Making A Jingle Work for You!

February 22, 2011

Can’t seem to get that “catchy little tune” out of your brain?  Are you finding yourself humming it during the day, or even during the night when you’re SUPPOSED to be sleeping?  THAT’s exactly what the advertiser wants YOU to experience!  Did you know that if you set it to music, you won’t forget it!!! Recall that “stick-in-your-brain tune” and you’ll also remember the information the advertiser wants you to retain!  And…his sales will increase.  It works every time, no matter what you’re selling.  Ergo…the “musical jingle!”  Bring it on…and bring on the sales, as well.

Current brain research supports this powerful and impacting “musical” phenomenon.  Think about it…how did you learn YOUR A-B-Cs?  And how have you taught others to recite their A-Z sequence themselves?…By SINGING it again and again…and again.  Many of us also learned our multiplication tables through a little math tune, or the names of the state capitols in that same musical way.  Our “strategic and intentional teacher” provided these “musical tunes to learning” (because she KNEW the powerful connection those little ditties would provide in embedding that information in the students’ brains).   Music supports the message within, and the experience is both pleasurable and powerful

Just like Mary Poppins suggests, “A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down.”  In this case our “spoonful of sugar” is a little bit of music!  Music makes the “medicine” go down a whole lot better.  No more “dry bones” when it comes to storing important information.  Do it better with a little music!  When you consider some of our largest and most profitable companies and their advertising methods, you’ll soon recall a “jingle” that carries their particular message to the ear of the consumer.  Who could forget the simple melody that supports the words “You deserve a break today!” – Of course, it’s McDonald’s!  Did ya’ just hear that little tune in your brain once again?  The “musical jingle” embeds that information more deeply in the listener’s brain!  Want another example?  How about that old Empire Carpet jingle…can you sing that tune?  Bet you can, and now it’s gonna bug you for the rest of the day – or night!  MUSIC!  Powerful!  Impacting! 

Want to know WHY this happens when we use music?  Our brains are uniquely “wired” to store patterns and relationships.  They seek these patterns throughout life, and what better place to find patterns than in music!  Quoting brain research guru Eric Jensen, “Music aids memory because the beat, melody, and harmony serve as ‘carriers’ for the semantic content.  That is why it’s easier to recall the words to a song than a conversation.”  The most important part of this research suggests that when we put KEY WORDS TO MUSIC, we will typically get better recall.  So, that being said, if you want your audience to remember important information, simply set a small portion of it to music and it will get stored “magically” in the brain for later recall!  Voila!  Works every time! 

When you’re ready to get your story out to your clients, using a powerful medium called the “jingle,” then give Windy City Voice Talents a call!  Kathy Poelker will be ready to create just that right little “stick-in-your-brain” tune to drive your customers crazy in a positively lucrative way!  To hear a sample of her demo jingles that she produced for United Airlines and Eastman Kodak, visit http://windycityvoice.com/voice-over_talent.html

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Kathy Poelker is one of the founders of Windy City Voice Talents located in Chicago, Illinois and is also a Voice Over Coach for Such A Voice.  She is a voice over artist, copywriter, and jingle writer.  Kathy’s voice over specialties include commercials, radio, TV, eLearning, narrations, industrials, children’s books, IVR, websites, and audiobooks.  Kathy is also experienced in broadcast marketing and robocall advertising.  For more information, please visit http://windycityvoice.com

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Stop Thinking Negative Thoughts!

February 1, 2011

Defeated, discouraged, depressed…These are just a few of the “state of mind” emotions that can result from what many people now term, “stinking thinking”.  Stinking thinking, otherwise known as thinking negative thoughts or negative self-talk, is a common but unproductive pastime, especially for actors.  Just imagine how much extra energy and creativity we would have if we weren’t continually bogged down by thoughts of doom and gloom!  Our chosen field of work is filled with subjective opinion and oftentimes we hear the word “no”.  That’s part of the business of being a voice actor.  You need to be prepared to hear the word “no” a lot…And yet, not let it discourage you!  If you find that you are unable to cope with rejection, voice acting is definitely not the right career for you.

It’s true…We all tend to think in extremes, but for some of us, this extreme thinking somehow becomes distorted and unhealthy.  There are many reasons why we may practice this distorted thinking.  Often, we may simply be tired or hungry.  Sometimes, we may be experiencing the effects of depressants such as alcohol or crashing from stimulants like caffeine or cigarettes.  Or, in severe cases, we might be suffering from depression, and our brain may not be producing or utilizing serotonin or dopamine correctly.  Following are some common forms of “stinking thinking” (from Burns, David D., MD. 1989. The Feeling Good Handbook. New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc.).  Take a look and see if any of them are getting in your way.

  •  All-or-nothing thinking:  You see things in black and white categories.  If your performance falls short of perfect, you see yourself as a total failure.
  • Overgeneralization:  You see a single negative event as a never-ending pattern of defeat.
  • Mental filter:  You pick out a single negative detail and dwell on it exclusively so that your vision of all reality becomes darkened, like the drop of ink that discolors the entire beaker of water.
  • Disqualifying the positive:  You reject positive experiences by insisting they “don’t count” for some reason or other. You maintain a negative belief that is contradicted by your everyday experiences.
  • Jumping to conclusions:  You make a negative interpretation even though there are no definite facts that convincingly support your conclusion.
  • Mind reading:  You arbitrarily conclude that someone is reacting negatively to you and don’t bother to check it out. 
  • The Fortune Teller Error:  You anticipate that things will turn out badly and feel convinced that your prediction is an already-established fact.
  • Magnification (catastrophizing) or minimization:  You exaggerate the importance of things (such as your goof-up or someone else’s achievement), or you inappropriately shrink things until they appear tiny (your own desirable qualities or the other fellow’s imperfections).  This is also called the “binocular trick.”
  • Emotional reasoning:  You assume that your negative emotions necessarily reflect the way things really are: “I feel it, therefore it must be true.”
  • Should statements:  You try to motivate yourself with “shoulds” and “shouldn’ts”, as if you had to be whipped and punished before you could be expected to do anything.  “Musts” and “oughts” are also offenders.  The emotional consequence is guilt.  When you direct should statements toward others, you feel anger, frustration, and resentment.
  • Labeling and mislabeling:   This is an extreme form of overgeneralization.  Instead of describing your error, you attach a negative label to yourself: “I’m a loser.”  When someone else’s behavior rubs you the wrong way, you attach a negative label to him, “He’s a damn louse.”  Mislabeling involves describing an event with language that is highly colored and emotionally loaded.
  • Personalization:  You see yourself as the cause of some negative external event for which, in fact, you were not primarily responsible.

We’ve all done it!  You can’t be involved in a highly subjective and creative field such as voice acting and not stumble into “stinking thinking” from time to time.  The dangerous thing about “stinking thinking” is that it can spiral out of control and, once it does, is very difficult to recover from.  As voice actors, it is important for us to quickly identify any negative thought patterns, break the pattern and get our minds and thoughts back to a “good” place.  Every voice acting coach will tell you, “the mic never lies”.  If our heads are filled with negative thoughts, the resultant emotions will “spill out” of us and into our reads.  Not at all a desirable effect.

So what’s a stinky-thinker to do?  First, when you find yourself caught up in negative thoughts, you need to immediately stop, step back from the situation and write some of those thoughts down.  Next, start with one of the thoughts you’ve written down and try to identify what it is specifically that is making you think that particular thought.  You need to try to pinpoint the reasons behind why you’re feeling badly.  Finally, you need to compare your thought to the likely reality of the situation.  Be truthful with yourself…This can be difficult to do especially if you are feeling “stuck” in a mood.  The reality is, however, that by identifying the reasons behind your thoughts, you can improve your mood and begin making healthier decisions.  This will translate into a much more positive attitude which, in turn, will be “heard” in your work.

If you find that you’re having trouble reasoning through the thought process or if you just can’t seem to break the negative thought pattern, then ask a close, trusted, positive friend or a therapist to help you.  Sometimes a more subjective perspective can be invaluable!

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David Lecinski is one of the founders of Windy City Voice Talents located in Chicago, Illinois and the Casting Advisory Manager for Voice123.  David is also a voice over artist and does voice overs for IVR, radio & TV ads, Flash movies & presentations, documentaries, eLearning, audiobooks, social media advertising – you name it, he voices it!  For more information, please visit http://windycityvoice.com


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