Posts Tagged ‘voice talent’

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Finding Voice Over Talent On The Web: 5 Easy Steps

March 8, 2010

The sheer number of voice actors vying for jobs today can be a little overwhelming when you’re looking for the one perfect candidate to represent your project. Take your search online can be a great way to streamline the process of finding the right voice over actor for the job.

When piecing together a multimedia project, you shouldn’t underestimate the resources that are freely available on the Internet. Online databases can, for example, allow you to find a perfect sample script at no cost to you, or can serve as valuable reference material if you are writing your own script. Many voice professional nowadays maintain personal websites containing their portfolios and samples of the voice work they have done in the past. Checking out online samples of potential hires’ work is a great way to save time during the hiring process.

Though the web can definitely make your search for talent quicker and more efficient, without the appropriate strategy it can turn into a gigantic waste of time. Potential voice actors you find online, for example, may not be as reliable as they first appear, and may delay your progress by failing to submit their samples in a timely manner. These kinds of obstacles can be easily surmounted, however, with a little bit of know-how. Here are some valuable tips on hiring voice talent on the web:

1. After you you initially contact a potential hire, ask for a sample of their work. If the person in question is the true professional they claim to be, they will have .mpeg samples on hand to send to you, or will direct you to a site where you can heir their work. This first step goes a long way towards weeding out candidates who aren’t serious about getting the job.

2. Ask that all potential candidates submit a formal resume. Professional voice talent should also have no trouble providing you with a resume that exhibits their work experience. You will also want to check in on two or more of your potential hire’s references, to get an accurate and balanced picture of his or her ability.

3. Ask how the voice actor prefers to be compensated. It’s a good idea to ask potential voice talent what their per-hour and per-project rates are. You should also take note of whether her or she will accept payment after completing the job or expects money up front, with the rest delivered afterwards.

4. Conduct a telephone interview. Telephone interviews are best for any talent you may not have the opportunity to meet with in person. Telephone interviews can touch upon previous work, a brief script reading, and to gauge the confidence level of your candidate.

5. Ask if your voice talent is equipped to provide services digitally. It is increasingly common for voice over artists to set up studios in their own homes. If your actor or actress is able to record his or her performance from home and send it to you over the Internet, this means that you will save on the costs associated with travel and the shipping of tapes.

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Choosing Sample Scripts For Potential Voice Actors

February 11, 2010

If you’re considering hiring voice over talent for an upcoming project, you’ll need to schedule an interview, review demo tapes, and request a sample script reading from potential applicants. Voice over scripts make it easier to find just the right match for your business, and can make the interview process much more valuable. Think of the script as a sample of work your applicants can produce for you.

You don’t need to give applicants too long to prepare for a sample script reading, as there is generally no line memorization involved. The applicants can make use of the script as they perform their reading, so they should only need an hour or so to get comfortable with the script before going into the studio.

Many companies struggle with determining what type of tone and style they are looking for. The best way to start is to narrow down who you are marketing to . Learning the demographics of the target market will help you narrow down the different types of voices that would be most appropriate for your advertising or other promotions. This approach can also help eliminate most of the voice over talent applicants during the initial stages, making your hiring process much easier.

In order to decide what sample scripts you will use, you will need to think about several different factors; you will need to select scripts that will give you a good idea of the breadth and nature of your applicants’ talents. To make sure that you choose voice talent that is a tonal and stylistic match with what your business is trying to accomplish, you will also want to consider what type of marketing you’re trying to create. What are the general themes you’re looking to tackle? Will the tone be authoritative, or do you want to make listeners laugh? These decisions will guide you in the selection of your sample scripts.

Finding voice over scripts is easy with a simple search online. Many script databases are available free of charge, and give you a chance to search by keyword, theme, or subject. Look for scripts that are similar in scope to your field, or pick something that challenges the applicant to try different styles and themes. Many voice over script collections are royalty-free, affordable, and from trusted sites and projects. These can also be a great resource for developing and adapting your own scripts, and give you some more ideas for making different types of scripts with your key goals in mind.

In making the final decisions as to whether or not to hire a particular voice actor, you’re going to want to be able to refer to his or her demo and compare it side-by side with the tapes of other applicants. This demo should include several script selections that are representative of an actor’s range of talents, and how well they will fit in with your vision of the marketing you would like to produce. You may either have your voice actors send in demos along with their applications, or complete them in your studio.

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Using Voiceover Demo Tapes to Assess Talent

December 18, 2009

You must spend some time to find the perfect voiceover artist for your commercial. The search for the best voiceover artist includes listening to voiceover demo tapes sent by each applicant. You can initially gauge the style and suitability of an applicant to your project by listening to demo tapes.

Asking applicants to send in demo tapes can be a better alternative to asking artists to schedule a voice over test in your office. Interviews can put some pressure on artists while a demo tape will give them a chance to do a natural and unstrained performance. Then again, you need to have a set of criteria in listening to voiceover demos. Below are five important criteria you need to evaluate:

1. Pace. Pay attention to the speed of the actor’s delivery. A good voiceover artist is someone who can adjust his pace easily to emphasize different ideas. Rodney Saulsberry, author of “You Can Bank On Your Voice”, states that the speed of delivery has an important effect on any voice over piece. Good artists understand that a very slow delivery and an extremely fast delivery are a pain to listen to and they should know how to pace their voice throughout a piece.

2. Arouses interest. You want voiceover talents that can easily grab your attention right at the beginning of a set. Along with a talent’s tone, good voiceover talents can stress specific words and emphasize important phrases to stir interest in a piece. Prioritize tapes that start out strong and are able to sustain that initial interest through the end.

3. Flexible accent. Good voiceover talents can change their accent and imitate other dialects. Pay attention for examples of these when listening to a recording. An artist who has this quality will have no problem in portraying different characters.

4. Speaking Pattern. The delivery pattern of a voiceover piece is a significant element in any recording. The correct delivery pattern or rhythm can help listeners to remember the script and even identify the brand being promoted. It is important to take note of this when listening to every demo tape.

5. Wit. Comedy is an integral part of many successful voiceover scripts. Listen if an applicant displays wit through a cheerful tone and jokes. Assess if the artist delivered his jokes in such a way as it made you smile or made you feel uncomfortable.

Selecting the right voiceover talent for your commercial or voice over project can be challenging, but demo tapes can help you assess a talent’s ability and skill level. Listen for these key elements in every demo tape so that you have an accurate assessment of the talent’s potential; a seasoned voiceover artist will demonstrate mastery in these five critical areas, and provide you with several examples of each skill and style.

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Effective Ways to Improve Voiceover Scripts

November 11, 2009

Your voiceover copy will either spell out success or failure of your radio commercials or podcasts. Your copy should be convincing enough to gain credibility with your listeners. Be warned though that writing voiceover copies are very different from writing print ads.

Peter Drew, a veteran voiceover artist who is involved in Internet and radio productions, emphasizes the idea of ‘writing for the ear, not the eye.’ This idea requires one to write brief and straight to the point messages, the kind that we use in conversations. This style may seem very strange for anyone who has written ad copies but developing this style will allow one to create effective and convincing voiceovers.

Here are some simple ways to modify your marketing copy and recording strategies that will ensure the voiceover is narrated as smoothly as possible, and that it really does deliver a high-impact message to your target audience:

1. Always use the active voice. The secret in creating an effective script is to make it as close to a natural conversation as possible. The use of the active voice will ensure that each line won’t sound artificial and thus making it easier for your script to connect with your audience.

2. Use a windscreen to protect the mic. If your voiceover script contains a lot of words that begin with the letters ‘P’, ‘B’ and ‘T’, the talent may have difficulty reading the sentence without distorting it. A windscreen can help eliminate this problem and help them deliver a more smooth-sounding sentence.

3. Highlight inflections or nuances in your copy. Marking up significant words or phrases in your script will help an artist understand and convey the subtleties of your message. You need to read out aloud the script first then identify significant words or phrases that needs to be stressed. Then you can either underline, italicize, or mark those important words and phrases in your script.

4. Write down phone numbers in word form. Numbers are also words that would need to be read. Spell each number so that you can detect if there are any blockages to your script’s overall impact. Be prepare to edit your script if any part sounds inappropriate.

5. Instantly grab your listeners’ attention. Headlines are what lure audiences to listen to any advertisement. Your headline will serve as an opening to your ad’s body. A great headline would be composed of less than ten words and contain at least one compelling benefit or statement.

It is the job of the scriptwriter to ensure that the script or copy will match the talent of the voiceover artist. Each voiceover artist can project a certain personality and this has to fit with the script. Once an artist has been selected, the script can then be altered to match the artist. What’s important here is that the artist voice, personality and quirks should match your message. Also give time for the artist to practice delivering the message. Be sure to apply all of these techniques to create a solid and compelling script.

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Six Reasons Why Your Advertising Plan Needs Voice Over

April 29, 2009

Those working in the realm of marketing are more than likely aware that a multimedia elements can prove valuable additions to just about any campaign. Though the audio/visual approach to marketing was honed on more traditional media such as television, the advent of the Internet has left us with even greater opportunities, including but certainly not limited to webinars, podcasts, and YouTube videos.

Any of these media or any combination thereof allow you valuable lines of communication, but you should never neglect to develop an effective, professionally done audio element to supplant visual or textual marketing. In addition to utilizing music and other contextual sonic elements, you may want to consider things like narration or a catchy slogan to accent your message.

In nearly every marketing situation, there is something to be said for hiring voice over talent to speak directly to potential customers. Below, I have list just six of the myriad of reason to hire a professional voice actor or actress for your campaign.

1. To help create an identity for your brand. To start your marketing campaign off on the right foot, you will want to create a strong sense of brand identity. A distinctive, professionally-done voice over can be the human element that makes consumers remember your brand.

2. A high-quality voice over shows professionalism. When you’re speaking to a large potential audience, you’re going to want to ensure that you’re expressing your message in a manner that makes you look good. The right voice over talent will make your marketing seem polished and professional, and this will reflect on your organization as a whole.

3. To set you apart from others in your field. In the competitive markets of today, a new brand must innovate in order to reach the right audience, and you as a marketer must come up with memorable strategies to increase the brand’s visibility – a high-quality voice over is a great start.

4. To create a harder-hitting advertisement. Print and visual media are all well and good– in fact, they’re essential facets of communicating effectively in marketing. Audio, specifically speech, however, is likely the most important of all. When customers are addressed by the right voice actor or actress, they’re sure to listen, and sales will increase as a result.

5.To drive up website hits. In the marketing world of today, it is becoming more and common for everything to point back to one’s online presence. In your marketing campaigns, it’s a great idea to incorporate messages that lead back to your website, and voice overs, whether contained in podcasts, webinars, or other, more traditional media, provide a great opportunity to do this.

6. To make the most of your marketing dollar. Television spots are great, but let’s face it: they’re expensive. Production costs can also be restrictive when it comes to creating online video. Investing in a voice of by a professional voice actor or actress can be a cost-effective way to increase the impact of your marketing.

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Key Traits Of Great Voice Over Talent

February 24, 2009

When marketers make the decision to hire voice over talent, they aren’t looking for just anyone – they’re looking for a professional. It’s certainly true that the right voice actor or actress for your project can boost the effectiveness of your marketing tremendously, but that means that you must put forth the effort the separate the wheat from the chaff and choose the candidate who is really the best fit for for the job. No matter the exact nature of your project, there are are several key traits that you will want to find in a professional voice actor.

These are seven of the most important traits to look for when interviewing voice over talent:

1.He or she has a believable voice. Though there is certainly a place for exaggerated narration in the style of an announcer or newscaster, you’re generally going to want an actor or actress who can perform naturally in a wide range of vocal styles.

2.The voice over has the right pitch and tone. Voice over artists are constantly practicing different pitches and tones of their voice so that they can create their own ‘music.’ This ensures that their voice stands apart from the rest; take the time to listen for distinct characteristics that make them different from other actors and actresses.

3.High-quality demo tapes. The tapes you receive from potential voice actors and actresses will be a great asset to you once your face-to-face interviews are over. Take advantage of the snapshot of an actor or actress’s work that these tapes provide, and use this insight in making your final decision.

4.Versatility. This is fairly self-explanatory; a truly skilled voice over professional will have the skill and talent necessary to perform well in a wide variety of dissimilar projects. Whether authoritatively reading off facts and figures, or attempting to make listeners laugh, a true professional will shine.

5.He or she exhibits a good vocal flow. In everyday speech, most of us stop and start erratically, and do not have much control over our speed. In the case of a professional voice over artist, this should not be so – a voice actor or actress should be able to speak in a fluid manner.

6.He or she can provide you with references. You should always ask for references from potential voice talent, and, furthermore, you should always take the few minutes necessary to look into them. Don’t underestimate the importance of this part of the interviewing process.

7.Energy, enthusiasm, and stamina. Those with experience in voice over know that it it is never a matter of simply reading a few lines and collecting a paycheck. Your voice actor or actress should be able to withstand the sometimes lengthy series of takes required to get it right, without becoming either mentally or vocally fatigued.

Interviewing potential voice talent may, at times, feel tedious, but in reality it is a key factor in the success of your project. If you can find a voice actor or actress with all of the aforementioned traits during the interview process, you will save yourself a lot of time and trouble down the road.

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Five Easy Steps In Hiring A Voice Over Talent On The Web

November 10, 2008

Though there is certainly no shortage of potential voice over talent for the hiring, picking through the thousands available to find the voice actor that is perfect for the job can seem like a daunting task.  Since the actor or actress you choose will affect the tone and message of your project, it’s essential to make the right selection.

Those working on multimedia would be wise to take advantage of the great online resources available.  Need a script?  There are plenty of script databases available on the web, and some of them are even free.  In order to make the hiring process quicker and more efficient, you can peruse potential hires’ websites, which will often contain portfolios. This will help narrow your field of candidates, and give you an idea of what  to expect from a candidate early on.  In addition to checking out voice talent’s rsums and portfolios, some even use the Internet to conduct interviews.

Though the web can definitely make your search for talent quicker and more efficient,  without the appropriate strategy it can turn into a gigantic waste of time. Potential voice actors you find online, for example, may not be as reliable as they first appear, and may delay your progress by failing to submit their samples in a timely manner. These kinds of obstacles can be easily surmounted, however, with a little bit of know-how.  Here are some valuable tips on hiring voice talent on the web:

1.  After you you initially contact a potential hire, ask for a sample of their work.  If the person in question is the true professional they claim to be, they will have .mpeg samples on hand to send to you, or will direct you to a site where you can heir their work.  This first step goes a long way towards weeding out candidates who aren’t serious about getting the job.

2. Ask that all potential candidates submit a formal rsum. Professional voice talent should also have no trouble providing you with a rsum  that exhibits their work experience.  You will also want to check in on two or more of your potential hire’s references, to get an accurate and balanced picture of his or her ability.

3. Ask the candidate for a preferred rate.  You should make sure you understand how much the actor would like to be paid, and when.  Actors may want to be compensated either per hour or per project, and though some do not mind being compensated on delivery, others may want a portion up front.

4. Conduct a telephone interview. Telephone interviews are best for any talent you may not have the opportunity to meet with in person. Telephone interviews can touch upon previous work, a brief script reading, and to gauge the confidence level of your candidate.

5. Ask if your voice talent is equipped to provide services digitally.  It is increasingly common for voice over artists to set up studios in their own homes.  If your actor or actress is able to record his or her performance from home and send it to you over the Internet, this means that you will save on the costs associated with travel and the shipping of tapes.