Your Voice – The Human Connection

By Tim Keenan and Mike Laponis

Every one of us has an imprinted memory from our youth of an unusual or significant VOICE – either a voice talent or on camera actor, or even a singer or music group. That voice or collection of voices resonated with us somehow and planted those memories.

In today’s new norm of separation, your VOICE has the ability to bridge the gap and may, for quite a while, be able to professionally replace the connection of the handshake or the hug. In these times of physical distancing, our voice already has an increased importance with staying closely connected to family, friends, business associates, clients, and potential clients.

The intimacy that the human voice conveys has tremendous power and impact, that is now even more important in business communication. Communication professionals and content creators will need to tap into the skills you’ve developed in abundance moving forward.

The business world has already seen a tremendous surge in targeted consumer and business podcasting as well as distance learning. Sales of Audiobooks are booming right now. And the trend toward creating pre-produced educational content, instead of using live instructors in a group setting, will also expand for business and education over the next year in order to avoid the impact of the current COVID19 contagion.

Voice professionals will be in more demand as we move forward. The best part of this is that each of us has our own unique voice and sound. And it communicates so much. Not with just the actual vocabulary, but intonation, pitch, attitude…emotion. Your voice says so much. It conveys so many emotions. It creates a common bond…a human connection.


Is there some science that back all this up? You bet.

There are studies that show babies recognize their Mom’s voice even from inside the womb. Even that early in life, we can already distinguish who is speaking. These sounds stir emotions, quicken heartbeats, create bonds – all by the sound of one’s voice. The connections are real. It’s all a part of a bond, that even with physical distance, your voice maintains that human connection.

The human voice can even create emotions without really saying any words. Such a range! Or the very same words you say can vary in meaning by the emotion expressed. All with your voice. The human voice creates emotions.

In this article there is a wonderful interactive map, that when activated you hear different emotions communicated through vocal sounds. By hovering your mouse over the particular emotion, you hear vocalized sounds that convey particular emotions. It is incredible! Especially as you move from emotion to emotion and the parts in between. You hear it morph into another emotion.


You have to try it! . This clearly demonstrates the ability and range of human sound.  Our vocal chords convey meaning through the sounds we are able to make. This is the amazing ability to CONNECT. It is why the voice is so powerful in reaching and connecting with others. The human connection. We convey meaning, and express emotion with our voice.

It’s up to you to tap into all that your voice can convey to deliver a message with impact and warmth and honesty. Now is the time to be ready to use all your tools and share your gifts in order to help the business world communicate and CONNECT to their employees and customers like never before.


Mike Laponis is a Southern California based Voiceover Talent, and Audio Producer. He is currently a Professor of Communications at the University of La Verne. His website is

Tim Keenan is the owner of Creative Media Recording, a full service, Southern California audio production company serving independent producers, corporations and ad agencies. At Creative Media is the senior audio engineer, casting director and an active voice talent.

A Lesson From My Dad

My dad was an old school mid-western Internal Medicine Physician who loved to tell medical stories and share anecdotes. He also had lots of little sayings from his childhood like “Waste Not, Want Not” and the like. For many years he also lamented the fact that Americans had no understanding of the “Infectious Theory of Disease” – medical rules of the road he learned all too well in medical school and as a practicing physician.

All of us are guilty at times of just trying to “push through it” when we’re sick. Many just go to work or go about our daily lives without a second thought.

I was reminded of this when just few weeks ago (it seems like so long ago, now!) a subject matter expert came into our voiceover studio to be interviewed for a business podcast. He chatted, shook everyone’s hand and then got all set up in the voiceover booth with the host. As we were getting levels set he said, “I hope my voice sounds okay. I’ve got a bit of a cold.”

My first thought was: I was glad that there were no voiceover talents here for this session because getting a cold could wipe them out from work for days. Then I ran out and washed my hands, all the time thinking of my dad’s frequent admonition. There is no such thing as “a bit of a cold.” Germs are germs, folks.

This is a vital axiom we are coming to learn all too well during this Corona Virus Pandemic. My sincere hope is that the one good thing that’ll come out of this will be a greater awareness of not wanting to transmit whatever illness we may have on to others. And maybe our first instinct will now be to stay home and away from others as much as we can when we’re sick. In the future we may be able to avoid those annual colds and sniffles.

As I watched clerks scrubbing the counters between customers at our local Target, I realized that this could be the tipping point. And we may become especially conscious when we’re hanging around the elderly or people with “underlying conditions.” This crisis has now made us hyper aware that the impact of what may only seem like “just a simple cold” to us — might have catastrophic effects on those around us who are more vulnerable.

Making GREAT Connections is Key for Business Success!

I was recently asked by Canadian based Voice Actor & Coach Marc Scott “If you could give a voice actor ONE piece of advice, what would it be?”  Here’s my response:

CONNECTIONS are the key to your success. As I look back on a lifetime of working in this business as an audio producer and voice artist I can see where my greatest business drivers came from. Building personal one on one contacts and connections are what led to a strong, loyal client base. We’ve been blessed to have worked with more than a few clients for over 3 decades. Much of that was because we kept up with changing times, technology and trends – but I like to think it was also because we built bonds based on trust and professionalism.

Start locally and branch out. Social media is good, but work to build true “connections” and don’t let it suck your time.

Find a good mentor – or two – or three.

“Live” network with businesses and producer/directors in your region. That one–on-one and face-to-face connection is a powerful one that may lead to a good connection, especially in this social media driven world.

Build relationships with local audio studios that work in the media field. Find out what services they can provide to YOU like ISDN/Source Connect sessions, talent rates for studio rental where clients may want to come to direct you live. You would be amazed how that could then lead to referrals back to you because the engineers will get a chance to hear your voice and find out what it’s like to work with you.

Keep in contact with your contacts – without being a pest. When clients leave one company, follow them to their new job but keep your connection to their previous employer/company if you can. We can trace clients back 3, 4 or 5 levels of change that have stayed loyal to us over the years.

Marketing to all levels of clients works – but we have found the best clients are ones that come from other producers or within your own base of clients. Don’t be afraid to ask for referrals or leads – but don’t overstep your bounds. If you get hired by a producer, don’t reach out to their client.

Think outside the box – write a letter, send Holiday cards on unusual (non-card) Holidays, or send small tokens of appreciation when appropriate

Bottom line, don’t be a jerk. No one wants to work with jerks – and it is so easy to move on to the next voice. Be willing to go above and beyond (without being taken advantage of). Do good work and be detail oriented. But be pleasant, upbeat and responsive and it’ll pay dividends for years to come.

You can download Marc’s FREE E-Book “One Piece of VO Advice” with responses from 35 voiceover veterans — who all share their insight on how you can be a better voiceover professional.

CMR Produces The Silent Garden Audiobook

The team at Creative Media Recording completed production on two unique audiobooks at the end of 2016 that became available on in late Spring 2017. The Silent Garden / El Jardin Silencioso (in English & Spanish) by Paul W. Ogden and David H. Smith were developed for parents, educators and families to provide thorough guidance on the ins and outs of raising a deaf child. The authors are both noted university professors of Deaf Education who are deaf themselves.

In this edition of each book the two of them share their unique understanding of growing up and thriving in a hearing world. The Silent Garden help parents understand that all deaf children have the potential to lead rich, productive, and exciting lives.

The audio for the books was recorded in the CMR studios in Cypress over a several month period and they were narrated by professional Orange County voice talents Dave Sampson (English) and Paty Corcoran (Spanish).

With this launch, Creative Media is proud to have produced the very first audiobooks for the Gallaudet University Press, a publisher that specializes in providing an extensive knowledge base for and about deaf and hard of hearing people. It is affiliated with Gallaudet University. Here are links to the audiobooks with audio samples from each language:

ENGLISH version:

SPANISH version: