Listening is such a key to success in the voice over business, whether following labeling instructions from an agent or direction from a client. My good friend and agent, Erik Sheppard will not even listen to an audition if the the talent hasn’t labeled the audition according to his instruction. When we don’t listen, we are creating more work for the other person. Not listening to a client or an agent can be toxic toward your career. People want to work with talent who can follow instructions.
This is also very important when training with a voice-over coach. The coach is there to take you to the next level. Really, this applies to any coaching, schooling, etc. If we don’t listen to their instruction, we are wasting our time and not getting the most of it.
In this crazy world of so many gadgets, multi-tasking, pushing to do more, it can be hard to focus and things we communicate look fuzzy. Especially, if one chooses to only communicate via e-mail. The tone can easily get lost in the message. If you are unsure of what to do, don’t assume what you DO know is good enough. Ask the questions. Pick up the phone and call your agent or client.
A small thing that can make a huge difference in the multi-tasking area is to stay off the Internet and email while on the phone. Many of us are guilty of this. Thinking that looking at that email will just take a second and we can do both. But we can’t. That is when we miss very important information.
So let’s try to bring things back into focus. Take time to listen and don’t be doing two things at once or thinking about the next thing you’re going to say. A clear view so we can communicate more effectively.
“I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.” ~Robert McCloskey