Learning From Instructors

If you wanted to be an arborist, would you go out willy-nilly with a chainsaw cutting down trees? Of course not! At least, we hope you wouldn't. You would likely take some courses and would work under a mentor or take an apprenticeship when you're just starting out to learn the ropes and perfect your technique.

Likewise, if you're serious about becoming a voice-over artist, the singularly most important thing you should do is take some classes with a reputable voice-over coach. You don't have to spend years of arduous studying, but you should make a commitment to your craft, and to yourself, to practice continuous improvement by honing your skills with the appropriate training.

Whether you are interested in voicing business and education videos or television commercials and video games - you need to be able to act. Acting classes will improve your voice-over performance no matter what area you are leaning towards.

We've discussed how voice-over coaches can teach you how to warm up your voice, how to breathe properly, assume a proper posture for voicing, and help you to develop unwavering intonation, phrasing, fluctuation, elasticity, and versatility, allowing you to explore the potential of your voice in a friendly and secure environment.

Now, let's see which options are available to you to continue learning the art of voice acting.

Exploring Other Training Options With Expert Instructors

Studying with a coach is just one way that you can develop your voice acting skills. Fortunately for you, training options for voice acting are as varied as they are plentiful! Everything from industry conferences, voice acting workout groups, and free resources online are at your disposal. In this section, we overview what you can do to grow as a voice actor and how you can do it.

Picking The Type Of Class

Doing an online search for a voice-over coach in your area is a start, but we recommend that you call and speak to several, including those in your area and those who teach via Skype from afar. Knowing the different kinds of classes that a coach offers may steer you in a particular direction, especially if you know that you enjoy learning most in a group setting versus private classes. That's right, classes can either be private or public depending on the arrangement selected with the instructor. Many voice talent prefer individual coaching sessions to group lessons when they're just starting out but both have their advantages. Some of which to consider are:

Private Lessons:

  • Individual attention
  • Learning at your own pace
  • Less intimidating
  • Training adapted to your specific needs

Group Lessons:

  • Interactive fun
  • High energy
  • Improvisational
  • Peer encouragement

Training Your Way: 5 Ways to Learn the Ropes

Studying with a voice-over coach will help you to assess your talent and develop your skills specifically for acting behind the mic, which is entirely different territory even for the experienced on-camera actor or live theatre performer. Let's explore the different ways that voice acting classes are offered.

In-Studio Training

Gaining experience in front of the microphone is necessary, and can usually be accomplished in two ways: emailing your own recordings to the voice-over coach and they provide a written (emailed) critique or at the coach's studio. When you're just starting, gaining experience in front of someone else's mic seems to be the logical first step because at this point, you're still discovering whether or not you want to invest in this professionally.


Since many of the coaches are in large centers such as New York City or Los Angeles, tele-classes are offered via the telephone enabling talent who do not live in the same city or state as their coach to still participate and learn from their mentor. Coaches may teach tele-classes on a weekly basis with a curriculum that they teach over many weeks. These classes can be short or can run for over an hour. As long as they can hear you, they can train you.

Other coaches may provide webinars that allow you to listen to special guest instructors. At the end of the webinar, participants can ask questions and receive immediate answers from the featured presenters and experts. Webinars offer an alternative to simply hearing what is being shared by sharing material in real time.


Skype is becoming popular in the voice-over industry both in terms of training and for clients to give remote direction while recording their job. Since most working voice talent will run into clients who request the option to live-direct a recording session, most instructors offer some training via Skype. This is a "must-have" skill and will help you prepare for the real-work environment.

Participating in Workshops or Peer Groups

Attending workshops and participating in small groups of your peers are great ways to improve your skill set and network. No matter whether you’re new to the field or you have decades of experience, you still need to brush up on your skills every so often or get referral business from others in the field.

  • Workshops give you opportunities to discover something new in a group environment. For instance, you can attend a workshop on voice acting in animation or a workshop on how to read commercial scripts for television and radio.
  • A peer group is great for developing new skills, figuring out voice acting in general, and gaining support and encouragement from others in your field.

You can find workshops and peer groups by searching online for keywords related to the type of group you want. For example, you may search for “voice acting workshops, New York City” or “voice-over group in Toronto.” Most workshops are advertised well, but peer groups are harder to find. You may have more success finding peer groups by asking other voice actors for referrals.

MeetUp Groups

Similarly, you can seek out a voice-over MeetUp Group to learn from peers. MeetUp Groups will often be made up of professional voice talent and those interested in getting started. They frequently welcome guest speakers and/or offer peer feedback. The funny thing about the voice-over industry is that, while there's a lot of competition, voice talent are a friendly lot who are always willing to help a fellow voice talent out. Peer-to-peer meetings that have a mix of working talent and new talent will offer you the best unbiased insight into the industry.

With so many learning opportunities available, both live and remote and in the form of voice-over blogs, podcasts and news sites, it can be a little overwhelming to figure out where to start.

Our recommendation, before tying up a large amount of your hard earned money into studio equipment, is to test the waters first. Start by training in-studio with a voice-over coach you connect well with. When you are ready, you might consider making your demo with this trusted coach. Producing a demo may be a long ways off but it is good to study with someone who can prepare you for making a professional voice-over demo. Also, try joining a VO MeetUp Group to learn about the industry directly from your peers. By starting there you will be giving yourself a great foundation to build on and make connections with those already working in the industry.

Seminars and Conferences

Seminars or conferences are almost exclusively on location. The very word "seminar" means a group meeting for discussion or training. A seminar gives participants the opportunity to interact directly with instructors, industry professionals, and their peers in large group sessions. These offer valuable networking and group learning opportunities but can come with a rather hefty price tag, particularly for weekend long events.

Attending industry conferences

Going to conferences related specifically to voice acting is a great way to inspire you and discover new developments and skills needed for a voice acting career. Furthermore, conferences are a great way to meet and network with other voice actors. By going to a conference, you can attend sessions on how to stay ahead of the curve in the industry and chat with others about what works and doesn’t work for them.

When determining whether to go to a conference, look at how much it costs. The price of conference tickets should be equal to the perceived value of what you are going to receive. From a business point of view, investing several hundred dollars, even for a day, to be in the same room as industry leaders, experts, and people you wouldn’t be able to meet with, network, and learn firsthand from is worth the price of admission. Before you register for any workshop, talk to other people who have attended in the past to see if it’s worth attending.

Putting on a conference costs money, and part of the fee you pay to attend goes toward costs associated with the venue, food, speakers, and any materials that are being provided to you. It isn’t uncommon for a conference to cost $500 or more to attend. Generally, conferences that cost several hundred dollars also provide food and drink throughout the day.

ResourceStaring Learning Right Now with Podcasts and Online Videos


Want to get a head start? Try listening to podcasts. Podcasts are radio-style shows that you can listen to either on a website or by downloading your podcast of choice from a podcast directory, such as Apple’s iTunes. You can listen to podcasts to enhance your voice acting skills and discover new skills. Most episodes contain pearls of wisdom and tricks of the trade to improve your voice-over career. Experience mini-training sessions with Voices.com recommended coaches on the Voice Over Experts Podcast.  This podcast is the top-rated and most downloaded podcast in the iTunes podcast directory for voice-overs.  With over 150 episodes from voice-over coaches, agents and industry experts from New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Toronto, Vancouver and more, you'll be sure to learn something new.  And the best part is that it's free.  You can listen online or subscribe in iTunes to get updates whenever a new episode is published.

Watching YouTube videos

You can find videos online that give you a greater appreciation for the art of voice acting and touch on a variety of industry topics, including home studios, recording, audio editing, vocal technique, performance, auditioning, and voice acting. Many of the most successful voice actors have uploaded videos to YouTube that share tips and let you into their studios for a sneak peek. Some voice acting coaches also share tips that can help you grow in both knowledge and skill.

For example, plopping down on the couch to watch a YouTube video of Kevin Conroy in session being directed by Andrea Romano won’t suddenly make your Batman voice or interpretation any better. Watching what Conroy does, studying his choices, interpreting them, and rehearsing those choices on your own as the Caped Crusader will.

Being Open To Trying New Things

The key to getting the most from your voice lessons is to discover your own voice and not to mimic someone else. What you bring to the table is special and unique, and no two voices are exactly the same. In your classes and in your free time, be open to new experiences. You may feel uncomfortable at first, but you can’t grow your voice acting skills without doing something new. If your coach suggests new exercises, don’t resist. Trust that she knows what she is doing.

In doing so, experiment. You can work with different scripts and characters and allow your coach to share ideas with you. Don’t get pigeon-holed into one style or one type of character. Although not everything you try will suit you or work, the more you exercise your voice, the more knowledge you’ll have of your voice.

Accepting constructive criticism

You don’t want to pay a coach, spend time on a webinar or attend an expensive conference just to have someone tell you how great you are or pat you on the back. You want insight, so when your instructors or classmates offer you feedback, be open to what they’re saying. Many times people don’t take to heart what objective outsiders have to say about their work. When you get feedback, take away what you need from the experience and toss what you don’t.

You've taken some one-on-one classes with a voice-over coach, attended some group workshops or even that big annual conference.  You've continued your learning online by subcribing to podcasts, attending webinars and watch YouTube videos to learn new skills.  You feel more confident that you know what you're doing behind the mic so, now what?

That's up next.