A close up of a script describes a scene between a police man and a robber Demos

Recording a Demo: How to Choose the Right Script for You

By Xavier Paul Cadeau

The Right Choice of Script Makes all the Difference

When it comes to landing new voice over work, Casting Directors will tell you, having a solid demo is crucial.

But how do you choose what scripts to use for your read?

The process is actually very similar to the one that musicians go through when they’re choosing the right songs.

With the right song choice, the singer’s voice seems to come alive. However, if they choose poorly, it may not matter how much you like that particular artist – it can be really hard to get over the bad fit.

However, it can also be hard to put your finger on what exactly isn’t working. Is it the interpretation? The appropriateness? The approach? Perhaps a combination of these things?

Choosing the right copy for your voiceover demo is very much like choosing the right songs to sing, or the right jokes to tell as a standup comic. You have to work in both a sense of entertainment and theatrical ‘suspension of disbelief.’

As a voice over actor, you’re expected to be able to leverage great storytelling as a way to take the listener to a new world, a new reality and another way of thinking and believing – even if this encompasses a territory that they had been previously unwilling to explore.

What ‘Range’ Means to Voice Over Actors

When selecting the right copy to read for your demo, many voice actors make choices based on their vocal range.

But what is your real ‘range?’

Many think that you only get the range you’re born with and that your demo only has to match your voice type. However, with an investment in training and coaching, voice actors are astounded by how they’re able to expand the breadth of their voice and what they can accomplish.

Therefore, going into recording a demo before you’re ready can prove to be a huge mistake.

This is the fundamental difference between a ‘voice talent’ and being a ‘voice actor. You may have been born with talent, but true actors hone their craft and expand on their abilities through lifelong learning.

Whereas a voice talent will need to be directed into a read or a sound, voice actors are able to use an instinct that they’ve taken time to develop.

Once your demo gets out into the world, the industry will be listening for your voice acting range.

Emotional range needs to deliver on any type of mood, from authoritative to conversational, from anthemic to matter-of-fact, from hip to cool, and any combination in between.

How to Choose the Right Script for Your Demo

Once you’ve done your homework and know that you’re ready to record, choosing the right script becomes fundamentally important.

When looking over material, some helpful questions to ask in the process of choosing appropriate copy are:

  • Is the copy current?
  • Does it sound like an example of spots that are airing today?
  • What are your fundamental voice qualities – do they match the copy?
  • In order to nail this read, should you have a coach help you through the process?

Although you may have worked with coaches in advance of recording your demo, sometimes it’s useful to have them by your side as you work through the script as well. This is because learning how to accurately hear your voice with the perspective of a casting director can be a disorienting experience, but a great voice over coach can guide you through. Sometimes it takes outside skill to be able to assess what will work for your voice.

While it can take some time to hone your reading instinct, it’s best to focus on working towards strengthening your interpretive abilities. Through doing so, new copy choices and directions will become clear.

Like a singer assembling the right songs for a debut album, the final product should have several strong hits and/or directions, which the listener and the industry can become excited about.

About Xavier Paul Cadeau

Xavier Paul Cadeau

Xavier Paul Cadeau provides voice over coaching and branding consultation. A voice over artist and audiobook producer, Xavier has 25 years of voice over experience. Currently the voice of several major brand campaigns, his most recent credits include: new on air promo announcer for the NBA, Narrator for History Channel’s UFO Files, Network TV. spots.

Follow Xavier Paul Cadeau on social media:
Twitter: @voiceovertoday
Instagram: @coolvoicemedia

From the Author

If this article has been helpful to you, please leave your comments below and hit the like button, share this article with your social media groups and friends. The goal of this article is to get more performers talking about how voice over coaching and branding has influenced their careers.

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Comments

  • Avatar for arshad Khan
    arshad Khan
    March 19, 2019, 1:13 pm

    The article is no doubt a great help for the beginners who want to put their first step into the world of voice actor.Thanks .

    Reply
  • Avatar for Sean Lowery
    Sean Lowery
    August 15, 2019, 11:26 am

    Its very hard for me too how to do it

    Reply
    • Avatar for Lubna
      Lubna
      September 6, 2019, 10:36 am

      Hi Sean,

      To get started, I’d recommend signing up for a voice talent profile at voices.com/signup and completing your voice actor profile.

      You can also find great practice scripts to help you record a demo, at https://www.voices.com/blog/voice-over-sample-scripts/

      Happy Auditioning!

      – Lubna

      Reply
  • Avatar for Mawana sitwala
    Mawana sitwala
    August 20, 2019, 2:50 pm

    But how do you make a voice demo do you need some kind of script or is it provided on this platform

    Reply
  • Avatar for Rachael Uzoka
    Rachael Uzoka
    November 3, 2019, 7:23 pm

    Hi, please how does one actually create a demo? I just signed up a few minutes ago and I see a lot of helpful scripts, but I don’t know how to create a demo. Is there an app I should use? Secondly, for the demos that require a type of music, where do I get such music? Thanks

    Reply
    • Avatar for Tanya
      Tanya
      November 19, 2019, 10:24 am

      Hi Rachael,
      You can check out the Help section on our website which has a whole section for Getting Started – including demo production 😉 https://www.voices.com/help/talent
      Best of luck!
      – Tanya

      Reply
  • Avatar for Yandiswa
    Yandiswa
    January 13, 2020, 7:57 am

    Helpful though, but how do I create a demo? Please help.

    Reply
  • Avatar for Nency Ahir
    Nency Ahir
    January 29, 2020, 5:53 am

    Can you give me a script

    Reply
    • Avatar for oliver
      oliver
      January 29, 2020, 11:06 am

      Hi Nency,

      Follow this link to peruse our collection of sample scripts. All of our scripts are royalty free and free to use for your voice acting demo.

      Happy recording,
      Oliver

      Reply
  • Avatar for Abusaid
    Abusaid
    May 20, 2020, 2:48 am

    That’s really helpfull

    Reply
  • Avatar for Robert Long
    Robert Long
    May 21, 2020, 6:27 pm

    Thank you! This was very helpful!

    Reply
  • Avatar for Swathi
    Swathi
    May 27, 2020, 6:16 am

    Good job

    Reply
  • Avatar for Faye Wilson
    Faye Wilson
    May 27, 2020, 11:40 pm

    Ok how do you do the voice demo?

    Reply
  • Avatar for BEZAWADA DHANALAKSHMI
    BEZAWADA DHANALAKSHMI
    July 8, 2020, 9:21 am

    THIS PAGE DOES HELP BUT HOW DOES ONE GET A DEMO

    Reply
  • Avatar for Lucas Riet
    Lucas Riet
    July 17, 2020, 12:09 am

    Your support structure is excellent!

    Reply
  • Avatar for Lukmann Laura
    Lukmann Laura
    August 20, 2020, 10:01 pm

    Wow! I had no idea until I read your article how much goes into being a voice over actor.
    Thank you for drilling down to the bedrock of what it means to be a voice actor and what goes into it etc.

    Thanks – Laura?‍♀️

    Reply
  • Avatar for Lakshmi M S
    Lakshmi M S
    September 14, 2020, 1:00 am

    I already have sent my voice recording in my native language Telugu. This is a very good platform for everyone who has good voice.

    Reply
  • Avatar for Poosala Sujatha
    Poosala Sujatha
    October 28, 2020, 6:10 am

    Very good job great sir village persons very good job

    Reply
  • Avatar for Michael Tavares
    Michael Tavares
    February 2, 2021, 10:20 am

    As crazy as this may sound, I have been recording and directing voiceover artists for over 30 years. As a video producer and editor, I would seldom use my voice because I felt it either didn’t fit the script or because it didn’t match up to the people I had at my disposal to hire for my clients. Ironically, friends, family and even clients would ask me why I didn’t just use my voice because they all think it’s special. Even though I have mixed demos for others, I can’t really figure out my own voice. Maybe I want it to be something that it’s not, I’m not sure. But I need an outside person to truthfully tell me whether I should enter this arena of voicing for clients other than mine.

    Reply
  • Avatar for Seth Rodriguez
    Seth Rodriguez
    March 4, 2021, 11:30 pm

    Hi! I am aware this website has sample scripts, but I am wondering if I am able to look up scripts. Must I search up scripts in a certain website?

    Reply
  • Avatar for Kaylyn Phu
    Kaylyn Phu
    April 17, 2021, 12:21 pm

    Where do people find audio to use in the background of voice overs, like music? I noticed some also have sound effects.

    Reply
    • Avatar for Oliver Skinner
      Oliver Skinner
      April 26, 2021, 11:44 am

      Hi Kaylyn,

      You may be interested in our blog post about voice over music. In short, a lot of voice actors source background music and sound effects from online stock music and sound effects libraries, while others may work with professional musicians or foley artists to create original scores and effects to enhance the voice over delivery.

      Reply