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wonderfully chewy advertising copy


Writing is an art and any performer in almost any medium will tell you that without good writing you have only a good chance at success. But with great writing, you have a very good chance at success.

As voice over talents, our profession honestly sees mostly average writing, especially when it comes to advertising copy. There can be a myriad of reasons that foster such mediocrity primarily due to the medium itself and the message.

In :30 or :60 seconds, you don’t have a lot of time to flush out an interesting premise AND get the product’s name mentioned and make sure they know what the special offer or point of difference is. Also, sometimes the product or service just isn’t that interesting.

I will grant you that one of the tasks a writer must deal with is making it interesting…that is their job. But sometimes that is really hard.

I got a piece of audition copy last week that I loved. I didn’t get the job but I thought I did a great job on the audition. Bottom line: the client obviously didn’t. That’s show biz and I’m OK with that. I spent a lot more time than normal on the audition (which, unusually, came with it own music bed) because the copy triggered my voice over endorphins.

There may be a better and even more accurate term for the rush I get when I read some copy but that’s how I’ve always defined that sensation I get when I read the copy, review the product and it triggers so clearly in my mind the perfect voice I must use to embrace the language on the page that to alter the clarity of my performance path would almost be insulting to the writer and the client in that order.

The bad news about this chemical reaction is that while it works for me, it may be an abysmal failure in the client’s ears. Yikes! There’s your truth in advertising, buddy!

But with such sparse meaningful direction for auditions done via email today, you absolutely have to go with your performance gut. Because while I didn’t get the job, in my ego-tastic voice over head, I produced a great spot…for, um, which I was….uh, not hired.

Do you get this sensation when you read certain copy? Does it affect your performance and/or audition? How would you describe it?

are we the world?


It was 1985 and I was working at WVUD in Dayton.

The previous Christmas, musical artists in the UK under the leadership of (now) Sir Bob Geldof had recorded the incredibly impactful song “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” The song included a collection of the day’s top artists who donated their time and talent to raise money for the famine in Africa.

It was a singularly amazing combination of musical artistry, song writing and performance.

In January of 1985, at the end of the American Music Awards, scores of artists commuted from the award show to the A&M Studios to record the Michael Jackson and Lionel Ritchie penned “We Are The World“. It too was singularly amazing.

My recollection of the song is so fresh because as production manager at WVUD, I was tasked with recording the song off of our satellite upon its release and our station debut it in our market. Downloading a song off satellite was hardly an everyday occurrence in 1985. We usually waited for the records to arrive like every other radio station.

On Good Friday, April 5, 1985, at 12 o’clock noon on WVUD and over 8,000 U.S. radio stations, regardless of their format, played “We Are The World” at the same time. For those seven minutes you literally could tune in almost any radio station and hear the same song. It was a shining moment for radio.

There were concerts and fund rasiers and on Good Friday, 2008 – 23 years later, still more famine.

Can’t we use the millions of dollars paid to Paris Hilton to have a TV Show camera follow her around to buy grain for entire regions of starving people? Are our priorities still that askew?

Let’s not forget the hungry while we enjoy our Easter celebrations. We may not think so but someday it really could be us.

We Are The World – Part 1

We Are The World – Part 2

We Are The World – Part 3

We Are The World – Part 4

We Are The World – Part 5

We Are The World – Part 6

We Are The World – Part 7

We Are The World – Part 8

link love (aka longest blog post ever)


A gentleman who I’ve met a couple of times at podcamps (Toronto/Boston) named Christopher Penn did a very kind and unexpected thing a few months ago.

As a way to say thank you for everyone who supported his blog and podcast, he posted a list with links (where possible) of every person who left a comment. How brilliant for what poster shouldn’t be made to feel appreciated (well, maybe the 3,000 spammers whom I’ve filtered out but everyone else is great).

Well its taken a little time (600+ comments) and some of the records have been lost but most everybody who has visited and left a comment on voxmarketising – the audio’connell blog and podcast will be on the following list. If you’ve been here before, you’re probably on the list.

If you didn’t leave a web site, I at least included your name. If you have an updated web site since your last post here, let me know.

To my brief visitors, I hope you’ll subscribe and come back more often. To my subscribers, I cannot thank you enough and I hope to continue to provide content on voiceover, marketing and advertising (in blog and podcast form) the you find both informative and entertaining.

Thank you all for enjoying the ride with me.

And don’t for get to say hi!

Liz de Nesnera

James Lorenz

Bill Elder

Elaine Singer

Stephanie Ciccarelli

Dave Courvoisier

rowell gormon

Alex O’Neal

Mary Serra

Bobbin Beam

Ben Sandifer

Jennifer Dowdell



Karen Lehman

Lee Gordon om

Lucas Nugent

Bryan Cox

Dave DeAndrea

Connie Terwilliger

Doc Phillips

Bettye Zoller

Ray Fisher

September Day Leach

Scott Paxton

Greg Littlefield

Erik Sheppard

Roger Tremaine

Larry White

Dina Monaco-Boland

Mark Andrews

Allison Scussel

John Weeks

Chris Fadala

Melba Sibrel

Bob Souer


Sean McGaughey

Scott Monty

Doug Turkel

Mary McKitrick

Donna Papacosta

Jeffrey Kafer

Ralph Hass

Dave Fleet

Bruce Miles

Al Gritzmacher

Brian in Charlotte


Dave Christi

Drew Hadwal

Greg Phelps

Mike Cain

Frank Frederick

Lynn Newton


Connie Michener




J Richards

Kim Hall



Marti Krane

Jeff Gelder

Kirsten Conover

Doug Collins

Jaide Yim

diane maggipinto

R Baba

Kevin Heaton

Ron Harper


Christina Sanges

Sloan Garrett

Stan Schuler

Marilyn Schuler

B.T. Westfall

GT Winslow

Darren McCormick


John Demers

Dave Goldberg

Marco Alvarez

Jim Sutton

J. E. Wells

L. F. Chaney

Denise Basore


Shannon Kelly

Beverly Bremers

Joey Tack

Sheryl Beckwith

Steve Dubbz

Judy Jensen

Christy Felton


david goodman

Rob Actis

Gail Wood

Mike Fendt


Nancy Held Loucas

Sharon Feingold

Paul Anderson

Keith Miles

Carl Perez

Geri Mars

Ryan Eanes

Nisha M


Lynne Ferguson

Jenni B.

Larry Jensen

Blake Lawrence

Dave North






Chike Chukwuma

Dave Elvin


Dan Schweitzer

Roy Yokelson

Jessica Butler

Marilyn Gerber

Allen Brown

Zeke from CT

Robert Jadah

Colin Campbell

Linda, Live from Las Vegas

Piera Coppola

Bill Butler

Ann Heitman

Daniel Wright

David L. Jones


Bonnie Hockman

Richard Willis


Kim Lehman

Denise Stevenson

Bob O’Connor

Emma Miles

Marie Van Engelen

Benita whitaker


Jayna Wallach


Dylan Guptill

DeWitt Hardy

Deirdre B.

Johannah Olsher

Dave Hall



Susan Crippin

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Allen Scofield

Rich Brennan

Bobbi Owens


Melissa Exelberth

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Bobbie West

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Craig Park

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Caryn Clark

Jon Blaque

Bob Boving

Philip Ives

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Justin Barrett

David Houston

Dean Jones

Haneen Arafat

Brian Forrester

David Scott

cc petersen

Cameron Thomas

Julie Williams


Nelson Jewell

Cowboy Dave

Christine Pisano

Philip Banks

Tom Ackerman

Dave DeHart

Todd Ellis

Tim McLaughlin

Chris Eder

Miguel Alvarez


Greg Littlefield

Voice Over Man

Craig C Chapman

Mitch Joel

Saul Colt

Dave Forde

Eden Spodek



Linda Cappellano-Sar

David Bourgeois

Karen Commins

Janet Green

Kevin Baggs

Louis Trahan

where for art thou, ryze?


The meteoric rise and fall of internet companies is something almost all of us have witnessed. Names that just a few years ago were household names have evaporated.

Netscape? That browser doesn’t even get updated anymore.

Pets.com? Remember the doggie hand puppet. Turns out that sock was the most valuable asset the company had.

Go.com? Disney bought it and it, uh, went.



As in $790 million write off.

Well, what got me thinking about all all the social networking sites that are out there now. As you can see in the column on the right, you’re welcome to friend me up on any number of them. –>

But only 2-3 years ago, social networking sites that seemed hottest then have either faded or become geographically biased (which is a term I just made up and will explain as I go.)

The first social networking site I ever joined was called e-cademy. It was then and I’m guessing still is now very euro-centric in its membership and popularity. There was a weird vibe I got off the site (which I guess goes to their branding and the attitude of their on-line presence). I decided it wasn’t for me and I stopped paying. It wasn’t a bad site, it just didn’t seem to fit me.

The second social networking site I joined was RYZE. This had a different vibe which I preferred and was pretty active in it. What made this especially attractive to me was that they had semi regular meet-ups of RYZE members in Toronto.

Well I love Toronto and the idea of making new contacts up there thrilled me to no end so off I drove for 90 minutes each way for months. I met so many wonderful people in a great setting, like Leesa Barnes, Faith Seekings and others that it was a blast. And oh yes, I closed deals and made money.

But these groups are delicate (if that’s the right term) and when some of the member leaders changed, the meetings became infrequent. Word came down that RYZE wanted the Toronto group (the largest of all the RYZE meet-up groups) to stop meeting. My interest in the group lagged, the voice-over community on the site increasing consisted of Indonesian voice talents who spoke of a market I knew nothing about and felt ill-equipped to break into and I dropped my paid membership.

Well I have gone back to Ryze in the past couple of days as people have indicated they wanted to network with me. With my unpaid membership, such access had been limited. But when I signed in this week and last, I noticed I’d been given a “free week” (or “weeks” based on the time frame).

I updated a few things on my pages and added a friend. I also looked at the network pages where I had belonged in Ryze. Last posts in these networking groups ranged from 2006-2007. Not a good sign. Maybe THAT’S why I was getting the free week.

Have you or are you an active Ryze member? What have been your observations? Don’t you think that for Social Networks to really have value they need to have regular meet-ups?

one of one hundred


I am resourceful or I am full of resource or possibly I am a source of re’s.

It’s all so confusing but this burdensome responsibility has been placed on me by the Ciccarelli family, they of Voices.com fame. Now with their GoodVoiceKeeping Seal of Approval I have to churn out internet content that’s valuable and important and vital to the voice over, marketing and advertising communities!!!

Oh crap!

Well page through my archives, listen to my voxmarketising podcast, learn anything you want but just please take off your shoes before you come in as I just vacuumed.

Thank you.

a voice talent speaking in public


No matter what line of work you’re in, you will have to speak in public. It may be a crowd of hundreds or only a dozen or so people. And of course, public speaking continues to be one of society’s biggest fears.

There are only two times in all the public speaking that I have done that I was actually nervous, panicked and way anxious. Both times I was doing readings at a funeral and both times I had little or no time to prepare. Funerals don’t especially bother me (sad as they are) but being unprepared really bothers me. If my physical reaction these two times was anything close to what people have with their general fear of speaking, boy do I empathize.

Now you’d think that a guy with 25+ years of voice over experience would be able to keep it together even when speaking without preparation (having never seen the text or seen it really briefly before). And likely as far as the audience was concerned, I did. But internally, I could hear my voice crack, my breathing was tight and my body was rattling from head to toe. It was bad.

I don’t like being unprepared for live work.

In a studio, hand me a script, give me a few minutes to process and rehearse then hit the record button. I’ll be golden.

Live is different. You are not hidden in a booth and you get no retakes.

Live does not grant you do-overs. Preparation makes all things flow when you are live.

I’ll give you a couple of examples. Last weekend, I had to give a pulpit talk at my church on behalf of Catholic Charities. Big Cathedral, marble podium, the works. I aced it. I had time to spend 15-30 minutes the night before to prepare. I knew the script so well I could keep the talk going with eyes off of the script to look at the audience without losing a beat.

Yesterday, I gave a talk to a class of college students on the voice over business. All extemporaneous stuff. Home run. I’ve got 25 years worth of material. Here, its not a matter of having content, it’s a matter of editing it to only an hour’s worth of good stuff.

Both times I had done my homework. Both times I scores straight A’s.

Prepare, rehearse, plan. THEN make it look effortless.