Categories
branding voice over voice talent

Choosing the Perfect Voice Talent for Your Video Production 

Original Article “How to Choose the Perfect Voice Over for Your Video Production” by Juli Durante, published March 28, 2013 

Crafting a compelling video production for your business involves careful attention to two fundamental components: visuals and audio. While designing captivating visuals is often the primary focus, the importance of audio, particularly your choice of voice talent, should not be underestimated. It’s a common oversight in marketing videos to prioritize music and images over the spoken word, leading to missed opportunities for effective engagement with your viewers. Whether it’s describing your products, narrating your brand story, or delivering essential information, the voice talent serves as a powerful conduit for connecting with viewers on a deeper level. Therefore, selecting the ideal talent becomes essential in ensuring seamless communication and resonating with your target audience. 

Crucial Considerations When Choosing a Voice Talent For Video Productions: 

  1. Understand Your Content’s Tone and Style: Determine the tone required for your content—sales-driven, informative, or storytelling. Voice talents possess diverse skills; some excel in adapting to various roles, while others specialize in clarity and effectiveness. 
  1. Know Your Audience’s Preferences: Consider the voice style that resonates with your target audience—trustworthy, exciting, youthful, or seasoned. Voice talent directories offer detailed descriptions and samples (demos) to aid in your selection process. 
  1. Match Pace with Content: Align the pace of your video with the voiceover. A mismatch between the video’s speed and the narration’s tempo can disrupt viewer engagement. Ensure the voice complements the content’s rhythm. 
  1. Reflect Your Brand’s Identity: Just as companies meticulously design their visual branding, audio elements, particularly voiceovers, contribute to establishing a human connection with customers. Choose a voice that embodies your brand’s personality and resonates with your audience. 

Voice Talent Styles: 

  1. The Announcer: Recognized as the quintessential voiceover, the Announcer exudes excitement and is suitable for trailers, advertisements, and promotional content. 
  1. The Girl/Guy Next Door: Approachable and friendly, the Girl/Guy Next Door lends itself well to soft-sell advertisements and narrations, offering a casual yet engaging tone. 
  1. The Narrator: Neutral and authoritative, the Narrator delivers essential information with professionalism and engagement, guiding audiences through the content, ensuring every detail is conveyed clearly and effectively. 
  1. The Actor: Versatile and adept at character portrayal, the Actor infuses emotion and personality into the script, transforming words into captivating stories. 

When selecting a voiceover talent for your videos, be sure to prioritize the desired style, content relevance, and audience preferences. Consider leveraging multiple voices for extended videos or diverse character portrayals to maintain viewer interest. Remember, the voice you choose can significantly impact how your message resonates with your audience. For assistance in selecting the perfect talent for your next video project, be sure to contact us

Key Takeaways: 

  1. Prioritize Visuals and Audio: When crafting a video production for your business, pay equal attention to both visuals and audio. While captivating visuals are often the focus, the choice of voice talent is equally crucial in engaging your audience. 
  1. Understand Your Content’s Tone and Audience Preferences: Determine the tone required for your content and consider your audience’s preferences when selecting a voice talent. Whether it’s a sales-driven approach, informative narration, or storytelling, ensure the voice aligns with your audience’s expectations. 
  1. Match Pace with Content: Ensure the pace of your video aligns with the voiceover to maintain viewer engagement. A mismatch in speed can disrupt the overall experience. Choose a voice talent that complements the content’s rhythm and style. 
  1. Reflect Your Brand’s Identity: Just as visual branding is important, audio elements, particularly voiceovers, contribute significantly to establishing your brand identity. Select a voice that embodies your brand’s personality and resonates with your audience. 
  1. Selecting the Ideal Talent: Selecting the ideal talent is essential in ensuring seamless communication and resonating with your target audience; explore insightful resources regarding voiceover selection on the Holdcom Blog

By keeping these key considerations in mind and leveraging the right resources, you can effectively harness the power of voiceovers to enhance your video productions and connect with your audience on a deeper level. 

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions): 

How do I know which voice talent is right for my video production?  

Consider the tone and style of your content, as well as your target audience’s preferences. Carefully review voice talent demos to find a match that resonates with your brand and message. 

Should I consider multiple voices for my video?  

If your video requires diverse character portrayals or extended scripts, consider leveraging multiple voice talents to maintain viewer interest and engagement. 

Can I request a specific accent or language for my voiceover?  

Yes, many audio marketing providers offer a range of accents and languages. Be sure to communicate your preferences and requirements when selecting a voice talent for your video production. 

How can I ensure the pace of the voiceover matches the content of my video?  

Provide clear direction to the voice talent regarding the desired pace and tone for the narration. Additionally, consider editing the video and voiceover together during the post-production process to ensure a seamless match. 

Where can I find additional resources and guidance on voiceover selection?  

Explore resources such as the Holdcom Audio Production Store for a diverse selection of voice talents and the Holdcom Blog for insightful articles and tips on voiceover selection and video production. 

Categories
branding voice over voice talent

What’s wrong with my voice?

How to Optimize Your Business Greetings 

Have you ever listened to a recording of your voice, only to cringe at how unfamiliar it sounded? You may have even found yourself uttering in disbelief, “Do I really sound like that?” 

If so, you’re not alone. Many people experience a bit of surprise, distaste, or even discomfort when hearing their own voice. But why is that? 

One of the main reasons is due to a perception mismatch. 

When we speak, we hear our own voice as a combination of vibrations conducted through our skull and sound waves hitting our ear drum. This internal perception creates a deeper and richer sound of our voice that is different from what others hear when they listen to us externally

So, when we listen to a recording of our voice, it can sound slightly awkward or even outright foreign compared to the internal perception we’re accustomed to, and this discrepancy between our internal and external perception can be disconcerting. And, since many of us are prone to self-criticism, it’s easy to find fault with our own voice, especially if we compare it to that of others we consider more melodious. 

This can be particularly frustrating if you’ve been assigned the responsibility of recording phone greetings for your business. Despite multiple attempts to create a professional-sounding upfront greeting on your business cellphone, you find it challenging to capture the polished sound you desire. 

In our modern world where telecommunication remains essential in conducting business, it’s obviously crucial to project a confident and professional image in those aural communications. In both our personal and professional lives, many feel that having a charismatic tone of voice is just as important – if not more important – than the words we speak. 

Remember, your business’s upfront greeting is often the first point of contact for potential clients or colleagues. By providing such callers with a clear and well-articulated message, you can instantly make a positive first impression and ensure effective communication. So, there’s a lot riding on that upfront greeting. 

In addition to the all-important upfront greeting, your phone system comes with a range of other indispensable features designed to optimize communication and improve productivity, such as IVR options and “busy” messaging. Of course, you’ll want to customize those features with recordings specific to your business, rather than simply rely on the built-in generic recordings that came with your phone. But again, attempting to record such customization yourself will likely bring only disappointment when you listen to the playback and hear that your voice – or the voice of an internal company representative – isn’t as engaging as you’d expected. 

We recommend going outside your company to a talent agency or studio. When choosing a professional studio for your voiceover needs, consider finding one that offers a comprehensive roster of industry-leading female and male voiceover talents. Look for a vendor with a diverse range of vocal tones, ages, dialects, and languages to provide customized recordings for your phone system, marketing content, and training materials. This can significantly enhance your business’s image, surpassing any self-recordings attempted in your own voice. 

Perhaps you’re thinking, “Well, my voice isn’t that bad. I’m sure my customers won’t mind listening to the upfront greeting that I record in my own voice. And if anyone complains, I’ll just have my assistant rerecord the greeting to save myself some money – she’s got a great voice!” 

But consider this scenario: You’re driving along and see two storefronts that sell the exact same product you’ve been looking for. The signage of the first storefront, while acceptable in that it’s legible, is obviously low-budget, amateurishly designed, and doesn’t give a great first impression of welcoming you into the store. On the other hand, the signage of the second storefront is professionally designed, visually appealing, and by sight alone conveys a strategic message: Ours is a business you can trust; we have all the products you’ve been looking for; and if you buy from us, you’re going to be a fully satisfied customer. 

You haven’t stepped inside either store. Yet, based on your first impression from the signage alone, you already know which store is going to win your business. 

The upfront greeting for your business acts in many ways like storefront signage. You have only a brief moment to make an immediate positive impression on potential clients, so they know you’re a business with integrity, dedicated to providing the best customer experience possible. And what better way to do that than with a high-quality greeting recorded by a professional voice talent, who effortlessly sounds authentic and engaging, while instilling confidence in your callers to do business with you. 

Now you may be thinking, “But I’m not tech-savvy. How am I supposed to take recordings from an outside source and put them on my phone system?” 

Have no fear. Uploading professional recordings to your phone is a simple process, one that your VoIP phone provider can walk you through, as it requires only a few easy-to-follow steps. 

And for those just entering the world of entrepreneurship, you may be thinking, “Can’t I just use my personal mobile number or even my personal landline to do business? And I’m sure my customers won’t mind if I have an upfront greeting recorded in my voice without all the bells and whistles. Why should I spend the money on a separate business line and professional recordings?” 

By adopting a mobile VoIP plan for your small business, you can seamlessly use your personal cell phone as your desk phone without revealing your private number. This means that whether you’re making or receiving calls, it will always appear as if you are sitting at your desk. In today’s business world, having a more professional and private communication experience is a desirable advantage that VoIP can provide. 

So, although you might think recording your business phone greetings in your own voice will be adequate for your callers, remember this: The voice we project to the world matters just as much as the words we speak. 

Investing in a trained and experienced professional voice talent can significantly enhance your brand’s image. By having an expert record your greetings, you will project the best possible impression to the world. This, in turn, strengthens your business’s brand, improves the customer experience, and elevates your overall image. 

Categories
IVR localization multilingual phone menu prompts Translation voice over voice talent

Leveraging the Diversity of New York City: How to Build an Inclusive Business and Serve a Multicultural Clientele

New York City is known for its diverse population and vibrant culture. One aspect of this diversity is the wide range of languages spoken in the city. According to a recent study, over 800 languages are spoken in New York City, making it the most linguistically diverse city in the world.

This diversity brings many benefits to the city and its residents. It allows for a rich exchange of ideas and cultures, and it also makes the city a more welcoming and inclusive place for people from all backgrounds.

However, this diversity also presents challenges when it comes to communication. In order to effectively serve the needs of all its residents, it is important for businesses and organizations in New York City to be able to communicate in the languages of their clients and customers.

One way to accomplish this is by providing translation and interpretation services. By offering these services, businesses and organizations can ensure that their communications are clear and accessible to all. This is particularly important in industries such as healthcare, education, and government, where effective communication is crucial for providing high-quality services.

In addition to providing translation and interpretation services, it is also important for businesses and organizations to prioritize language diversity in their hiring practices. By hiring multilingual staff, businesses can better serve the needs of their diverse customer base and foster a more inclusive work environment.

Another important touch point to consider regarding language diversity is your business or organization’s phone systems and IVRs (Interactive Voice Response systems). By offering multiple language options on these systems, businesses can make it easier for callers to navigate and access the services they need.

For example, a business with an IVR system that provides upfront language preference options ensures callers are able to access the information and assistance they need in their own language. This not only improves the customer experience but also increases customer satisfaction and loyalty.

The availability of different languages on business phone systems and IVRs is an important aspect of effective communication and customer service. By offering multiple language options, businesses and organizations can better serve the needs of their diverse customer base and foster a more inclusive and accessible environment.

Overall, the diversity of languages spoken in New York City is both a strength and an opportunity. By recognizing and addressing this diversity, businesses and organizations can better serve the needs of all their clients and customers and contribute to the city’s vibrant and inclusive culture.

One More Thought…

Check out this press conference excerpt of the Mayor discussing the need for all hospitals to offer multilingual brochures and communications for patients. NYC Health + Hospitals offers their callers 9 distinct language preference options on their phone system’s IVR prompts.

Categories
healthcare IVR message on hold voice talent

Voice Prompts and MOH Make it to the Great White Way

VoicePrompts+BroadwayMy adolescent nephews have never experienced a Broadway play, so for their spring birthdays my husband and I took them to see Spiderman: Turn off the Dark.  This show was in the headlines for various reasons – injuries, confusing plot, being the most expensive play ever produced, but it was an ideal way to introduce Broadway for novice attendees.

Categories
IVR message on hold voice talent

Voice Prompt Scripts Near and Far

Guest Blog contributed by Scripts Consultant Megan Andriulli

Categories
e-learning voice talent

eTraining

Another emerging market for Holdcom is eTraining, also known as virtual learning or just-in-time training. Holdcom supplies voices and scripts for professional businesses that need their staff to learn something new, and fast: for example, updated software or a novel technology.

Senior Script Consultant Rob Lefever created several “script tips” for a successful eTraining program. It is important to “understand your objective and know your audience. Keep the focus of your script – a good way to do this is to put yourself in their shoes, and don’t assume they know everything you know.”

Another important factor of eTraining is “keeping it simple. An eTraining script should be easy for a voiceover to record…keep it concise and to the point. Don’t forget that an important area of eTraining is situational comparisons: you want to teach them the right and wrong ways to deal with a problem so they’ll know exactly what to do and not to do.”

With more people taking courses online, eTraining will become vital to securing a company’s future.

As a side note, this is a fun “eTraining” video where a fictional character named Donny teaches his youtube followers how to “properly” use Photoshop. It’s called “You Suck at Photoshop” for a reason – he insults the viewer constantly and often breaks into rants about his ex-wife who left him, his terrible job, and more a la Office Space. It is hilarious and also very informative – it uses all the proper eTraining techniques, such as showing examples, knowing your audience, and holding the viewer’s attention.

Categories
virtual tour voice talent

Virtual Tour Audio

Though the virtual tour has been around for a long time, many individuals and businesses have not yet incorporated audio into their presentations. I have seen many virtual tours where you are given a full 360 panaromic view of a brightly colored living room or kitchen – with no voice over to serve as a guide. What could be an informative sales pitch turns into a virtual tour of a silent, almost haunted, house.

Categories
branding resources voice talent

Let’s Get Siri-ous About Voice Talents

Are the Voices Real

In this age of digital manipulation and reproduction, we often get questioned by customers about the source of Holdcom’s voice recordings… human or synthetic?  And the answer is… yes, they are most definitely natural, human voices…not artificial reproductions.  As a company specializing in voice over recordings for Message on Hold, IVR and multi-media narrations, Holdcom recognizes the value of using real, professional voice talents for all our productions.  And, as a business owner, you want your brand to sound genuine and personal… not computer generated.

Categories
branding marketing voice talent

What Gender Should Your Voiceover Be?

When you’re investing time and energy into your marketing and creating new content, you want it to be effective. Every detail from the colors, used – to the voice has an effect on your audience. Choosing the right gender for your brand voice can be a tricky decision. We’ve created a list of things to consider before choosing a voice for your next video, phone recording, and radio spot.

Categories
branding resources voice talent

Is Your Voice Over Talent Approachable as the Brand Voice?

First impressions have a lasting impact.  Everyone has a friend that when they first met, was totally unapproachable. Trust me, I know because for most of my college years, I was that friend! My friends didn’t admit this to me until about 2 years into our relationship, and we still laugh about it. The same can be true for many businesses. Not only can they can seem out of reach for consumers, but the brand can be represented by several different identities. We’re seeing trends that encourage one voice and one face for the entire brand. Take for example, Flo at Progressive. Flo is just your everyday lady. She isn’t overly fancy, she has a sense of humor, and she sounds like almost anyone. What you didn’t realize that by making Flo so “ordinary” or “normal” Progressive created a brand that is approachable and appears like a “real’ person.