This browser does not support the video element.

The Difference Between Retail, Character and Narration Voice Over Demos

The Difference Between Retail, Character and Narration Voice Over Demos

Are you familiar with the categories of retail, character or narration voice over styles? There is a distinct difference between all three that is not always clear at first. Once you understand each demo category, you’ll know which to select when you’re auditioning talent for your next project.

Here’s how we’ve categorized our voice over talent demos.

Retail Voice Over

Also referred to as ‘straight’ or ‘commercial’, this category contains examples of mainly TV and radio commercials. From a hard sell read to a soft sell delivery, these reads usually ‘sell’ a product or service.

However, it shouldn't be assumed that all retail reads are the primary domain of television or radio stations. A retail read can still convey empathy, quirkiness or infectious enthusiasm and the key is to deliver the script with feeling, and not just ‘read’ it. Professional male and female voice actors know how to ‘get inside’ scripts using inflections and phrasing to create colour and cadence. In fact, it’s the subtleties that often make the biggest difference.

Narration Voice Over

A long form narration voice over, also referred to as a ‘corporate’ read, has the purpose of informing, educating or engaging. Used in eLearning, audio books, documentaries, corporate videos and hold messages, a narration can be delivered in a variety of styles. Conversational, authoritative, empathetic or informative - the voiceover artist’s delivery should reflect the tone of the content. Interestingly, over the last few years we’ve seen an increasing request for a more ‘conversational’ style of voice delivery.

It’s important that a narration doesn’t have an overtly ‘selly’ tone. Even though a corporate video may be selling a concept, the focus should be on ‘engagement’ and not the ‘sell’. In 2019, online video content will see more explosive growth particularly on personal devices. As a result, tone-of-voice is trending to a more individual ‘conversational’ style.

Character Voice Over

Only a small percentage of artists in the voice over industry can deliver genuine high-quality character reads. From comedic accents to cartoons, performing a character voice is a skill that requires equal parts of acting, creativity and mimicry. Done well, character voices can really stand out and create a point of difference.

The best character voice actors have the ability to sound uniquely like the character they are performing. For example, a characterized Scottish accent should sound different to a cartoon character performed by the same talent. One of the best character voiceover talent we’ve heard is Leonard. At over 6 minutes, his demo reel contains over 50 different characters, many of which sound completely different!

How do I choose the best talent?

Choosing the right voice for your project is easy.

  1. Go to our voice over playlist
  2. Select the accent/language, gender, age and category that suits your project. (See our description above of Retail, Narration & Character voiceover categories.)
  3. Click SEARCH.
  4. Click PLAY to sample each voice over artist.
  5. When you’ve found your preferred voiceover talent, Click ENQUIRE to check their availability or get a quote.
  6. Send your script & brief via email or login to our website.
  7. Receive the final audio


You can also:

• Download the demo to listen offline

A Jingle Maker Shares His Secrets For Creating Great Jingles

• Explore similar voice artists

A Jingle Maker Shares His Secrets For Creating Great Jingles

• Copy/share the demo link to a client

A Jingle Maker Shares His Secrets For Creating Great Jingles

Want to know more? Talk to our team about your project’s specific requirements.

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.

Similar posts you might like