Natural World: Birds of Paradise

Lovely to see the Natural World ‘Birds of Paradise’ documentary that I did some voiceover work on is on BBC​ iplayer again! I recorded my parts in 2010 and the incredible David Attenborough​ narrated the rest of the documentary. The series was edited by Tim Martin for the BBC Natural History Unit​ and produced by Mary Keevil at Tigress Productions.

If you are in the UK you can watch the full documentary here for another couple of weeks or if you just want to see my part, it’s below! 

Thank you Paul Bridge​ from Voiceovers.co.uk for the heads up!




Hosting CVS Conference 2018

I had a fantastic couple of days last week hosting the CVS Group Plc Conference 2018 at the Hilton in Birmingham. It was particularly fun to share the stage with the hilarious James Nesbitt, star of The Hobbit and Cold Feet, and meeting vets from all over the UK, the Republic of Ireland and the Netherlands. Thanks to Protec European Events for doing a fantastic job organising the conference.



Theresa’s Brexit Fantasy…


I am now a newsreader! My voiceover did a spot of time travelling on the news with The Jeremy Vine Show this morning on BBC Radio 2.
 
The headline – BREXIT is all going to be MARVELLOUS!
 
Well – what do you think?! Could Theresa May pull off a miracle last minute brexit deal? Is this a possibility or a distant dream?


Balkan Triangle – Documentary Voiceover


Recently I have been working with Dutch Director Stef Brok to record a voiceover for his documentary Balkan Triangle.

Balkan Triangle follows three different stories of men who were vital in resisting nationalism before and during the Yugoslav Wars of the 1990s (which you can read more about here). The film is set in Serbia, Bosnia and Kosovo. The characters talk about what happened, mixed with archive footage from the 1990s, in many cases on the actual spot where it happened. Balkan Triangle highlights how their experiences contain lessons for us all on the dangers of nationalism. It all feels horribly relevant right now in these days of Brexit and Trumpism. 

The documentary was produced by Stef Brok and Janneke van Doornik and the music is by Formel. It will be doing the rounds on the film circuit really soon – I will keep you posted on where you can see the full film – it’s worth a watch.

Below is a clip from the trailer. You’ll spot my voice almost immediately!

Cheers

Piers x



Elearning – A ‘mid-atlantic’ accent


Where exactly is the Mid-Atlantic..and what accent do they speak with there?

One of my lovely German clients is using elearning to train their contract negotiation teams worldwide. So they decided a Mid-Atlantic accent would be appropriate. We tested various styles (and various voiceovers!) and in the end the people doing the courses actually preferred my British accent. But they definitely preferred the USA pronunciation of schedule.

Americans say it “skedule”…and the way to remember the difference is that in Britain we rather like our “sheds”.

Here is the text – obviously all of my vowels could have sailed further across the Atlantic…and there are so many words that they could have wanted Americanised – dooty, doo dates – any others?

But I’m intrigued as to why “schedule” is the only word that they felt needed to be changed. Any ideas?

TEXT:
These duties on the customer’s part must also be described in detail in the contract documents. Also the due dates for the contract partners to fulfill their respective performance obligations are specified in the contract, often in the form of a time schedule or by dates for completion.



Whitakers Chocolates Advert

I’ve often been told I have a chocolatey voice so it’s wonderful when I get to put it to good use! Click below to listen to an advert I recently recorded for Whitakers Chocolates LTD to promote their personalised chocolates.




Conference and Moderator Showreel

Here is my new 2018 showreel of my conference hosting and moderating work.

I thought it would be painful to get this collated and edited. It was.

Can you imagine watching over four hours of your own and others public speaking and deciding which bits are good, whilst trying not to get upset at the bits you hate.

What I was not expecting was that this whole process turned into an extraordinary opportunity to reflect and learn again from a decade of experience.

So this is what I now understand about my role as a conference host, public speaking and conferences in general:

1. The audience are the real clients of the moderator. If they are engaged then the conference is working.

2. Senior staff on stage might sometimes be under a bit of pressure, but they look good when they answer questions.

3. Only the moderator has the right (and the duty!) to keep things on time. That may mean asking the CEO to hurry up.

4. Audiences are very generous if you are obviously “live” and not pre-scripted. That goes for the moderator and for all the speakers too…so take a risk, go off script and tell your story!

5. Humour and a quick wit can really help move a conference forward even when the going gets bumpy

and

Perhaps the going SHOULD get bumpy….

Conferences can cost hundreds of thousands to put on. Is there really a better time to deal with difficult issues than when everyone has taken the time and trouble to gather in one place? So let’s celebrate success AND deal with tough questions.

The new technologies to allow real-time LIVE questions from the delegates such as Sli.do can be initially alarming. But the results are (so far) ALWAYS worth it – because they increase engagement and allow conferences to sort out problems LIVE in the room.

Thank you, and have a great conference!

This video is thanks to the exemplary storytelling skills of Bespoke Reels. Thank you Charlie! 



Bletchley Park Advertisement

Continuing with the war theme, it has been fantastic to work with Bletchley Park (the centre of WW2 code breaking).  I am the voiceover on this new radio advertisement for one of their exhibitions. The story of Bletchley Park and its code breakers is fascinating and I am in awe of Dr Sue Black who helped save the crumbling site back in 2003 by a colossal fundraising scheme. 

Thank you so much to Claire Puplett at Global who produced this advert.  You can listen to it below. 



Memorial Museum Passchendaele – Audio Guides

I am proud to have been working with the Memorial Museum Passchendaele on their English Audio Guides for many years now. I have also done the narration for the moving documentary film they show you during your visit. It is great that they have raised enough money to do a version for kids. It is now even more important that the next generation learn about the horrors of World War One in Europe…(and World War Two in Europe…)