Political VO How-To

Watch as veteran voice talent Kathryn Klvana goes from incredulous to inspirational in seconds while showing you how to interpret copy for political campaign spots.
Does her style jive with yours, or do you record political voice overs differently?
Let me know on this week’s Who Got the Gig theme “Political Voice Overs”.

What a timely topic! With elections in the United States and in Canada this fall, this video fits in perfectly.

Have You Been Recording any Political Voice Overs This Year?


Any comments on the video in general?

Leave a comment!
Best wishes,


  1. Yes and Yes. Yes, I’ve been recording more political spots this year than ever before! And, yes, that’s basically what we do! The only additions I might have would be those spots where the client directs you to take it a step further on the negative or strength of voice. I think they often want each of the things she presented so well here exaggerated even more. 1,000 campaigns? Nice work!

  2. Always nice to peek behind the glass…this is a must have link for anyone wanting a concrete example that illustrates attitude shifts.
    Politicals can be very straightforward, some are downright fun – and others get pretty cut throat. A “fun” radio spot for City Attorney during the primaries this year in San Diego was set to pictures and went viral on YouTube –

    I remember many years ago arriving at a session – an “emergency” session – my agent rang me asking if I could be at a studio in a half hour – over lunch. It was the same studio I had been to the day before cutting a car spot, so I just assumed that it was for the same client.
    The producer met me in the parking lot and handed me the copy through the window of the car. I read it as I was walking to the door and by the time I got there I told them that I couldn’t do the spot. It was a hateful, mud slinging, simple nasty spot for the local mayoral campaign.
    The usual transpired. “You’ll never work in this town again.” As I was driving out of the lot, the engineer pulled in (it was over the lunch hour) and asked me where I was going. I told him that I just couldn’t dot the spot. His reply? “You’re the second one.” Hence the reason for the last minute call. Heard the spot the next day done by a non-professional.
    I wonder sometimes, had the campaign had been in a market far away from me, if I would have gone ahead and recorded the spot. But, at the time, my voice was just too familiar in the market.
    Another time more recently I was doing a series of spots for the same race in a small southern state. The producer asked me if there was line I wouldn’t cross – I told him it was hard to tell, but maybe something truly mean spirited – “liar, liar, pants on fire” – might make me balk. The next spot included those very words. But since it was couched as a childhood taunt, I decided that the line hadn’t been crossed.

  3. I am just starting to get scripts together for my demo recording. I had not thought about doing a political spot, buy this gives me an idea for more diversity in script choices. Thanks.

  4. I recently did an audition for a political spot that was registered with voices.com. The political spot was for a candidate name Al White out of Colorado sponsored by Spruce Creek Multimedia. I did the audition dry voice only, no music or background. Can Kathryn Klvana listen to my audition and tell me what I may have done not to win the job? I would like to know if having a background or music is important to auditions as well as the real recording? Will I win more auditions if I give finished product for political spots or any spot?

  5. Great vo example – BUT … How the heck did you imbed video into email?????
    I’d love to know!
    D. Johnstone

  6. Hi Sandra,
    Thank you for commenting. You could ask Kathryn Klvana to review your demo, however, she may be very busy.
    Try Googling her name and contact her directly (do not send your demo in the email as no one likes unsolicited files) and ask if she would consider listening to your audition.
    Best wishes,

  7. Hi Stephanie,
    I also spotted the article and video on the Newsweek site last week and posted it on my blog too because it provides such significant insight into the entire process of execution of politicals, on both sides of the glass and all sides of political spectrum. Thank you for sharing it here. 🙂
    All The Best,
    Bobbin Beam


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