out loud for a living look like the easiest job in the world.


Leave a Comment

For security, use of Google's reCAPTCHA service is required which is subject to the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

I agree to these terms.