Meeting The Industry

A voice-over occurs every time you hear a voice speaking but you do not see the person who is speaking. You've just heard a voice-over while watching your favorite animated movie or television program, while watching a movie trailer or documentary, while listening to a radio or television commercial. It is an audio recording performed by a voice talent who gives life to characters, tells a story, guides you on a tour, or directs your telephone calls.

Learning About How Voice-Overs Are Used

Voice-overs are added to educational videos and business videos. A voice-over narrates complex medical videos and gives personality to your favorite video game characters.

Voice-overs are needed in just about every market there is, including; audiobooks, business, cartoons, documentaries, Internet, jingles, telephone, movie trailers, music, podcasting, radio, television, and video games. If you are bilingual or multilingual, other opportunities open up as well, such as translation. There's also puppet shows, amusement park rides, radio dramas, live broadcasts and dubbed foreign language films to consider.

In other words, voice-over opportunities are abundant.

Seeing Yourself As A Voice Talent

Usually, professional voice talent are enthusiastic, funny, charming, flexible and interact well with other people. They are often animated storytellers. They have the ability to take direction or criticism from others and can interpret copy to sell a product, concept or a message. They are able to read from a script without sounding forced or monotone no matter what the subject may be.

Many voice-over artists come from radio broadcasting backgrounds and have a good handle on the technical aspects of audio recording. Others come from acting backgrounds and know how to make characters come alive. Some are singers who want a new way to use their vocal instrument.

Although these backgrounds often give new voice-over talent the best chance at success, it is not necessary to be in any of these lines of work. Voice talent have built successful careers coming from all kinds of disciplines, often using their voice for some aspect of doing their job. These range from call-center reps, to bankers, to police officers, public speakers, teachers, the clergy, army sergeants and more.

As you've probably already noticed in this guide, voice-over professionals have a number of different monikers depending on their area of expertise. They can be broken down into five basic voice-over types.

  • Announcers can be heard introducing segments of live television or radio broadcasts such as; award shows, talk shows and sporting events. They can also be heard announcing messages at amusement parks, in bus and train stations, at the airport and on airplanes.
  • Narrators often specialise in audio books, documentaries, educational videos, business videos, medical videos and as audio tour guides.
  • Voice Actors are heard performing in animated movies, TV cartoons, radio dramas, video games, puppet shows and in foreign language dubbing.
  • Voice-over Artists are versatile performers, able to weave interchangeably between any of the above as well as direct telephone prompts, welcome visitors to a website, or guide road trips as the voice of a GPS. They are skilled in multiple applications of spoken word and might also use their voice to sing, whether for performing a jingle or as an animated character.
  • Voice Talent refers to the collective above. The term was coined as an easy way to reference all types of voice-over performers and is often used by those hiring voice talent at marketplaces and at agencies.

Saying "Hello" To The Client

Anyone who has a need for a voice-over can be referred to as a "client." Voice-over clients come from all walks of life. You could be hired by producers, casting directors, advertising agencies, marketing executives, as well as independent people or businesses.

To audition voice talent, clients, even those who run their own recording and production studios, are looking more toward online marketplaces. A large reason for this shift is because marketplaces save clients time and money simply by not having to organize and facilitate auditions in their own studios.

Not only does a marketplace provide simplicity for the client, it also provides a large pool of talent to select from who hail from countries all over the world. Outsourcing the voice-over saves them from performing unnecessary administrative responsibilities and enables them to work solely on the creative aspects so they can deliver a polished final product to their customers.

Most of the voice-over jobs available through online marketplaces are non-union, although the occasional union production comes in. The types of jobs they post range greatly, as discussed earlier, however there are some job categories that are most frequently cast for including: business, Internet, educational, television, videogames, radio, and telephone. Documentaries and audiobooks are fast-growing markets as well.

As many producers in the entertainment industry move away from big production studios and self-produced, crowd-sourced funding continues to grow in popularity, so too will casting in other areas where voice-overs are used such as movie trailers and cartoons.

Finding The Place Where Business Happens

What is a voice-over marketplace? A voice-over marketplace provides a faster, easier solution for clients to cast voice-over projects and for voice talent to audition for jobs. With the world at your fingertips, there is no other way to access the sheer number and variety of auditions than what a marketplace offers. More than just a job site, you are also given a unique URL where you can post your demos and create a profile. At, we also play a vital role in securely facilitating interactions and transactions between voice talent and their clients online.

Established in 2004, is one of the first voice-over marketplaces to exist and continues to serve the industry as the leading website that connects businesses with professional voice talent. Over 100,000 clients rely on the marketplace to search for, audition and hire voice talent. We receive, on average, over 100 job postings each and every day and even more clients browse for the perfect voice talent through our directory.

Time Saver

Knowing The Online Process

So, how does it work?

For longer term projects, producers and casting directors can open their casting calls to a bigger pool of talent giving them more options and character flexibility than they could ever find holding auditions in one location.

Most freelance voice talent offer complementary services that can be bundled with the voice-over which saves the hassle and excessive costs of hiring separate copywriters, audio engineers, and studio space.

In a nutshell, hiring voice talent online saves them time, money, and hassle. When a client is facing tight budgets and looming deadlines, your goal should be to provide a simple solution for getting the work done on time and within their budget.

So, how do you stand out in a sea of voice talent?

By this point, we are assuming that you already have a personal website and profile in a marketplace, somewhere that you can point clients to so they can learn more about you, listen to your demos, and hire you.

Everything from the audition, to the file delivery, and payment are all completed through your account. It is simple and can be summed up in the following steps:

  1. Client posts a job
  2. Talent auditions for the job
  3. Client selects the talent and makes a deposit
  4. Talent accepts the job and records the script
  5. Talent uploads the recorded script file
  6. Client downloads and approves the files
  7. Talent gets paid

To record the scripts there is a basic amount of home recording equipment you'll need, which we'll cover a little later in the Recording Your Voice section of this guide.