So the guy at the Swifty Mart says, “You talk good. Do you do radio stuff, or what?”
And, a bank teller makes a similar comment in a more sophisticated way.
Now, you ask yourself. “Can I be a voice-over talent? I know I talk good. … I mean, I speak well and can read. But, how do I start?”
Well, many voices you hear every day began just this way. Voices are needed for Radio and TV commercials, narrations for presentations, web sites, training videos, and even on-hold messages. Clients range from broadcasting networks to government agencies to medical and financial institutions.
So, how do you start? A voice-over begins with a script to read, a device to record your voice, practice, and patience.
To be a successful voice talent, you need to read different types of scripts. To practice, find a magazine. Turn a few pages and you’ll see ads with a paragraph of copy describing a product. These ads are very descriptive and emotional. Something you can use to put feeling into your voice-over.
Use a recorder to read your script. Most phones, tablets and computers have built in microphones to record your voice. An inexpensive voice recorder will work also.
After recording your voice, play it back. Listen realistically and critically, and reflect on other voice talent you’ve heard on Radio and TV. Do you sound like you know what you’re reading? Does your voice have the authority and feeling that compliments the script? Is your performance loud, soft, happy, mad, angry, or pleasant? Does the emotion you hear match the emotion needed for the script?
Part of being a voice-over talent is knowing what you sound like, and delivering the right emotions at the right time.
And, that’s where practice comes in. Anyone who plays a sport, or a musical instrument knows that without practice you won’t move forward. What separates the pros from the amateurs is the drive to improve and make their art look effortless.
Patience is the key to it all in voice-over work. The great talents know that expanding their skills will improve their chances of getting more VO jobs. This takes some time.
Once you’re familiar with reading various styles of copy, and decide to pursue voice work, you can buy a better microphone, recorder, etc.
Then, when you become a talent, there’s the audition process. That is the biggest test of patience. But, that’s for another blog post… Stay tuned!