Best Ways to Choose a Voice-Over Artist

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Finding the perfect voice for your project can seem like an overwhelming task. The voice talent must be able to convey the correct emotion for the script, sound authoritative and knowledgeable, communicate and pronunciate clearly, and fit the subject and audience. Here are three steps to help you find the right voice-over actor or actress for your project.

Determine your needs.
Before you begin listening to demos and sifting through resumes, determine what exactly youll need from the talent. Do you need to find local talent that you can communicate with face to face, or can you hire someone that works remotely? Both options have their pros and cons. Some producers prefer to sit in on recording sessions so they can give notes and make suggestions. This can be especially beneficial if youre dealing with a highly technical or scientific script that contains hard to pronounce words or acronyms. However, attending recording sessions can lead to scheduling problems and giving too many notes can increase session time and costs. Many VO artists prefer to work remotely and deliver files over the Internet. Remote work is typically less expensive and has a faster turnaround, but carries the risk of getting reads you are unhappy with or that must be redone because of errors.

Consider the audience and subject.
As you begin your search for the right voice-over actress or actor think about the message you are trying to convey and the audience that will be listening. Do you need a fun and bubbly voice, or a stern and serious voice? Would a caring, tender voice send the wrong message? How about a distinguished, scholarly sounding voice? A voice-over actor that is perfect for a law enforcement training video is probably not going to be the best voice to narrate a childrens book, and differences like this should definitely be considered. Think about dialect and accent too. Sometimes the right accent or dialect can add a sense of familiarity or relateability with your particular audience, other times an accent might seem less approachable or trustworthy.

Listen to demos.
Once you have an idea of the type of voice youre seeking start listening to voice-over talent demos. Well regarded and professional VO actors and actresses will certainly have a variety of high quality material to show. Listen in to the demo material and evaluate the subtle qualities of each narrators voice. Do they speak clearly and are the easy to understand? How is the pace of their read? Is it too fast or slow? Does their pace match the subject matter?

By breaking down the process into easy steps finding the perfect voice can be easy, and having the right voice for your production will help you better connect with your audience and convey your message.

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