We all know someone in our professional or social circle who has a naturally charismatic voice. It cuts through the crowd and draws you in with its naturally likeable tone.
So, it may feel only natural that the next time you’re thinking of narrating a presentation, running a webinar, or even updating your company’s phone greeting, you think, “I wonder if Jerry could help me out?”
But beware – there are pitfalls, and they can catch up to you. By and large, hiring a professional voice actor instead will provide you with incredible value.
When is Getting a Coworker to do Your Voice Over Appropriate?
There are a lot of good reasons for approaching people in-house to help you with a voice over project. For instance, when your project has absolutely no budget – or if it’s something you’re undertaking just for fun or professional development.
However, when the piece is important and/or externally facing, you’ll find that professional voice actors can offer much more than your in-house talent ever could.
The Priceless Value that Professional Voice Over Adds
One should never confuse ‘speaking’ with voice acting. Just because Jerry’s voice sounds pleasing while in a meeting, it doesn’t mean that he has proper command of how to inject the right personality and inflections into your voice over project.
Even beginner voice actors have embarked upon a course of study to better their performance, vocal health and ability to flex their voice into a wide range of uses.
Here is a list of the top reasons why a professional voice actor is your best bet for a project that stands out – and blows your audience away.
1. Your Audience Will Feel Your Message
Once you hear the difference between a script that has just been ‘read out loud,’ and one that has come ‘alive’ under the care of a professional voice actor, you’ll never forget it.
How a word is read and perceived changes dramatically depending on what the intent is and the subtext – and voice actors have committed themselves to ensuring they can pick up on and enhance all of those intentions.
At the Voices.com LevelUp event in San Francisco, Micah Baro, Creative Producer and Content Strategist at Allison+Partners summed up his reasons for seeking professional voice over talent for the PR firm’s projects.
“We like to think of ourselves as storytellers,” he says.“The purpose of that story is to elicit the desired emotion we’re trying to get and have it come through the voice.”
A professional read compels the audience to listen and pulls them in the right emotional direction – and isn’t that what you’re after?
2. Don’t Settle for a Good Voice When You Can Get the Best Voice
You only get one chance to make a good first impression – should you be leaving that responsibility in the hands of an ‘okay’ sounding voice?
According to the Voices.com 2017 Trends Report, more than ever, the public is tuned in to listen for voices that sound like their peers.
You wouldn’t hire an 80 year-old grandmother to model fitness attire for teens, so why would you settle for anything less than the voice you know will make a personal connection with your audience?
“At least 40 hours deliberating over the script, who the talent should be, how they sound etc.,” says Micah of the process he and his team at Allison+Partners go through when carefully selecting the right voice actor.
There are many talented individuals (including over 200,000 voice actors registered with Voices.com!) who can help complete your project from anywhere in the world, thanks to digital technology and advances in recording.
Truly, the perfect voice is out there just waiting for you.
3. You Can Also Get the Best Performance
You may be surprised to learn that voice actors undertake a very physical process when it comes to providing the best performance.
“If you’re not moving, it’s going to sound lifeless,” says Elaine Clark, Vocal Coach, author of the VO training book, There’s Money Where Your Mouth Is and Owner/Founder of Voice One.
While at the Voices.com San Francisco LevelUp event, Elaine specified that a performance that’s given without movement will sound “Like you are at a party that you don’t want to be at.”
But beyond the physicality of the performance is the range of emotions – and the sheer variety in ways that a script can be read. Professional voice actors are adept at reading into these subtleties and they can provide you with a variety of ‘takes’ so that your end performance suits your message.
“There are a lot of parallels between many creative art forms,” says Erika Lutz, Creative Director at Lumosity, and featured speaker at Voices.com San Francisco LevelUp. “[A good read] is a lot about the pacing, inflection and intonation – the things that happen naturally in the moment that connect to you to the audience you’re speaking to.”
4.You’ll Have a Collaborator on Your Script
While there’s no doubt that you’ve spent a lot of time honing your script to get it just right, the way the content reads in your head, and how it translates to spoken words can cause some, well, problems.
Voice actors are trained to pick up on these auditory and structural issues that might cause a listener to lose their place in the content.
Having an experienced collaborator who can read your script, provide you with a variety of takes and emotions, and provide you with small edits that will make your message more powerful? Sounds like a win-win!
5. Your Investment Will Go Further (and Maybe Even Cost Less)
Despite what a lot of people may think, there are some things that just can’t be fixed in post-production.
While you may feel like you’re ‘saving’ by getting a colleague to lend his or her voice, the cost (in time and money) of retakes and editing can add up faster than you anticipate!
By getting the right read in the right quality right off the hop, you’re making your investment go further and protecting yourself from costly attempts at ‘saving the piece’ down the road.
Want to Learn More About Working with a Professional Voice Actor?
Explore demos, read bios and discover all of the amazing projects that Voices.com voice actors have embarked on – plus, list your job, receive auditions and find the perfect voice for your next project today!