Directing & Hiring Voice Over Talent – 5 Tips For A Better Result

Working with voice talent through an online voice over services site can save you money. You don’t need to pay any agent or casting fees, it’s generally a lot quicker to put out a casting notice, get responses in an hour or two then hire someone. But when you’re working with them purely through a website messaging system how do you ensure the direction you give is going to be interpreted correctly?

We’ve put together 5 tips that you should follow to make sure everything goes smoothly and stays within budget.

1)      Ensure the script is formatted corrected.

Ideally lines should be double spaced. Any word that has any remote possibility of being mispronounced should be spelt out phonetically.

For example – Massapequa (MASS-A-PEE-KWA)

Anything with a number should also be spelt out. Is 1800-247-33 pronounced “one eight hundred, two four seven, three three” or “one eight hundred, twenty four seven, double three”?

This will save re-records, wasted time, and frustration from both sides.

2)      What level of production is involved?

Decide if you need the voice talent to provide you with the RAW audio which is unedited for you to edit, or if you need the talent to clean up the audio and cut the files down into smaller files.

For example if you’re making a PowerPoint presentation you may need 100 separate mp3 files. This takes extra time and is generally an extra fee. Be clear in what is needed right up front.

3)      Give the voice talent background on the project.

If the voice actor has an understanding of what the project is about, how it will be used, what results are hoped to be achieved and who the target audience is, they will be able to tailor the read to the give you a better recording. As professional voice talents do this every day, they have the experience more often than not to know how to give you the best result.

4)      Point out a recording from one of the voice actor’s demo that you like.

If you can show them specifically the style you like, they will be able to perform that for you on your recording.

5)      Make sure you use a voice casting website that only list professional voice talent

Professional voices over artists are able to complete your recording in the quickest amount of time giving you the best results.

The Voice Realm only lists 5 star voice talents, so you know you’ll be working with a pro. Elsewhere, some websites allow anyone to join their ranks, so while the custom audition you receive from a voice may sound fine, when it gets into the details as listed above they won’t have the experience to give you what you need. You’ll be left disappointed and have wasted your time and money.

Heed the above tips and you’ll have a professional sound recording in no time!

Lauren Maree

Lauren Maree has been working in advertising, media and marketing for over 15 years. Her experience as a casting director allows her to provide inside information of the voice over industry.