Board ShotQuite often we get asked about ideas we’ve come across on how to create and produce better radio ads and TV spots. Because we record, edit and mix so much voice-over, music and sound-design we’re constantly accumulating innovative ideas from many sources that never seem to see the light of day. So, as we can, we’ll start trying to pass along some of the better nuggets we get in what we’ll call our “Board Of Education” segments.

One of the nagging injuries that cripples your average radio script is timing. Or, shall we say, a critical lack thereof.

More often than not, once we’re in session, the first take finishes with a sudden and collective “ah hah” springing from the latté crowd perched on the couch in the back of the room (well, to be fair, it’s probably just a polite comment from the perfectly coifed and clothed A.E. who’s “…just looking out for the client”)

Anyway, that vocal “gotcha” rears itself up upon the discovery that the script is too long and won’t be able to accommodate the added sound effects and music you need. Worse, your script is too short and you’ll be asked to insert yet another price or product mention.

And, as we all know, no one can hear “just a dollar thirty-nine”, or “low risk of sexual side effects” too many times.

Indeed – timing is everything.

A method that seems to mitigate this nasty problem is actually pretty simple and doesn’t require any special equipment or skill. Once you’ve typed out your award winning script, just play voice-over talent and record the spot into your voicemail. When you listen back to it simply focus on pace, rhythm, flow and feel – and, y’know, whether or not it’s coming in at the right time. Doh!

Nine times outta ten you’ll find places that can be tightened up, areas that will benefit from the voice-over talent slowing down, or wonderful occasions to place …awkward …uncomfortable …delicious…


Once you’ve got your script nipped and tucked to perfection, be prepared to enjoy the most satisfying pause of all while you’re in session at the recording studio. That first take will get logged in the books and you’ll experience an interminable chasm of quiet as you wait for that A.E. to offer some pithy insight on a timing issue, …that won’t be there.