If you’re making resolutions in the new year, here’s how to make a big difference in your voice over auditions: Go Before You’re Ready. Drop any ritual preparation or typical formula that you’ve developed, and step up to the mic and let it rip.

Here’s why: imagine a time when you wanted to have a conversation, but you needed to be thoughtful or careful about your wording. So before speaking, you practiced your speech or paused to think about how you wanted the words to come out. This is a good idea in personal relationships, but in reality, you are still holding back part of yourself.

This holding back is a bad idea for voice over. In voice over, you already have a prescribed set of words that have been scrutinized by an entire team, so the carefulness and planning have been done for you. Your job is to speak from an intuitive place and trust that your training will support you. Thinking, preparation and rehearsal are the enemy to authenticity, and current trends lean towards realness and away from carefulness.

So Go Before You’re Ready by reading the content, choosing your POV and tone, and then recording. This will create an audition from the inside out so that the words tumble from a connected and spontaneous place inside of you rather than a manufactured sound that you think is needed.

Recreate the true connection we have in everyday conversations, which we never prepare for, by the way. Let the inherent knowledge of being human to take over and lead you to being in the moment, unprepared and not holding back. Anything can happen in a new year; embrace this excitement with your delivery.

Sally Clawson is the owner of Voice One Training and will be teaching and presenting on Spontaneity and Script Analysis in Commercial Voice Over at VO Atlanta 2020.