Also known as: Voiceover, Station Voice
What Do They Do?
Voiceovers are people with unique, attractive or compelling voices who bring scripts to life for radio, TV or other platforms. They are experts at understanding tone, and are able to adapt their style to fit whatever script they are presented with.
If you're hearing a recorded voice, and you can’t see the person who’s speaking – that person is a known as Voiceover. They could be selling you something on TV, radio or online, informing you at the till in the supermarket, training you online, coming out of a smart speaker, directing you via the Sat Nav in your car, telling you when your train is due, reading you an audiobook, or asking you to hold when you call a service provider.
Voiceovers can be professional actors, celebrities or presenters, and there will be a variation in how technically skilled these individuals are depending on their background. Celebrity or Actor Voiceovers tend to be booked for a recording, turn up, record and go. They bring their performance skills and aren't involved at all with the technical side. A Producer Voiceover who would likely have their own studio, and would quickly be able to top and tail a piece of audio for delivery.
Recording scripts and editing audio is often a surprisingly small part of a job like this, with the majority of a Voiceover’s day taken up with the admin of running a business, such as building a profile, responding to emails, and keeping abreast of industry news.
Who Do They Work With?
- Voiceover artists may work with engineers, producers, station sound producers or audiobook producers depending on the project.
- Producer Voiceovers will often work alone, and will be sent a script to simply “voice up” but other times they will be joined live and directed by the client over Skype or Zoom.
What Skills Do I Need?
- Voiceover Artists must have a dynamic, interesting and engaging voice.
- Voiceover Artists must be able to bring scripts to life, and provide multiple versions of one script offering slight differences in delivery each time.
- Voiceover Artists will have excellent sight reading skills to help them cope with any last minute changes or script additions (particularly important for audiobook Voiceover Artists who may have pages of text to read aloud).
- Voiceover Artists with their own studio will be technically confident with their own recording equipment and editing software, familiar with the different methods of recording both locally and remotely, and will understand how to manage their own business.
- Voiceover Artists also need self-discipline, patience and be happy working alone for long periods (although there is a large community of other Voiceovers online and in real life who share stories and advice.)
- Voiceover Artists are friendly, responsive and accommodating.
How Do I Get This Job?
You need to be born with a great voice! And then you need to find ways of marketing it, and building relationships with people so they want to work with you again and again.
There are some websites which provide a searchable database of Voiceover Artists, and also some agencies that represent Voiceovers.