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Saturday, July 09, 2016

7 Ways to Tell If You Are Ready for Voice Overs

You've been toying with the idea of getting into voice overs for some time. Friends have mentioned your appealing voice, you enjoy talking and perhaps even putting on silly voices. 


Are you now ready to explore making money out of your vocal cords?

Here are seven ways to tell:

1. Listening


Have you noticed you have been more attentive to the voice overs on commercials? Does the gentle modulation of David Attenborough's engaging delivery on wildlife programmes intrigue you?

Maybe you are captivated by audiobook narrators and wonder how you could get into that kind of work or wondering what the steps are for being a voice on radio, TV, videogames and even the post office queue (cashier number 3 please). 

All this points to an interest in voice acting.


2. Training


You are considering taking a workshop or hiring the services of a voiceover coach. Here are couple of things you should be aware of:

  • Does the course/trainer have verifiable testimonials? If in doubt, ask to speak to a couple of attendees and find out about the success stories that have gone on to bigger and better things.
  • Make sure your tutor has real world experience of doing voice overs. Listen to some of their work and judge the standard for yourself - a great voicereel is a sign they know what they are on about.

3. Searching

You may have noticed you are viewing voice over videos on YouTube, particularly those that offer advice and helpful tips. Keep on doing it, you will be amazed at what you can learn. 

You are probably also doing lots of Google searches with the word 'voice over' in the query; again there are some great resources out there and the more you read and explore, the more informed you will become.

4. Dreaming About the Money

Ah the filthy lucre, but let's be honest it is one of the motivations for doing voice over work in the first place. However as I always say: have fun first and earn money second. It is fine to find out how much voice actors actually earn for various types of work, but bear in mind you have to enjoy doing voice overs in the first place. 

Still, everyone wants to see a return on their investment and you shouldn't be afraid of admitting this. 




5. You Love a Challenge

There is no getting away from the fact that voice acting requires talent. You need to be able to bring words to life and make a dull script sound full of life. Bringing sparkle and individuality to your delivery is a hallmark of a good voice over performance and you may be asked to sound conversational one minute, or formal and mannered the next.

So taking direction from your client or producer is essential.

If you enjoy learning new skills, then this could be the venture for you.

6. Technology - Friend or Foe?

One of those skills you need is the ability to record your voice over jobs. Scary eh? Or perhaps you see it as a fear to be conquered; you will certainly need to be able to produce a decent sound from your computer, but the great news is this will be very empowering, allowing you to work from home.

If the question of microphones has crossed your mind - you are thinking along the right lines. 

7. Suitability

We come to the biggest question of all; the one that will probably have crossed your mind more than any other: is my voice suitable for doing voice overs? The answer is not so much about whether you have the 'right' or 'wrong' voice because this is a subjective judgement, but what your attitude is like. 

If you are constantly making excuses for not giving voice overs a go, then you have probably answered your own question. 





Gary Terzza coaches beginners in voice overs at VOmasterclass based in London, England and via Skype.
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