Punctuation is a "No, No" in Conversational Speech

Reading and speaking are different.
Reading without punctuation and conversation with punctuation are anathemas.
Confused? Read on.
Growing up, we’re taught that punctuation is the guiding principle of language. Whether reading out loud or silently, it is our instinct to follow the guidelines of punctuation. In conversational speech, however, the guidelines are different. When we are having a truly authentic conversation with one or more people,, there are no punctuation or grammatical marks to follow or lead us.  Subconsciously, conversational speech allows us to “let go” or forget the rules in the moment. 
Let’s look at a page of text. The printed words on paper are equidistant from each other, so the reader tends to verbalize them in a symmetrical fashion to mimic this distance. Not the conversational speaker.
Conversational speech and conversational reads of text, use the natural journey between words, which is asymmetrical. With this technique, the ideas and the emotional life of the speaker dictates the breaths, speed, pauses, stops and “coloring” of the words, not punctuation. Emphasis and dynamics are dictated by the emotional qualities of the moment, making each read a unique dialogue (never a monologue).
By “letting go,” of preconceived notions that copy must be “read,  rather than spoken authentically and emotionally, you will begin to nurture and develop this conversational VO style. With practice, this technique allows you to convey the ideas and feelings behind the copy while remaining sensitive to your listener’s needs. In order to get there, however, we need to undo years of being prisoner of punctuation and learn to reject the rules. I hope you’ll join me in this journey!
Who are you speaking to and Why?
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Michael Ingram
 

Copyright 2015

Conversational Speech Not

I have always felt greatly at ease having conversations with people off “the top of my head.” I love telling stories, jokes and sharing life’s adventures spontaneously. However, some people are uncomfortable ad-libbing.
This brings me to a question I hear a lot from voiceover clients and students: “What is conversational speech?”
During our day, while speaking with others, all of us make conversation as the situation demands. When we do, we’re improvising. All conversation is improvised.  “Conversational speech” is a technique that relies on this idea, helping us to take someone else’s (written) words and make them sound as if they are our own - with unique cadences, inflections and tonal qualities. This process is just that: a process that can be learned and a skill honed with practice. It is what I have learned to do from some great teachers and it is what I love sharing with voiceover students.
Convincing your audience that you are sincere is accomplished by speaking to them, not reading to them. Conversational speech helps bridge the gap between merely reading words and speaking words. Conversational speech is all about you. All about you, is how I approach my journey with my students.  
Please visit this Blog each week as I help you on this exciting new journey to share my experiences and tips.