5 Tips for Getting Voice Over Work


    Join Voice Over Expert Gary Terzza in his lecture “5 Tips for Getting Voice Over Work”. Go over a checklist with Gary that will help you improve your chances of securing work as a professional voice talent. By being a positive realist, you’ll prepare yourself for success in the business of voice over, accomplish goals, and meet your own expectations.

    Download Podcast Episode 56 »


    Gary Terzza, Voice Over Masterclass, UK, Voice Over Work, Voice Over Demo, British Voice Over Instructor

    Transcript of 5 Tips for Getting Voice Over Work

    [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.
    This week, Voices.com is pleased to present Gary Terzza.
    Gary Terrza: Hi, this is Gary Terzza here from VoMasterclass.com podcasting from the UK and I’d thought I’d talk a little bit today about a question I often get asked from my students, ex-students and indeed from other voiceover talents I meet along the way and it is, “Why aren’t I getting more work?” or worse still, “Why aren’t I getting any work?”
    Now although it does vary from person to person, I think it boils down to a few basic reasons that are probably common to all of us really. First, the demo. Now what’s your demo really like? And I want you to be honest with yourself on this one. Does it stand out? Were you your best when you recorded it or is it a bit thrown together perhaps? And crucially, did you have anyone listening to it or even directing you while you recorded it. You know, an extra pair of ears is a real asset. They can tell you when you’re going over the top or putting in material that is frankly just not up to scratch. Choose another voice talent to have them listen or book yourself into a studio and even ask the sound engineer to provide an objective critic. I’m sure they would mind. They never (inaudible) of coming forward in my experience and you’ll be surprised what a difference that will make to the objectivity of it all.
    It will stop you being a bit too self-indulgent, I think that’s the main thing and also don’t be afraid to throw away takes that are not good enough for your show reel. It’s as much about what you leave out as what you put in and then we come to expectation. Now in my experience at my voiceover master class, the students who don’t do so well are those whose expectations are either too high or too low. Now some expect to be earning X amount by first thing Monday morning after the course. I even had one guy who said, “Will I be earning 20,000 within 12 months?” And I thought, “Well, how on earth can I possibly answer that question?” In both cases about expectations, it’s wrong of course. You need to be positive but realistic and although money is important, if your sole aim is to earn money in voiceovers, you will fail. Have some fun, make a difference to your life and earn some cash along the way in that order.
    And then there’s the marketing and to paraphrase Albert Einstein rather badly. Sorry, Albert. Voiceovers are 20 percent talent and 80 percent blood, sweat and tears. It’s no good having the best demo in the world if you don’t do anything with it. It’s marketing, marketing, marketing. Sounds laborious, I know and sometimes it is. But it’s absolutely essential. Send your show reel everywhere, to all the TV and radio stations you could possibly think of, big and small production companies, agents and even the ordinary corporations and small businesses, accountants, plumbers, you name it, they all need phone messages, they might all need some audio on their websites as well.
    Now you need to develop a thick skin which I know from personal experience is not easy because at the end of the day, we’re all creative artists and we don’t want to be hurt quite understandably I think but you have to survive in the cold hard world of commerce and I think you’ve got to balance that with the idea of working in a commercial environment. You’re a business, I’m a business. The guy next to us, the woman next to us who are doing voiceovers, they’re businesses as well and at the end of the day, we are competing in this competitive world but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. The more business-like you are, the more chance you stand of securing work.
    Also, don’t specialize too early. Some of my students come along with rigid ideas about their voices. They say things like, “I’m ideal for factual documentaries but not commercials.” And I say, “Well, that’s in your opinion, not the client’s.” Voiceovers are in the ear of the beholder. In other words, someone can hear something in your voice that you don’t. You must not pigeonhole yourself too early. Keep your options and your mind open.
    In addition, the voiceover’s role is to bring words to life. It’s not that you can choose your favorite copy. Scripts can be terribly dull and technical. That doesn’t matter. It’s your job to possess those words and invigorate them with meaning. Now probably the best advice I can give you is don’t give up. You’ll be rejected for more jobs that you’ll be accepted for. We all are. It’s the name of the game but the more you challenge yourself around, the greater chance you’ll have of securing work and believe me, it’s worth it. Voiceovers are great fun and they can be terribly flexibly as well. Setting up a home recording studio gives you enormous choice as to when you do your work depending on the client’s deadline of course but the reality is you are your own boss with all the wonderful freedom that it gives you.
    So to recap, record a killer demo, keep your expectations real, don’t take rejection personally, keep your options open and act like a successful business. Oh and have a bit of fun as well. Thanks for listening and good luck.
    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:

    Gary Terzza
    Gary Terzza on Voices.com

    Your Instructor this week:

    Voice Over Expert Gary Terzza

    Gary Terzza voice-over masterclassGary Terzza is a professional voiceover and coach with a client list that includes Channel 4, Channel five, VH-1 and the BBC. He also runs a voice-over master class Association in Central London and Hertfordshire.

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

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    Stephanie Ciccarelli is the Co-Founder and Chief Brand Officer of Voices.com. Classically trained in voice, piano, violin and musical theatre, 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. Possessing a great love for imparting knowledge and empowering others, her podcast Sound Stories serves an audience that wants to achieve excellence in storytelling. 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®.


    1. Gary:
      Just listening to your wonderful accent was a refreshing experience! I’ve been doing voice work for more than 25 years and yet was able to glean a few helpful ideas from your podcast.
      Eben Fowler

    2. Catching up on these great podcasts… so much good information between all the podcasts and the articles – it’s hard to find time to keep up to date!
      We can all use feedback – and the courage to listen.
      Connie Terwilliger – ISDN Voice Talent

    3. Gary,
      This is so very helpful when things can sometimes look bleak or when you’re struggling and you seem to be going nowhere. Thanks for the insight, the great and simple information, as well as the advice on just ‘having fun’.
      Howard Yates.

    4. Gary, even though I have been in broadcasting for many years I really enjoyed your segment. It wakes me up to things I may have been doing wrong for all those years.
      John Ihrig-Virginia, USA

    5. ” keep your expectations real, don’t take rejection personally ”
      Words to live by. Thank you Gary for sharing some insite and how to.
      Just starting out, I need as much info as possible.
      John Hurley

    6. Answer all their questions: They are going to have a lot of them. Some of them will be good. Some of them will make you scratch your head. Answer them all. There is no dumb question. Your customer service in this situation will either make the deal or break the deal.

    7. Go the extra mile: Do you remember the first time you did anything? You weren’t great at it. You likely made mistakes. You probably wished you could have a “do-over.” The client might too. If they’ve never booked a professional voice-over before there is a chance they might make a mistake in their script or desired delivery. If they recognize that mistake and come to you respectfully, give them the benefit of the doubt. As I always says, a happy customer is a repeat customer.

    8. This was one of the most beneficial podcasts I have heard. I will utilize many pointers, especially the 10 second phone script to a client! Thank you!! I will be attentive to any of Bernard’s future podcasts.

    9. I really liked what you said about possessing the words and making them come to life. This is a big deal since a professional voice over is capable of doing this. I should tell my fiance this since he has been looking into this type of service to use.


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