Take the Time to Break it Down
You've heard it a million times and a good VO coach will teach you how to break down copy. Take it apart and find the beats and the moments. Who are you in this and who are you talking to? What do you want? Your point of view?
This all makes good sense, of course, but do you take the time needed to really break it down? More advanced VO's can possibly do this quicker, but as for me, in my first two years, it takes a little longer. And herein lies the problem for me. I often get so excited about doing the thing, I don't have the patience to take the time needed. I rush through the process because I just want to GO!
This never serves me well. I miss things and don't key into the subtext as well as I should. If you really want to embody the script ( a future blog post), you have soak in it. Or at least I do. So take your time, read it through several times. Try out different reads. Let yourself be affected by the words and let the feelings you have come with out judgment. Eventually you'll become familiar enough with the script, you won't focus on the words, but rather the feeling and the emotion you are trying to evoke. You'll be embodying the script, and that's when you will do your best work.