How to Get the Best Performance from your Voiceover Talent

October 18, 2017

As the person responsible for your company’s project, the voiceover talent you hire is going to expect some direction to help guide their performance. While they may have some ideas to bring to the table, as the client it’s your job to ensure you get the performance that best fits your brand.

However, unless you’ve had lots of experience, you might feel a bit over your head when it comes to getting the best out of your voiceover talent. In this article, we look at some tips you can use before the session is underway to ensure you get the best possible result.

Define the role for your talent

Who is the character your talent will be portraying? The more you can tell them about that character, the better they’ll be able to create a unique portrayal. Are they a chatty newscaster, a brash lawyer, a happy-go-lucky teen, or a stressed-out new mum?

Identify your audience

Ensure you can articulate for your talent exactly who the audience will be for their performance. Are they talking to teens, businesspeople, parents? What about people new to your product versus avid fans? Your talent needs to understand the audience so they can speak in a way that resonates with them.

Give some context

You may not be able to give your voiceover actor a complete rundown of the entire project because of confidentiality issues, but any information you can provide about how their VO will be used will help them to hone their performance. If possible, share the animations, images and music that will accompany the voiceover. 

Define the sound you’re after

Come up with a few words to define the tone and feel you want for the voiceover. Think about descriptive words like uplifting, friendly, informative, authoritative, joyous, dismissive, brash, slapstick … Giving the voiceover actor these descriptive words will help them hone their performance.

Give specific examples 

If you’ve heard other voiceover examples that match the tone or feel you’re after, then show those to your actor. They’ll be able to get a good idea for what you’re after by listening to these examples. 

Better yet, if there are reads from your actor’s own portfolio that incorporate the tone you’re after, point those out so your actor can emulate their previous performance.

Provide a perfect script

The more polished your script and accompanying timing specs, the less direction you’ll need to do during the actual recording. Have several people read the script aloud to make sure it flows correctly, and time the speech to decide on your exact parameters. You may even like to ask the voiceover actor for their input when you show them the script. 

Providing the above information to your voiceover actor will help them to create a performance that matches your vision. The more background information you can provide to your actor, the less active direction they’ll need from you. 

Need a voice actor for your next video or animation? Browse the talent available right now on BigMouth Voices.