We often hear people suggest that ‘anybody can be a voiceover’, well, sorry to disappoint but they can’t. Even established actors can struggle with voiceover work – it’s not enough to have a ‘good’ voice, you need to be able to connect an audio message with an audience that can’t see you.
So what does it take to be a professional voiceover?
A great imagination
Most of the time, voiceovers know absolutely nothing about the subject that they are being paid to talk about – but the most successful ones sound as if they do. A good imagination should come as standard for any voiceover artist.
Heaps of enthusiasm
As a voiceover, you will be required to cover a huge range of subjects – and let’s face it, you won’t be personally interested in some of the items you’re promoting. But the trick is to remain enthusiastic at all times throughout the recording. Here’s a tip: if you smile while you’re talking, your voice will take on a much cheerier sound.
Practice, practice, practice
To make a living out of being a voiceover, you can’t be a one voice pony – you must show that you have range and versatility on your show reel. And that means lots and lots of practice. Listen regularly to ads and read old scripts out loud – it can really help and it’s also a good way to better understand the marketplace you’ll be working in.
Many voiceover artists are freelancers and that means although you are CEO of your own company, you are also the sales, marketing and accounting teams rolled into one. Given this responsibility, it’s wise to at least brush up on the business basics or even take relevant courses if you need to polish your skills.
Tons of patience
Of course you’ll often find yourself waiting at the end of a microphone for somebody to connect at the other end. A lot of the time, that ‘somebody’ won’t be on time. Being patient in these circumstances comes in VERY handy!
A willingness to learn and flexible
A great voiceover is always learning, whether it’s a new, difficult pronunciation or knowing which emotion is required during a 30 second ad. Occasionally, you will be asked to re-record something because of an incorrect name or place, for example. This sort of thing is part of the package and the more flexible you are, the more likely it is that clients will return again and again.
An ability to direct yourself
Ideally, your direction should come from clients but you should never rely on this, so you must be able to guide yourself. Learn to be objective about your own work – and even develop a critical ear to it. It’s tough to do at first but so worth it when you finally nail it.
A knowledge of technology
These days, voiceovers must have a good understanding of technology. There are so many ways to record audio that it’s worth making sure you know how it all works.
We’re proud to work with some of the best voices in the business, each of whom have all of the above and more. If you want them to record your next advert, or you need some bespoke audio recording and producing, simply get in touch and we’ll take it from there.