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Monday, January 07, 2008

If you can read and speak, you can earn a living from voice-overs. That simple? Well, sort of.

What you need to break into the industry is a well produced demo; this is a demonstration of your potential performing various scripts. It shows producers & voice agents what you sound like and what you are capable of; it is, in effect, your portfolio or 'audio CV'.

Your demo should include the following: commercials, trailers (or promos, as they are sometimes called), announcing (the links into programmes) and narration - which is anything from audio books to a documentary read, via on-hold telephone messages.

Voice-overs are made up of three elements:
1) the sound of your voice - its 'timbre'
2) the way you interpret a script and
3) marketing.


All are important, but your first priority should be to record that demo (in CD and/or mp3 format) and showcase your natural voice quality, along with the unique way YOU bring a script to life. But, what if you are not used to reading aloud?This is where tuition can be highly effective. A good voiceover coach will bring out the best in your performance, demonstrating the do's and don'ts of aparticular piece; they will also match your voice style to the appropriate scripts - it's no good a soft, gentle voice being used for a powerful, hardsell ad!

Free lesson

For fun, see how you perform reading a TV voiceover script: click on and compare your performance to mine… might be surprised at how good you are.

When it comes to experience, you have to bear in mind that each job you take on will be new; I attend sessions where I have never seen the script before and amcompletely unfamiliar with the style of reading required.

All voice-over artists have to rely on the audio producer to guide them in the right direction to achieve the desired performance. Experience in this business is learnt onthe job, but you have to start somewhere and that is why it is a pre-requisite to have a well produced demo, showcasing your potential.


'Voice-over' is a broad umbrella term covering many different jobs from voicing ads, TV announcing, narrating documentaries and corporate videos right through to voice prompts and on-hold phone messages, interactive media, podcasting andeverything in between.
So the range of work is highly diverse and the job of an agent, producer or production company is to match the voice with the project; your voice demo effectively becomes your audition piece in this process.

You will be successful at some, but not others; it all depends on what they arelistening for. Then start marketing. It's all about the blood, sweat and tears of sending your work out to as many agents, production companies and producers as possible. It is no good having a fantastic demo if it just sits on your bookshelf!

So now it's time to get recording and let the world hear what you sound like.

Good luck!

Click on to find out more
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