Businessman reclined on a Muskoka chair outside with laptop on a tableAre you in the habit of letting the characters and voices in your head run wild?

What happens when you need to restrain those characters and prepare for a more corporate read?
Herb Merriweather shares some ideas on how you can manage and enjoy your less spontaneous reads while engaging the intended audience in today’s VOX Daily.

Dialing It Back: The Business/Corporate Voice Over

By Herb Merriweather
Many of my friends, cohorts and compadres are used to craziness and characterizations coming from my studio (globally known as ‘The Hole’). Indeed, the lions share of my work has been rooted in the fact that I don’t sound like me (or anyone ELSE for that matter).
But the not-so-casual, upbeat business voice over is a whole ‘nother animal! It seeks to inform while not being boring; entertaining without sounding frivolous; important without being pompous and above all–clear and concise so that the message is not missed or muddled.

Here are some simple suggestions (from an equally simple mind) on how to perform this plate spinner without shattering all of the china:

1. Read The Copy First

I know, I know…but you have to start somewhere and reading the copy completely (more than once) will give you greater insight on inflection, attitude and emphasis. I know you can read–but comprehension is key here.

2. S-L-O-W D-O-W-N

This tip serves as a personal reminder, but is very important nonetheless–especially when reading industry jargon and technical terms. Even though you have to read it like you’re familiar with it, the message and words must be clearly (easily) understood.

3. Enjoy What You’re Reading

It’s OK to enjoy what you’re reading because the people you are voicing it for enjoy what you’re reading and so does their audience! ‘Serious’ doesn’t mean ‘boring’ or ‘lifeless.’ You can have just as much fun learning from business/technical copy as you can screaming ‘AFLAC.’
Be sure: to stay hydrated, take breaks, and don’t be afraid to refer back to the original job directions to maintain your focus.
OK–now I’m off to look for more screeching, Cajun-flavored, British-born and Kentucky-bred farm animals to voice.
Be Blessed …and Happy Voicing!
Herb Merriweather
© Gagne


  1. “Cajun-flavored, British-born and Kentucky-bred farm animals to voice.”
    Love it! Havent see that direction in my e-learning requests yet. lol
    Corporate work makes me happy because I imagine I’m saving my friends from listening to their boss drone on and on on a computer mic. If you have ever fought falling asleep in a lecture, you just know what a service it is to have someone with personality speaking.
    Corporate policy manuals whoo hoo! exciting stuff LOL!!! But if you imagine you are talking to a colleague who is relieved its you and not the boss, those “Paragraph A policy 12345 -D” reads are kind of a fun challenge. 🙂

  2. That is excellent advice, Herb!
    I do more “business” recording than anything else (which is why playing w/ you and a great group of folks on the “Vipo” project was so much fun). But even corporate v.o. is a happy way to earn $$$.
    Keep doing what you’re doing, and thanks again for reminders on that which is “simple”, “vital” and “simply vital”.

  3. “According to EX 1254674-1(a) the splice has to be permanently engraved with the manufacturers identifying mark, letters identifying the splice with the certificate conforming to 5.3.5 of EX 1254674 – 1(b), and any legal marking. At all times keep the mechanism clean and extricate any detritus from the bellow(s)”
    Aw shucks, Herb, they didn’t buy my read. What went wrong?
    (I have changed details to respect copyright).


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