When Do You Need a Voice Over?


When Do You Need a Voice Over?

Guest blog by The Lowry Agency voice talent Dave Courvoisier

My barber gets it.

My barber… a small businessman…an entrepreneur, a guy who runs a tight ship when it comes to comes to finances.  He understands running a quality operation, and putting forth a successful brand at all levels, means professionalism at all levels.  That’s why, with scissors and comb in hand, me sitting in his chair, he asks, “would you be willing to voice my phone answering system?”

I was willing to do that and we even worked out a barter for the transaction.

I’m regularly shocked at some of the presentations I see explaining the virtues of almost anything — new software and hardware, videos on sales proposals, presentations on the advantages of social networking, informational YouTube videos — and how they can appear so bush league because they chose to use the voice of someone — anyone — rather than spending a few dollars more to hire a professional voice talent.

Much like you would spend a lot of money to do a professional-looking graphics representation of your product or to set up an elaborate website for your services, you should also think about hiring a professional voice talent to complete the package.

I challenge you to think of any business or industry… any marketing or branding campaign… any website, that wouldn’t benefit from the services of a professional voice actor to polish up the presentation.

The following is a list of genres that regularly fall into the realm of voice acting jobs almost any voice actor would love to get.  No specific order of importance:

Radio and TV spots (yes, many of us do on-cam too!)
website welcome messages
instructional videos

How-To videos
product demonstrations
phone menu-on-hold messages
client/customer role-playing
Power Point presentations
employee manual narrations
website sales pitches
white-paper narrations
informational documentaries
online catalog descriptions
movie theatre listings
restaurant menus (online or on the phone)
iPhone apps
Camtasia screen captures
software explainers
automated help menu systems
political phone messages
appliance installation DVD’s
self-help videos
videogames
inspirational readings
exercise videos
audio-books
store overhead announcements
radio promotional campaigns
public service announcements for charitable organizations
assembly instructions for military hardware
Homeland security training lessons
slide shows
employee safety videos
human resources explainers
Christmas party spoof tapes
animated-graphics productions
convention exhibit-booth looping displays
Video memoirs for funerals
Gala fund-raiser videos honoring the awardee
Entryway messages at conventions and conferences
website animations
Do I need to say more?

The applications of a trained human voice are only limited by your imagination.  I’ve even seen voice actors lend their services to party audio that plays in a limousine while it carts a birthday-girl around town with friends.

Voice-actors love the challenge.  They like to be treated as serious professionals as much as you do.  But that doesn’t mean they aren’t willing to get into the spirit of whatever project you have in mind.  I once narrated a 5-minute eulogy for a friend at his father’s funeral, ‘cause he knew he couldn’t get through it himself.

The next time you want to demonstrate the latest fishing lure guaranteed to catch large-mouth bass at Lake Wappapello, consider how much more effective it would be with the capabilities of a professional explainer: a voice-actor.

Too embarrassed to deliver the litany of accomplishments your sales team made during a recession?  The trained human voice is a powerful, compelling instrument…use it.

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3 responses to “When Do You Need a Voice Over?

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