4 Keys to a Successful Commercial Audition for Voiceover Talent

4 Keys to a Successful Commercial Audition for Voiceover Talent

You’re a relatively new voiceover talent and you want to know how to produce a read that will get you booked. 

Every good voice talent has a reliable technique. And you should, too. The voiceover casting process can be intimidating, and good technique will help not only get you to a competitive read, but also help you be more consistent.

  1. First things first, determine the purpose of the spot.  Most often a commercial demonstrates something people want, like the comfort of knowing you have a retirement plan that fits you, or how to keep meat from sticking to your grill. Having a good understanding of this purpose will help tie the script all together.
  2. The second thing you’ll want to determine is the proper tone for your read. Is it a high energy retail read? A softer-toned baby product read? Or maybe a cool, laid-back beer read? Establishing the right tone goes hand-in-hand with the style of the spot, and will also help you play nice with the other components of the commercial, like music.
  3. The third thing a voiceover talent will need to determine is the structure of the script. Identify a balance of phrasing over the entire spot. Should the intonation hang in the middle of a sentence here? Does it go up and down and then more flat, only to end down again? Is there a turn in the script where there’s a change, perhaps a transition from problem to solution? Much like a song, helping to balance the phrasing of a script will help it flow better. We’ve all heard spots where the voiceover talent ends up after each phrase. It distracts from the message of the spot. Balance is key.You want to do your job as voiceover talent, not stand out in a way that distracts from the purpose of the spot. Additionally at the sentence level, identify adverbs and adjectives that help you express the meaning of the script, and use them.
  4. And finally, determine who your audience is, and personalize your read. Perhaps pick someone you know who belongs to that audience, and imagine presenting to them. If it’s an informational read for a Medicare supplement spot, imagine explaining it to your grandmother, or perhaps another retired person who inspires the kind of read you’re going for. Who you choose to talk to can really change your read. Talking to a judge in a courtroom will feel a lot different than talking to a good friend who has an irreverent sense of humor.

When you combine all these things into one read, you’ll sound like you belong. And if you sound like you belong, voiceover casting agencies will take notice when they’re ready to hire a voice actor.