Wall to wall dialogue.

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That’s what they called it in the old days. 

Maybe they still do.

An on-camera role in a commercial with lots of dialogue – that’s ‘wall-to-wall dialogue.  Lots usually means 6 to 8 lines, which, compared to a movie or a play, isn’t much at all, but in a commercial it is.

Yes, sometimes there are more than 8 lines. 

Usually the text is extremely well written; precise; and makes all the key points that the product client wants to make. 

But because the speech isn’t natural dialogue it could trip you up. 

A good method to learn the situation and the dialogue is to ask a question before each line and then answer it with the actual written one. 

Let’s take a car commercial for example. If the first line is: ‘Everybody wants freedom,’ your possible question could be: ‘What is one thing that all people want?  Pose the question in your own way and then, after thinking about it, breathe and respond. 

You answer the question as if someone you love and trust were doing the asking. 

The next line might be: ‘It’s a rare automobile that responds to nature,’ which is a big jump in thought from the first line. The writers are expressing the ideas of the car company with points that, sometimes, don’t easily connect. 

Asking the next question will allow you to say the second line truthfully without worrying about making the realistic connection that you most likely would were the text from a play or a movie.

The question could be: ‘Can any car take all kinds of weather?’ which might provoke the thought: No, look, let me tell you... ‘It’s a rare automobile…etc.’. 

Although the speeches in commercials might not flow naturally and logically, you can always answer fresh to each line by setting yourself up with an inner monologue question.

A flowing series of questions and answers.

Try it. 

See if it assists you in speaking wall-to-wall dialogue in a commercial.