Podcasts Voice Over Experts How To Be a Professional Announcer
Voice Over Experts cover image

How To Be a Professional Announcer

Stephanie Ciccarelli
Share This Episode:

Join Voice Over Expert Mike Kirby as he shows you the ropes of “How to Be a Professional Announcer”. Discover a portrait of what an announcer ought to be and hear samples of professional commercial voice over work from one of Canada’s top male voice talents.

Download Podcast Episode 45 »


Mike Kirby, Voice Coaching in Toronto, Voice Overs, Voice, Voice Acting, Announcer, Announcing

Transcript from How To Be a Professional Announcer

[Opening Music]
Julie-Ann Dean: Welcome to Voiceover Experts brought to you by Voices.com, the number one voiceover marketplace. Voiceover Experts brings you tips, pearls of wisdom and techniques from top instructors, authors and performers in the field of voiceover. Join us each week to discover tricks of the trade that will help you to develop your craft and prosper as a career voiceover talent. It’s never been easier to learn, perform, and succeed from the privacy of your own home and your own pace. This is truly an education you won’t find anywhere else.
Now for our special guest.
Male: The professional announcer will walk into the session at exactly the appointed time, introduce himself to the people in the room and upon receipt of the copy, stride into the recording booth and begin to work. He will put on the headsets and read the copy out loud for the engineer to adjust the microphone and set levels and he will continue to prepare the script until he is ready to record. This will give the producers their first opportunity to hear the copy read out loud.
The announcer is a highly paid professional who makes more money in one short recording than most people make in a week. His behavior should reflect that privilege. Hi, I’m Mike Kirby. Listen to the following commercials demos. The first you will hear is my personal radio and television commercial voice over demo. This is what my agent and I send out to producers to showcase my voiceover range.
Later in the CD, you will hear examples of other performer’s commercial demos plus my documentary and station promo demos. Each of these is aimed at a very specific target market. Let’s listen to the commercial demos first.
Male: In Japan, the sound of the taiko drums says something very important is happening. Their sound is as distinct as their message.
The Olympics are heating up and when you buy an official Olympic cap at McDonald’s for only $6.99, 50 cents goes to help our Canadian Olympic team. They’re great-looking.
Alpha baker alpha, this is chopper one. Do you read? Alpha, our search for Waldo is negative. Waldo is negative.
The Vidal Sassoon line of protective conditioners inspired by the Vidal Sassoon Academy. Professional care in your hair.
Ultra Downy brings you our best fabric care ever. Downy Care, more than fluffy softness, it also helps keep clothes looking like new.
If something would have slashed a Group of Seven Painting, it would be called vandalism. The resource industry wants to mine and log the parks, the Group of Seven Painting. Someone called this progress. We don’t.
For more than 30 years, we’ve been invited to boldly go where no one has gone before. Now, Star Trek enters a new frontier. Star Trek: The Exhibit.
Prepare yourself for international flamenco sensation Joaquin Cortez as he brings his newest sizzling production, Gypsy Passion to Toronto.
The Who’s Tommy is a new kind of stage experience with (Tommy award-winning sets, lighting, direction, choreography and the unforgettable music Pete Townsend and the Who. Tommy is a triumph of imagination and theatrical brilliance. Get your tickets now.
Okie dokie, we’ll continue, sir.
Sounds easy, doesn’t it? For some of you, commercial voice work will come easily. For most, getting used to the intimacy of the studio microphone may take some time.
How do you see yourself with a voice career? Where do your vocal strengths lie? How would your parents and friends describe you? What would they say? Are you warm and playful? Mature? Sexy? Elegant? Can you be energetic and youthful, moving and inspirational, cultured and well-informed? Always remember, with voice work, your voice is unique to you.
Don’t try to sound like somebody else. Somebody already sounds like that. Just try to be the best that you can be. Work truthfully from your feelings and you can’t go wrong.
What is your dream? How far do you want to go? Commercial voice work is much sought after by all performers and can be very lucrative. Be vigilant, listen to the voices in the media. Identify what you could do and do better. Voice work must be treated as a discipline, a special skill. Just as an actor rehearses through a scene study, a musician through practice, so must a voice performer read out loud everyday to perfect his craft.
Take your favorite section of the newspaper and call a friend. Say, “Hey listen to this,” and read it with energy and commitment to engage his interest and response. Read out loud everything you see in print. The secret to finding your personal vocal signature is in words and language. You must develop the habit of vocalizing every word you read. It will be difficult at first. Your mouth and your mind will mutiny. You’ll hit the wall. Nothing will make sense but persist.
If you continue to read out loud everyday, you’ll find one morning that it will all start to make sense and you’ll find yourself sailing on top of the material. Not only will you be able to read everything on the page with great facility but your reading enjoyment will increase a thousand fold and just wait until you see what it will do for your auditions. Total commitment is a guarantor of success. Begin to read out loud and never, never stop.
VoiceWorx.com is my home on the net. There you may sign up for voiceover workshops, for commercial voice, documentary narration, cartoons and animated voices and to buy the VoiceWorx Voiceover Workbook and session CDs, VoiceWorx and if you like me to coach you privately over the internet, you can call 416-944-0444 and we’ll set you up with dates and times.
I’m Mike Kirby. Thank you for your time.
Julie-Ann Dean: Thank you for joining us. To learn more about the special guest featured in this Voices.com podcast, visit the Voiceover 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 iTunes Podcast Directory or by visiting Podcasts.Voices.com. To start your voiceover career online, go to Voices.com and register for a voice talent membership today.
[Closing Music]

Links from today’s show:

Mike Kirby

Your Instructor this week:

Mike Kirby VoiceworxVoice Over Expert Mike Kirby
Mike Kirby has won 12 CLIO Awards for advertising excellence in his 30 year career as Actor, Narrator, Broadcaster, Voice Specialist and Author.

* Mike is the Station Voice of HGTV Home and Garden Television Canada.
* Mike’s commercial clients have included Hyundai, Suzuki, Nissan, Toyota, Chevy Trucks, Toronto Blue Jays, Stratford Festival, Cogeco, Rogers Cable, Mobil Oil
* Mike was Host/Announcer of the Special Olympics World Winter Games at Skydome in Toronto and Host/Announcer for the United Way Walk-A-Thon at Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto, Canada.
* Mike has been the voice of numerous documentaries for PBS as well as the award-winning CBC documentary series “Witness”.
* Mike Kirby is a graduate of the Neighborhood Playhouse School of Theater in New York City

Did you enjoy Mike’s episode? Leave a comment with your thoughts!

Stephanie Ciccarelli
Stephanie Ciccarelli is a Co-Founder of Voices. Classically trained in voice as well as a respected mentor and industry speaker, Stephanie graduated with a Bachelor of Musical Arts from the Don Wright Faculty of Music at the University of Western Ontario. For over 25 years, Stephanie has used her voice to communicate what is most important to her through the spoken and written word. Possessing a great love for imparting knowledge and empowering others, Stephanie has been a contributor to The Huffington Post, Backstage magazine, Stage 32 and the Voices.com blog. Stephanie is found on the PROFIT Magazine W100 list three times (2013, 2015 and 2016), a ranking of Canada's top female entrepreneurs, and is the author of Voice Acting for Dummies®.
Connect with Stephanie on:
Twitter LinkedIn Voices

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


  • JC Haze
    April 28, 2008, 6:07 pm

    As a voice over talent who’s always looking to improve, I found some very “usable” bits included in Mike Kirby’s Podcast! I especially enjoyed picking-apart Mike’s demo, and comparing to mine (to see if I’m on the right path)!
    Thanks VOICES.COM for another lesson in voice over, and thanks to Mike for contributing!

  • Rob Ellis
    May 7, 2008, 6:26 pm

    Great stuff!
    Very motivating and inspirational too.
    In addition to auditions and actual jobs, I record for the local Assn of the Blind and Visually Impaired, which is a great way to get more practice while contributing to a worthwhile cause!
    I would add that recording yourself reading aloud and listening to the playback helps as well.

  • Ambore ibrahim
    March 12, 2009, 7:13 am

    I love you all. You really helped me.

  • CD Williams
    June 7, 2013, 5:04 am

    Amazing job to all. I really enjoyed listening to the variety of demos, the voice styles, the background music/ sounds, the entire passage was great. I am a 34 year old mom of two children and my 11 year old son said, “Momma, you have a nice voice, you sound professional, you should be an announcer etc.” I replied, “I sure should. I’m going to check into that so that’s how I ended up here. I am so grateful to have found this page and I really plan on practicing, rehearsing, just going after this experience full force. I was also just told from a high profile music industry song writer/ producer (who has worked with numerous celebrities & musicians) that I have a very nice accent, voice and he was just carried away with it. He’d like to put me to work; put me in the studio (my first time) and record my voice. Another friend really loved hearing my voice on the phone. *Smiles* I am loving it all. It really makes me feel confident, strong, eager and excited to start a career in voice over or even as an announcer. You’ve gotten me started lol…. 🙂 #Blessed for my voice/ talent