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Negative Comments are Positive, Profitable, and More Productive

shutterstock_110410124 Here is one for all the voices like me who actually prefer the sound of, "We can't stand your voice, your 'takes', and we will not hire you." As opposed to "Well, we feel your voice and 'takes' are just fine and we are going to keep you 'on-file'." I've learned the latter comment is just too uncertain to spend resources on. Yeah, every once in while a producer who said "fine" turns into a client, but overall my net profits would have been higher had I never directed resources toward a producer who was less than thrilled... Frankly, I would rather find out what type of voice would really float that producer's boat, so I can direct her/him to a voice who will be ideal. But I suppose too many voices get hurt when producers give negative feedback, and the producers just can't discern when it's truly okay to be honest. Damn my ego riden cohorts or damn those spineless producers??? I just don't know, though I suspect it's a combination... Yet I know everyone wins when producers give me honest feedback. I use negative feedback as an opportunity to direct that refreshing and bold producer to the perfect voice. How do I win? Sometimes, the grateful voice, who ultimately gets the gig, will try to reciprocate. Plus, the producer who was kind enough (yes, kind enough) to risk being candid gets exactly what she/he wants, and I get far more satisfaction from that professional courtesy than by taking a check for a "fine" V.O. Ahhhh, so much more productive for everyone. Actually one of the most productive encounters of my career came from a radio program director. I am not one of the voices who is a career radio guy. My background and my main bread and butter today is in the ad agency business. Yet as a hobby many years ago, I worked fill-in and part time hosting requests and dedications in a soft rock radio format. In what's known as an "air check session," the program director, Bob Burch, tore up my on-air performance. Every time he stopped the tape he had something negative to cropped-girl-at-mic-cu_80677729.jpg say about my work. The two minute air check tape took him 20 minutes to pick apart... At the end of the session, I asked Bob if he wanted my resignation. He said, "What? I probably just fixed your on-air affectations. Do you think I would have wasted my time critiquing your work if I didn't think you were worthy?" Because Bob had the guts to be bold and to not sugar coat his comments, sensing I wanted to be better, he sent me through the best growing gush of my career. Those 20 minutes whipped my on-air performance into shape. Six months later, Bob was letting me substitute on PM drive. I applied his advice to my commercial and industrial voice-over demos as well, and I started getting V.O. gigs. That was almost 20 years ago, and I crave another growing gush like the gush for which Bob Burch was responsible. If there were more Bob Burches, we would all make more money or at least know where to redirect our energy. cropped-vngooglebanner.jpg

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