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Casting The Perfect Voice Over Narration Talent

Whether you’re producing an explainer video, an internal corporate video, an eLearning module, or documentary narration - the moment when you’ve finally gotten all the necessary approvals and locked off the script can be a huge relief.

Here are 4 things to consider as you prepare to cast the talent for the voice over narration.

1. Who is your target audience?

It might sound obvious - but considering exactly who you’re talking to and trying to reach is important in establishing the tone of voice and style of an effective narration. For example, if you’re creating an internal corporate video for a company with staff predominantly in their 20s and early 30s, using a narration voice over talent of a similar age delivering an authentic conversational read would probably connect best with your audience. If it’s an eLearning module you’re building aimed at a predominantly blue-collar male workforce, casting a male voice over who embodies the sound of that could be a smart move. You want to connect and engage - and not alienate - your audience, and ensuring the tone of voice and talent is right will go a long way to helping you achieve this.

2. What does the product/service/company ‘sound’ like?

You’ve probably thought about this without even realising it! When writing the script and reading it out loud or in your mind, you’ll have read (or at least thought about) it in a particular style. This should give you a clue as to what the product you’re promoting, the service you’re selling or the company you’re showcasing ‘sounds’ like. Does it project a feeling of empathy and warmth? Is its’ brand serious and credible? Once you have established the ‘sound’ of the brand, you’ll be able to think about the target audience and select the best narration voice talents for the project.

3. What do you want the viewer/user/person to do?

In an increasingly distracted world, it’s important you leave the viewer with a clear call-to-action. An effective narration will clearly tell them what you’d like them to do after they’ve seen or heard your project. Do they need to retain and be able to repeat what they’ve learnt? Perhaps it’s increased day-to-day engagement with the company that you’re looking for. Do you want them to download an app or donate to a specific cause? Make sure your script is very clear and has at least one call to action at the conclusion. The voice over narration talent should ensure this is read in a very clear way with an air of ‘finality’ - particularly if the call-to-action is in the last paragraph. Sometimes slightly slowing down the pace of the narration over the course over this final paragraph will help.

4. Do you want to ‘stand out’ or be ‘integrated’?

This is can be a real challenge. Do you want to stand out and be noticed - or be seamlessly integrated with the other content and branding surrounding your project? Carefully considering this will dictate the script concept, your selected narration voice talents and the visual style used. Standing out could help the viewer retain and recall the message, but, particularly if you’re working with an established brand, you may not want to be so different that you break away from the established branding currency that’s been earnt. Take this (and the above points) into account when you’re casting the voice over talent and make sure you brief them accordingly.

Voice over talents need direction

A professional narration voice talent will be able to take your script and bring it to life - provided you brief them correctly as to the delivery and style of read you’re looking for. If you don’t plan to direct the talent by phone or Source Connect Now, you should always ask for a short demo before they read the entire script to ensure you’re happy with the style, tone of voice and pace of the read. It’s much easier to tweak the delivery BEFORE the entire narration is recorded!

We help you get the best voice over outcome

At Abes Audio our team can suggest the perfect voice over artist for your narration and supply you with samples, or you can search, filter download demos from our website. Simply contact us with your brief and we’ll work with you to find the right talent for your voice over narration.

Abe Udy

Abe is the founder of Abe's Audio and started the business in 1998 from his bedroom with an old computer, fax machine, dial-up internet, and a microphone in his wardrobe. Today, he leads a team that provides audio production and voice overs to media, agency, eLearning, video & creative clients around Australia and beyond.

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