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Posted On: Jul 19, 2022 Written by: Abe Udy
Are you interested in being a voice over artist? Have you been told you have a great voice for radio? (This is not the same as being told you have a great face for radio – that’s an entirely different type of compliment!)
Not everyone has what it takes to be part of the voice over talent industry, but it can be a fulfilling vocation if you do. In this post, we’ll look at the key traits you need to be a successful voice over artist.
1. To be a successful voice over talent, you need good reading skills. Being able to read a script well is essential, and having a good vocabulary will help you read and understand more complex words.
2. Hand-in-hand with our last trait is the ability to read out loud, fluently and clearly. If you stumble through books while reading to your children or fill every sentence in a work presentation with ums and ahs, you’ll struggle to find voice over work. You'll need to sound like you're 'telling a story' and not 'reading words on a page’.
3. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but being a voice over artist is closely related to acting. Voice over talent may need to sound happy, excited or funny. On the other hand, they may need to sound sad, nervous or scared. Being able to act out these emotions through your voice is vital to being successful in this industry. Watching a voice over talent at work in the booth reading a hard-sell script can be like watching a gym session - as the talent will use lots of energy!
4. The best voice over artists can change the tone, personality, pace and other characteristics of their voice to suit the script. Being flexible and versatile is a key trait to being a successful voice over talent.
While perhaps not key traits, there are other points we could add to this list. For example, to be successful in the voice over industry, you need to be prepared for irregular work, particularly if you’re just starting your career. You may need other work to fall back on until you find your feet in the industry.
Have good networks and be prepared to sell yourself.
Passion and drive for the industry are also vital.
Be prepared to take acting classes or join in community live theatre. (But don't over-act when you're recording a voiceover.)
Listen to other voice over talent in commercials, podcasts, eLearning material and corporate videos. Listening to voice over demos online will also be helpful.
Having a great voice is not a prerequisite. If you do have, that’s good. But if you don’t, it doesn’t rule you out.
There are lots of voice over artists who regularly get work because they have a voice that resonates with the target audience. You might not be the voice of the next Hollywood movie trailer, but you may get work advertising farm machinery, narrating a children’s story or delivering eLearning material.
Getting 'inside' a script and bringing the written words to life is the most important thing to being a successful voice over artist.
If you’ve read this entire post, perhaps you have what it takes to join Abe’s Audio. We're always looking for fresh voice over talent, so email your voiceover demo to us. Remember to keep it short and sweet, and include commercial and narrative voice over samples. See our Join Us page for more information.