When you’re creating a video production for your business, there are two main areas of focus: Visuals and Audio. The visuals come naturally to most. You might feature on-screen talent, show charts and statistics, or share photos. The audio is often a bit trickier to get right. Background music for videos is very important, but so is the voice that’s being used to describe or explain the content. Too often, online marketing videos rely only on music and visuals; the spoken word is neglected or completely omitted, which means marketing departments have completely missed an opportunity to efficiently and effectively share quality content with online viewers.
It’s occurred to me that people don’t know they can use professional voice over talent for their video productions… or maybe that they’re just not sure how to choose and describe the kind of voice their looking for. Luckily, there are several voice over styles that can help you choose the right talent for your next video project.
Crucial Considerations When Choosing a Voice Over For Video
What kind of information does the talent need to present? Sales? Information? Storytelling? Different voice talents have different skills – some are true voice actors who are able to transform into any role, while others have great voices that are ideal for presenting information clearly and effectively – but they might not be able to take on all personas.
- What kind of voice does your audience want to hear? Trustworthy? Exciting? Young? Experienced? Just as talents have different acting skills, they also have different speaking styles. Some talent will be more casual, while others deliver more exciting, upbeat reads. Some have specific accents. Most voice talent directories allow talents to describe their voices. Keep these descriptions in mind when selecting your voice. Voice Talent Samples, also called demos, are invaluable tools when looking for the right talent.
- What is that pace of your video? Are things moving quickly? Do you want a lot of space for information to be absorbed? The overall tone of your video should be one of the top considerations for finding the right voice. The voice should complement the content, not take away from it. A fast-paced video with a slow read just won’t sound right.
- How does your brand sound? Companies spend a lot of time thinking about how their brand looks, but any time you use audio, especially voice, you have an opportunity to give you brand a real, human voice that customers will connect with. Look for a voice over talent that sounds like your target customer, whether that’s young and upbeat, mature and authoritative, or somewhere in between.
Voice Over Talent Styles
The “style” in which a voice reads is just as important as the voice you choose. A particular style will change how a talent delivers your message, which can have a tremendous impact on your final video… and remember, not every voice talent is comfortable reading in every style. Here are some voice over styles you might request:
- The Announcer: The Announce is the classic “voice over” sound. He’s the “radio guy” and has an exciting tone. He can usually deliver anywhere between a “hard sell” and a “medium sell” (and can also be female). You might use this type of voice for a trailer, advertisement, or anywhere you want a “classic voice over” sound.
- The Girl/Guy Next Door: Often approachable, friendly, and just a little bit casual, the “girl next door” (or guy) is ideal for “soft sell” advertisements and marketing content. They can also be a good fit for narrators (see below), and some character work like eLearning projects.
- The Narrator: Narrators should be fairly neutral, authoritative, and approachable. A narrator should provide information in a highly listenable way, without being over the top. The narrator should leave some conclusions up to the viewer.
- The Actor: A voice over chameleon, “The Actor” can transform his or her delivery to suit a variety of roles. They can sound young and childlike or mature. They can turn words on paper into a story. They present information with feelings and emotion that are conveyed to the viewer. They’re the opposite of a narrator.
When you chose a voice over for videos, keep in mind the style of read that you want, the information you’re presenting, and the story you want to tell. You should also consider the preferences of your audience and the tone of the final video. Consider using multiple voices for long scripts or character work, to keep everything interesting.