Voice Over Services Explained

Voice Over Services Explained

The perfect commercial is written and concepted, all the images are compelling, but the message, the call to action is still not quite there – along comes the need for voiceover services. The voice that brings the words of the page and into life. The timing and delivery that evokes an emotion and compels the listener to engage, to act.  

The website is done, it looks great, but the consumer can’t quite wrap their head around the basic information they need to understand who the company is, what they do, or how to KNOW they’re the solution they need. Time to employ some voiceover services. The explanation, simple, direct and accessible, in a voice that draws the consumer in and affords them the chance to “get it”.

We all like a straight answer, a clear direction. THAT is what solid voiceover services deliver over and over in the content we consume, the commercials we hear and see, the PA instructions in airports and on subways, on phone systems and in the instructional and informational videos we see everywhere from DMV lobbies, to amusement park lines to online.

The RIGHT voiceover services are differentiated by four key elements:

  1. The Sound – Having the right sound for a particular piece of content is imperative. What is the quality that the piece or vehicle must convey? Power? Trust? Approachability? The person next door? A character? These are all factors of delivery, tone, pitch and texture. All searchable parameters on online voiceover services sites like VOICEOVERS.com or imperative parameters in RFPs to Talent agencies and Casting Directors.
  2. Skills – Just because a Talent has the “sound” does not mean they have the skills to execute.  They need to know how to approach a microphone. How to prep and understand a your script and its timing and objectives and how to bring the words around to achieve these. Volume control.  Pacing. Pronunciation. Annunciation.
  3. Experience – Much of what makes the skills listed above sing is experience. Professional voiceover services done by an experienced Talent are a breeze. Directable and efficient. The alternative can be a very long, tedious and ultimately unsatisfactory session. Experience is the differentiator.
  4. Pont of View – This is the secret sauce, it is informed by skill and technique but ultimately it comes from within the Talent;, it is the artistry. Here areis the moments that the talent injects a script with harmony, flow, life. All of that comes from a centeredness and confidence in the artist that is best translated as a point of view, a signature, a holistic style.

The broad categories of voiceover services include:

  • Commercial – Radio, Television and Online – either as a spokesperson or a character in a commercial advertising a product.  
  • Narration – This covers a myriad of possibilities from technical videos, to books on tape, documentaries, online tutorials and everything in between.
  • IVR/Voice Prompts – Any voice based system from digital assistants such as Siri or Alexa, to GPS systems, phone systems and PA systems in airports and public facilities. A HIGHLY technical form of voiceover services.
  • Animation and Gaming – The voices characters in these content vehicles.
  • Promos and Trailers –  A specialized read, different from commercials, with very specific cadence and vocal types, advertising film and television content.

Where are the talent for voiceover services found? How are they hired? There are several ways to source and engage professional voiceover services. There are well over 100,000 professional performers pursuing voiceover across the United States. The most efficient methods of curating the “right voice” include:

  • Talent Agencies – There are talent agencies in every region of the U.S. These offices have signed stables of Talent they represent.  When presented with an audition request or RFP they select talent that match the Producer’s needs and deliver demos or conduct auditions.
  • Casting Directors – Professional fee-based consultants who run the entire process of sourcing Talent, curating and creating a focused list of choices.
  • Online Voiceover Services Marketplaces – Websites / Platforms like VvOICEOVERS.com that are “uberfying” the casting process. Allowing Producers to efficiently and with limited “back andin forth” disseminate their casting parameters and needs to pools of professional Talent and receive auditions back. Many sites also allow the Producer to hire the talent and mange some aspect of the booking logistics through the platforms.

This is a very cursory view of the world of professional voiceover services.  Much more can be found through online research and diving into the pursuit of a career in or the hiring of voiceover services.