GKN News 9/25/12 – Welcome To Tom’s VO Bistro!

Happy Yom Kippur! Tonight begins the Jewish Day of Atonement, where all is forgiven and you have yet another full year to try & get it right. C’mon people, let’s focus!


GKN NEWS FLASH!: This month I’m filling in for Kristin Price’s Edge Studio “Marketing 201” class this Wednesday, September 26 at 8PM. The topic will be “Finding Your IN to the Industry” I hope you can make it!

Yesterday I took some of my clan apple picking and out to lunch. Apple picking, yay! Lunch, FAIL. The following is the review I posted on Yelp. BTW there is a voiceover moral to this story. Isn’t there always…?

I took my family there this past Sunday afternoon so we wouldn’t go apple picking on an empty stomach. The Inn was beautiful, we sat outside (the weather was perfect), and the food was quite good. The service and management was AWFUL.

It took over an hour to get our food and I am not exaggerating. To make things worse, the server handled it about as poorly as you could possibly imagine.

His first mistake was not to put my four-year-old niece’s food order in on a separate ticket. You’re supposed to do that so kids eat first, then they amuse themselves (full & happy) with whatever activity so the adults can eat in peace. He also didn’t bring any crayons or paper for my niece to draw on. Fine, we brought our own, but that’s not the point.

His second mistake was to avoid us because he knew the food was taking too long and he stayed away until I stared him down and another server brought me to his attention. He finally came over and apologized for the wait. I asked him to bring out some bread and he did, but he couldn’t come up with that on his own after about twenty minutes of us waiting, if not as soon as we ordered?

Then the manager came over and apologized for the wait and said the food would be out shortly. He said the kitchen was slammed but at least it’s a nice day to be waiting this long and walked away. Really? That’s how you handle it? Not even an offer of a free round of drinks, a free dessert, or knock something off the bill? I’m not looking for anything free but you can’t even make the gesture?

I was a corporate trainer for two major restaurant chains. Even if I wasn’t,  I can tell you that on many levels this restaurant failed Service 101. Our server was nice but completely ineffective and the manager’s handling of the situation was, well, he didn’t handle anything. We will not be going back there anytime soon.

OK, so that happened. Here’s the voiceover analogy…

Last week I taught my monthly Edge Studio “Business and Money 201” webinar. Bascially, I talked about Service 101 for the voiceover business. What are the basic things you do as a voice talent “waiter” to make your client “restaurant guest” happy and want to come back for more?


(BTW that’s me and my best friend James Rogers at our friend’s wedding in 1994. I was in the wedding party and Jim said, “Dude, you look like a waiter.” Hence the stupid picture…)

TIP OF THE WEEK: Communicate! Present your organized, detailed, and competitively priced “menu” to the guest. When they place their order, ask the right questions. “How would you liked your steak cooked?” becomes “In what format would you like the sound files delivered?” Make sure it comes out on time and the way they ordered it. If there is a problem with their order, fix it fast and with a smile. This is basic stuff, kids. Don’t spill a drink on your client’s crotch!

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Part of what keeps us stuck is that we take ourselves, and the process, too seriously. We turn it into a big deal and wind up getting more and more frustrated with the whole thing, and with ourselves. Suddenly, it’s become something to beat ourselves up about. Needless to say, the frustration and self-flagellation just further block our creativity and intuition, and the next thing we know we’re in this awful cycle, like a hamster on an exercise wheel spinning around and around and getting nowhere. So take a few deep breaths and let yourself off the hook. See if you can approach the problem with an attitude of play. Michael Port

STUFF!: If you like the band Ben Folds Five and Fraggle Rock you’ll LOVE this!

From Tom Dheere’s apartment, this is Tom Dheere: GKN News…

#VoiceoverBlog