We hear commercials, political ads, audio books, and even modern video games, but what exactly is a voice over? A voice over itself is actually the culmination of several parts, each having a specific purpose. The voice you hear is the final product of a considerable amount of research: The main actor, as the voice over professional, the team of individuals who script and edit audio using various audio and video software, and finally the audience to whom it is targeted. All of these roles play an important part in your new voice over. A good voice artist will likely obtain a good amount of knowledge of your audience and work with your script to develop a deep understanding of what it is you wish to portray. This reflects considerably on the final product.
Voice-over (also known as off-camera or off-stage commentary) is a production technique where a voice, that is not part of the narrative is used in radio, television production, filmmaking, theatre, or other presentations. The voice-over may be spoken by someone who appears elsewhere in the production or by a specialist voice actor. It is pre-recorded and placed over the top of a film or video and commonly used in documentaries or news reports to explain information.
With today's technology, voiceovers are more important than ever and serve a broader range of purposes and uses. From e-learning and corporate training, to global fundraising, educational videos and of course product commercials, voiceovers are everywhere. In fact, voice over services are amongst the most in-demand in our social media world today. How something is perceived from a voice is just as important as the information, message or content itself. Relating to your audience is key. This is why many well-known actors and actresses have likely established themselves as voice artists.
The voice of your message is critical. The voice sets the stage and determines how your message is interpreted. A commercial voice is similar to a business logo, it can and often should be considered an extension of your company or brand or even underlying purpose. This is why it is important to test it out.
Having an understanding of your audience is a good start and should not be overlooked. Gather as much information as possible about them including; demographics, age, likes, dislikes, etc. Sharing this and other information with your voice talent is a good idea as it helps the voice artist create a mental picture of the people to whom they are speaking.
Another suggestion is to write down a list of words that describe your company, product or service as well as some possible feelings you want the listener to remember. For example, a voice over for The Humane Society for Animals will want to express 'caring", 'compassion', and even 'urgency'. While a voice for a new phone App will likely benefit from 'fun', 'enjoyment' and 'ease of use'. When analyzing the voiceover, ask for suggestions and always have others review things before final release. Get as many interpretations and as much feedback as possible.
To help find the best voice artist, here are some quick things you can do:
How much is the cost of a voice over talent? A common question... If cost and fees are important or perhaps you're on a tight budget, there are some things to consider when pricing a voiceover. For instance, some voice over artists are part of a union while others are not. Some agencies have set fees while others do not. As you can imagine, pricing can get somewhat confusing, but there is hope. You should always know what the cost is beforehand. Simply inquire about the cost or any other additional fees involved and if something is not clear or does not seem right, be sure to ask for details.
There are a common number of variables that determine pricing. Some of these are often base rates, Union vs. Non-union, market sizes, pre and post production costs, studio costs, materials, multimedia, recordings for broadcast, license use, and others. As you can tell it can get confusing rather quickly.
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A good voice artist captures not just the message, but works to relay that message to your audience using various proven techniques within the broadcasting industry.
Think of the voice actor as the one who captivates and captures your target audience. Did you know that statistics show using the same voice over time produces greater results? This draws upon the very thing that people relate to a voice. Keep this in mind when choosing your new voice artist.
Another reason to hire a voice artist is the professionalism. We've all heard the used car sales person voicing their sales and jumping around. This rarely ever works. The reason is simple; people want a voice they relate too. One that is clear, professional and reflecting of a meaningful product, service or message.
Don't take it personal or you will drive yourself crazy! If you think you have captured the moment with your Voice Over delivery and the client's choice is not you...move on! Consider the experience of auditioning a practice session of your craft.
You have to be able to accept rejection and don't give up. You have to be able to let it go and move on to the next hope. If Voice Over is not a passion then it becomes a job. Once the audition is over and submitted, file it and try to forget about it. I know it is hard but there are more opportunities if you work hard enough and even with hard work, it still takes time and more rejections.
I mentioned passion. If Voice Over is in your blood then every opportunity to audition is worth the rejection, and every paying job was worth the doubt. The income is secondary at least it should be. The belief that because you carry a good voice will guarantee success is a foolish assumption. You are never as good as you think you are, but your ambition to succeed has to be very strong.
Having said all of that, do you really want to subject yourself to all the rejection, disappointment, and heartbreak? You do? GREAT! Welcome to a wonderful direction in your life. It's you and the script, so have fun! Be creative, listen to direction, practice, and learn to accept any outcome. Don't let income define your success. Do it because it is your passion, and there is a drive within you that is very powerful. A drive that will challenge you to get better and feel the reward. You want to feel good about yourself and your efforts, and let everything else run off that.
The very best to you.
 Source: "Voice-over." Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 1 Dec. 2014.
 Source: “Voice-over“. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 28 Nov. 2014.
Tags: Narrations, political, non-profit, advertisement, promotional, healthcare, medical, narrator, narration, miscellaneous, gallery, instructional, educational, audio book, ebook, documentary, other spots, website, youtube, video, animation, accent, accented, corporate, multimedia.
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