- One script
- One radio background talent
- One studio set up
- One Professional read
Mix it all up with a need to push the product and sound professional and you have the “Medium Sell.”
While we don’t often use the terms “soft sell,” “hard sell,” “medium sell,” etc. any more, those styles of reads are still heard today. So, instead of thinking of your deliveries in styles, start thinking of them in terms of characters. You have your “professional type” characters like teachers, public speakers, bosses etc. for the medium sell.
The “Medium Sell” is Back
This once frowned upon recipe is making a bit of comeback these days. In the beginning of my career, I was taught broadcasting – the ability to underline copy and find the key benefits to the customer and push or pull back on the delivery. Today, we call this the “Professional” read. There is a POLISH and underlying “smile” in its sound. You may actually have too much of this in your reads, where you don’t sound connected enough, or you may not have enough of this sound to be able to pull it off; it’s a delicate balance. There is an overall energy in the read that is necessary to learn.
I find that the talent who have broadcasting backgrounds have the hardest time learning how to act (to be real) and the talent that have acting backgrounds have a really hard time learning how to be professional. It’s not necessary to learn both, but it’s helpful. I’m able to pull off both professional and real at the same time and this helps me for narrations and commercial work…actually, in EVERYTHING I do!
Mastering the Medium Sell
In my opinion, mastering and combining both these techniques is key to reading a MEDIUM SELL in today’s voice over industry. Clients are concerned that they’ve pulled back too far and gone too “acted” in their deliveries. As a result, we are hearing a bit more of the “old school, sing-song” polish, mixed with the realistic actor.
This is a read you need to truly understand to pull off effectively. The medium sell is still as popular today as it when I started over 20 years ago.
Here’s an example of a medium sell read:
Until next time,
All my best!
VO Chef Deb