What does it take to get an awesome demo? Voice Over Expert Terry Daniel shares his perspective on the purpose of a demo, what a successful one ought to do for you and how training and professional audio production affects the overall quality of a voice over demo. Your demo speaks for you… what is yours saying?
Terry Daniel, demos, scripts, spots, voice overs, voice talent, voice acting
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Voice Over Expert Terry Daniel
Terry Daniel’s voice over career began over 15 years ago when he started working as a radio host which reviewed movies, known as “The Movie Guys.” Daniel then grew into becoming a professional D.J. for a smooth jazz station, as well as alternative rock station, After this, he moved into working as a marketing executive for Clear Channel and CBS Radio. It was after this career move that Daniel broke free into his own endeavors and began to move into his voice over talent niche. Daniel specializes in voice overs for commercials, Internet podcasts, books and various business projects. He has quickly made his way into the top ranks of being one of the most recognized voice talents in the industry, which has led to his association with corporations, businesses and nationally recognized voice over organizations.
Terry Daniel’s partial commercial client list includes corporations such as Apple Computers, Sprint, Lifetime Fitness, United Way, Hallmark, McDonalds, Great Clips and hundreds of others who need the perfect voice. Daniel has also done exclusive work for the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
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Now for our special guest…
Terry Daniel: Hey everybody! Terry Daniel, here. Let’s talk about voice over demos for a couple of minutes. You’ve got to have them and they’ve got to be awesome. So, what does it take to get an awesome demo?
First, understand what a demo is and what it isn’t. A demo is a critical tool and without it you’re not in business. It’s your calling card. It’s what gets you in the door.
A demo is not just a bunch of spots thrown together and it is definitely not something to skimped on or cut corners in producing. Your demo reflects your level of professionalism, your range and the value you have to offer the client. It should provide just enough of a sampling to whet their appetite, draw them in and leave them wanting more. It should showcase your range and versatility. All of these take proper preparation and training.
No amount of producing or background music will cover a talent’s inability to effectively deliver a variety of scripts. Get proper training and coaching before you cut your demo. Every spot on your demo should be unique with the goal of highlighting your range and vocal abilities. Additionally, each spot should sound real as if it were a paid gig. Pay attention to detail in your takes. The client most certainly will. The goal should be to make them want you.
Keep your demos clean and keep them up-to-date. Your demos need to be an accurate representation of you and your abilities. If your demos are outdated, the perception is that you are too. Be authentically you and be your best.
Invest in professionally produced demos. Work with a coach and director who’s also a voice talent and producer who understands the importance of a proper demo. Someone who will be brutally honest with you, who is reputable, and knows how to produce awesome demos. You should be able to listen to samples of their previous demos.
Is the music appropriate? Do the spots flow well? Does it sound clean or overproduced? Can you depict the versatility of the voice talent in the demo? Or is it just the same voice with different background music? Be critical.
Demo production is definitely an investment and much of the expense is due to production costs. Licensed music can be very expensive. The time to properly edit and mix the audio tracks of the demo and add the music is also quite time consuming.
Producers who are worth the price are also voice talents and coaches who have earned the ability to command a decent rate for their services. As the opportunity cost instead of paid gigs they could also be doing. This also accounts for the wide range of prices for demo production. Look for the value, not just the price. You get what you pay for and the most expensive is not always the best.
This is an investment in your business that requires due diligence on your part. Your demo speaks for you…what is yours saying? This is Terry Daniel and I appreciate you listening to this audio blog on voice over demos. I’ll talk to you soon. Make it a great day.
Female: Thank you for joining us. To learn more about the special guest featured in this Voices.com podcast, visit the Voice Over Experts show notes at podcasts.voices.com/voiceoverexperts. Remember to stay subscribed. If you’re a first-time listener, you can subscribe for free to this podcast in the Apple iTune’s podcast directory or by visiting podcasts.voices.com. To start your voice over career online, go to Voices.com and register for a voice talent membership today.