Have you ever wondered what goes into a great read? How about being able to tell the difference between a confident voice artist and one that doesn’t have what it takes? When your brand is on the line, you can’t leave your copy with just anyone, no matter how credentialed or amazing their voice may be. Here are three crucial qualifiers of a great read that you can listen for in auditions, so that your production is set up for success.
Note: Any actor who can achieve the following is a good one!
1 – The Voice Actor Blends In
While seemingly counterintuitive, an actor’s voice and the message being read should feel like they are one and the same. A voice-over is most effective when the voice actor blends in.
But, wait! ‘What about having a voice that stands out from the crowd and brands our company? Doesn’t that matter?’ Rest assured, my friend. You can have your cake and eat it too. Just because a voice artist blends into the copy or spot doesn’t mean that you lose your brand voice and its unique attributes. You simply get cohesion, and that’s a good thing.
The beauty of blending in has more to do with the way the artist perceives themselves and their role in the production. Is this spot about them and their voice? Or, is it about your product or service? Think of the voice actor as part of an ensemble or team. More specifically, they’re a part of your team.
The voice actor plays a role, just as copywriters, musicians and producers do. Without copy, the voice actor wouldn’t have a job. A wise voice artist once said that the voice is “in the service of the words.” Ultimately, it’s the message that matters and a good voice actor’s contribution supports the message.
2 – You Don’t Stop to Think About Their Performance
This relates to the point above. A good voice actor will want you to focus on the real star of the show, and humbly, he or she knows it’s not them. Although there are some perfectly good reasons one might happily focus on the voice, the possibility exists that a voice could stand out for the wrong reasons – a poor performance being one of them. Hearing a good voice over usually means you don’t notice it, specifically. However, if you do start to critique the voice, it usually has to do with a shortfall in one of these areas:
- Brand fit
- Audio quality
When the voice actor sounds like they belong in the spot, delivers the script well, and presents broadcast-ready audio, you’re less likely to notice anything questionable. You should have full confidence in the actor’s ability to represent your brand, tell your story, and sound impeccable while doing it.
Assuming you’ve got all the pieces of the puzzle here, how do you separate good voice actors from the voice actor you want to work with?
3 – You Just Know You’ve Found the Right Voice Over
Ever heard the saying, “I’ll know it when I hear it”? It’s a common one in the voice over business, and it’s absolutely true.
The voice actor delivers a dynamite read. The hairs on the back of your neck stand on edge. You get a vibe (a good one, not a creepy one). It can be so obvious at times that it scares you. Be it your gut, intuition or simply being floored, the clarity of hearing the right voice over performance is a sublime casting experience that can’t be mistaken for anything else.
When you sense that the voice actor’s read embodies their heart and soul, that they truly believe what they are saying, you’ll know. Top voice actors train extensively to ensure their vocal performance is credible and authentic.
P.S. If you’re looking for a voice now, posting a job to audition voice actors is one of the easiest ways to figure out who you want to work with. Login to your Voices.com account now and use these tips to be well on your way to your next great voice!