The Power of Voiceover – Beginner’s Blog

The wonderful world of voiceover is very enticing. You can set up a studio anywhere – home, car, hotel room – with the right equipment and not miss a beat of work, whilst enjoying other activities. There have been several times I’ve needed to whip out the alternate mic and jump in the car, or place a hoodie over my head to create makeshift sound proofing in a hotel room. Not the most comfortable, but it works! Plus, once you’re established, you enjoy each project as it takes you away into a different land – if only for a couple of pages.

There’s more to it though than just recording a few words and going back to whatever everyone else is doing outside of the car. First and foremost, there’s the purchase of the right equipment. I use a Blue Yeti microphone. It happens to be black, but it’s a Blue Yeti – The World’s #1 USB Microphone. Or so it says so on the box. Instead of telling my clients that I’ll be out of town for a couple of weeks, I bring my equipment with me and as the work comes in, I record! Not a single client has ever told me to redo work or asked if I bought a new mic. It’s a seamless transition between home office mic and travel mic. My home office microphone is a PreSonus M7.

Now let’s talk about keeping your voice always at its best AND how to practice for that audition.

I ALWAYS worry about the health of my voice. I HAVE to make sure that my throat is properly lubricated (water, no alcohol), I HAVE to make sure that my throat is always kept warm (hello scarves) and I need to keep my immune system in check. I recommend Zinc, Vitamin C and a nasal rinse (get the days dirt & grime out of your nasal cavity). That’s what I do. I’m not a doctor and everyone is different, so whatever works for you to stay healthy, do that. Not everyone can tolerate the same vitamins. For instance, turmeric is not good for my body. For others, it’s a portal to great health in keeping your inflammation in check. I wish I could take it.

Next, the demo. My expert advice is to do what I did to create my 60 second demo. I pulled ads out of magazines and read them. I read them as best I could to sound like the people in the commercial. I also read them to add my own spin and chose the best sound. To edit your own audio, I recommend Goldwave, Audacity and/or Adobe Audition. There are others – these are just a few.

If you go to my website and click on Audio Demos, my 60 Second Demo is the first one that pops up. The next is a regional radio commercial that aired in South Florida for a popular, prestigious hotel in Palm Beach.

Make your audio demo using relevant material. If there’s a new car on the market, use that. Make your demo according to your sound. If you sound like a young child, go for the childrens’ toys ads. If you sound like a newscaster, like myself, read a couple of news pieces. If you sound like a car salesman, do a couple of reads for used car lots in the area. Then also go out of your comfort zone. In my demo, I have a couple of those too. See if you can spot them and then let me know what you think.

Voiceover work is voice acting. It’s being an actor, taking on the role of the subject matter and then being the voice for that product or service. You have to KNOW your subject. If I’m reading for a relaxing spa, it’s not going to be the same read as a car sales commercial. Put yourself on the other end as the customer. Think about what you would want to hear.

These are some of the first steps to voice work. I’ll have more in my next blog, but for now, try making some demos. Then get them to me and we can discuss some next steps. I would love to work with up and coming voiceover artists. Voice work is the portal to the most enjoyable work in the world.

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My career in voice work began in 2001. I have been “the voice” for hundreds of companies nationwide. I now record and produce projects for companies across the nation.

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