Simple Voice Over Tips – to take your voice career to the next level.
Whether you’re a novice voice artist or a heavy-weight, these simple tips will 100% get you more bookings and take your voice career to greater heights:
- Don’t Arrive On Time. Arrive EARLIER.
If your session is at 10am. Aim to get there by 9:40am. If traffic is intense, (which in Joburg is always the case) you’ll be less stressed when you get there and you’ll be able to deliver a better performance. There’s nothing worse than a client / producer being tense with you before you even do your first read.
- Know The Studio.
If it’s a studio you’ve never been to before, familiarize yourself with where it is the night before. Again, you’re going to be stressed out by getting lost and potentially running late. Stress WILL effect your performance. You’ve got a smart phone – make Google Maps your friend 🙂 If you’re unsure still- ask your agent! Do this WAY before your booking time, ideally the day before!
- Be Polite. Introduce yourself.
Don’t over do it by shaking every single person in the room’s hand. Try ‘read the room’. Say “hello” properly to everyone there, including the engineer. If they’re a repeat client you already worked with., say something like ‘nice to see you again’. Don’t use words like nice – just things you’d say! Engage with, essentially YOUR TEAM.
- Be Presentable.
I’m not talking about high fashion here. You’re an artist, you don’t need to wear a belt, but don’t arrive in slops or a creased shirt. Look aspirational. Be memorable. Make them like what you look like, who you are. Splash some perfume / cologne on before you get out the car / taxi!
- Remember The Engineers Name, if anyone!
He / she may be your only “ally” if client / producers aren’t happy with your performance. Worst case scenario, sure- but we’ve all been there! By engaging the engineer on a first name basis, he / she might be able to help you ‘get it right’- by, for example, giving you some back-track music to get you more to where you need to be. Write his / her name on your script so it’s there! (Try write down other names of the people in the room too, on your script!
- Don’t forget to take a pen.
There might not be one in the studio. It’s embarrassing saying ‘I don’t have a pen’- You need a pen right? Like a mechanic needs tools to fix a car, you need a pen to make script notes you’re given by people in the session. Underline words that need to be emphasised / mark where you may need to breath in a long sentence / edit text to be taken out if directed to do so etc etc.
- Take Charge in the Session (Within reason)
Most clients / copywriters / producers LOVE to give you notes after your first take. You know, after the first read, you’re obviously capable at doing better. ASK if you can read it over a couple of times first- for example. Then take their notes. If you don’t understand the direction given to you, ask until you do understand.
- Get Better at Dropping In.
When you’re asked to drop in, READ ALONG, SPEAKING the already recorded audio- this helps you pitch correctly and have the same volume and tone – as apposed to waiting for the drop in and then all of a sudden you start speaking.
- Leave an Impression When You’re Done.
When you’re in studio and they say you’re done- ASK if everyone is happy. When you’re out the booth, give a heart-felt, meaningful good bye. If it’s a Friday, say ‘have a great weekend everybody. Leave a friendly last impression. Don’t over do it and shake everyone’s hand again for example. Be friendly enough that they LIKE you and LIKE your general vibe.
Remember that smart phone of yours? Well, when you’re not in a session, you can still practice. Use your voice recording app on your phone and record yourself reading adverts in magazines; billboards when you drive past them. Listen back to yourself. Critique yourself. Understand more about what your voice is capable of and what it’s not.
Most artists record demos once every five years. You should be recording new demo’s at least once a year. Demos are used to sell your voice. If you’ve been booking voices and practicing, your voice is going to sound better and your capabilities- stronger. Urge your agent to book a demo session or book one yourself. Heard yourself on radio / TV- impressed by the final product? Tell your agent to get the audio from client. Post it as a showcase on your agent’s site. Let future clients understand what you’re capable of!