You know those words, phrases or terms that kind of make you go “hmm hmm” and wonder why they’re still around?
3 specific terms are among my pet peeves. Maybe they’re yours, too?
1. DEMO TAPE
Why should “Demo Tape” be removed?
The term “Demo Tape” needs to hit the road because demos are no longer produced on cassette tapes and barely anyone uses cassette players in 2008. Similarly, “Demo Reel”, although it sounds cool and has agency elitism written all over it, is also passe. Same goes with “Agency Reels” or “House Reel”.
The term “Demo Reels” comes from a time when tape was wound around a “reel” which is not the case anymore thanks to digital audio recording technology. If you are using any of those words anywhere on your website or in your marketing materials, replace them with “Demo CD” or “Voice over demo”. Not only are those words out of fashion, they date you and may give the wrong impression as to your present capabilities and knowledge of the industry.
“DEMO TAPE / REEL”, BE GONE!
2. VOICE SEEKER(S)
Why should “Voice Seeker(s)” be removed?
It infers that the person is simply looking or browsing rather than conveying a description of someone who has a mission to complete that includes hiring a voice over talent.
Secondly, apart from seeking a voice, it has nothing to do with voice over or voice acting. It could be someone who talks, sings, is a public speaker, has a voice, and so forth.
Thirdly, picture a relationship ad in the local paper, many go something like this:
“Man seeking woman”, or “Woman seeking man”
Not exactly the imagery you want coming to mind when describing your most valued client, whether perspective or otherwise.
Finally, “Voice Seeker(s)” is vague, noncommittal and is offensive to buyers of voice over services.
“VOICE SEEKER(S)”, BE GONE!
3. PAY TO PLAY SITES
Why should “Pay to Play Sites” be removed?
This is probably the most annoying term that I’ve ever encountered let alone an inaccurate description of what it intends to communicate.
Pay to Play sites is a term associated with voice over marketplaces or any website that requires you to invest in a membership fee to access jobs to apply for. It’s a very negative connotation that our industry and the world would be a better place without.
Let’s get this straight.
When someone signs up for a membership and pays a fee to access job opportunities, they are paying a fee in order to receive upgraded customer service and gain access to job leads that have been qualified, laid before them and are ripe for the picking. No pavement to pound, no cold calling, no having to ask permission to send a demo. Talk about amazing opportunities to market your voice without having to lift a finger!
Marketplaces give you the ability to promote yourself like no other venue and calling them pay to play sites is a disservice to the companies that do provide remarkable value for little investment. If you’re really looking to replace it with something, try “Software as a Service”. Software as a Service (SaaS) is defined by Wikipedia as:
A model of software deployment where an application is hosted as a service provided to customers across the Internet. By eliminating the need to install and run the application on the customer’s own computer, SaaS alleviates the customer’s burden of software maintenance, ongoing operation, and support. Using SaaS also can reduce the up-front expense of software purchases, through less costly, on-demand pricing. From the sofware vendor’s standpoint, SaaS has the attraction of providing stronger protection of its intellectual property and establishing an ongoing revenue stream. The SaaS software vendor may host the application on its own web server, or this function may be handled by a third-party application service provider (ASP).
On behalf of all the services out there who have been mislabeled as such:
“PAY TO PLAY SITES”, BE GONE!
Aspiring Talent, Take Note:
Make sure that you are aware of the proper terminology being used today. While you need to know terms from previous decades (there are still people in certain parts of the industry who use them), you’ll find that the voice over industry is changing at a rapid pace and it will benefit you greatly to get in with the digital crowd.
By using voice over industry jargon (words used by those who work in voice overs), and by avoiding obsolete or inappropriate words or terms, you’ll find that your career-building efforts in the new reality of voice over will come easier as will communicating with the new school of industry leaders.
That Being Said, Professionals, I Turn To You:
Does what I shared make sense to you? Are there any terms that you’d like to see removed from voice over jargon?
Leave a comment!