Articles

5 tips for choosing a voice over artist

by Mark Weitzman

The all-purpose voice, or not

Look at the types of voice over a talent offers. You may see a list that includes everything from goofy cartoon character voices to telephone voice guidance to celebrity impersonations to serious documentaries. In my opinion, few voice talents have the range of skills to voice a wide variety of styles well.

Connecting with your target audience

How do you want to present your product, service or business? What is the sentiment you desire? Will music be used?

Professional voice talents have the expertise to determine and express the appropriate emotion in their voice to produce maximum results for the client.

Finding a voice professional


You can find a voice over professional on the internet – either directly or by using a voice over talent jobs website.

If you search for a voice over artist through one of the freelance-jobs websites, depending on the service, you can post your project information and wait for responses, invite voice over talents to apply, or browse talent information.

Some sites charge a fee to the voice-seekers, other sites charge the voice over talent to be able to respond to job ads. Using these voice over sites, or by searching the web, you’ll be able to find a voice in the language you need, within your time frame.

When searching the web, use keywords such as voiceover, voice over, voice talent, voice-over, or narrator.

Describing your voiceover project

Tell the talent exactly what you need and the purpose of your project: deadline; length of the voice over part to be recorded; number of words; how the production will be used; payment offered. Include as much information as possible.

To describe your preferences for the type of voice approach, use terms such as: warm; friendly; authoritative; cool; edgy; conversational; and so on. It might be helpful to look at videos on YouTube for a style you have in mind, and refer the voice talent to the video. If you’re unsure, a practiced voice talent can assess your goals and suggest suitable approaches.

You can ask the voice professional to record a short part of your script as an audition demo. Often the talent will provide a custom demo at no charge or obligation. Provide pronunciations as necessary.

The audition demo you receive will probably be in .mp3 format. Your finished audio production will be in .wav file format, which is of higher quality than .mp3.

Evaluate the audition demo

Listen carefully to the auditions. Assume that any extraneous noise on the audition demo will also be present on your finished production. Music might hide audio imperfections. The ends of words should not fade out or be emphasized. Notice if the voice sounds strained. 

Listen for clear enunciation and the absence of “mouth noise”. The sound of taking a breath can be edited out, depending on your preferences. On the demo you receive you may not hear any breaths at all.

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