Sound Communication: The Holdcom Blog

How to Direct Voice Talent for Successful Recordings

Voice overs are being used for an increasing number of products today, from traditional Message On Hold marketing to unexpected smart phone app narration. Finding the appropriate voice talent is only half of the battle: to have a perfect, professionally recorded voice over, you have to give the voice talent appropriate direction.

How to Direct voice actors for audio marketingVoice talents prefer to have some direction when they are performing, so they know that they are delivering an acceptable, outstanding product. If you know specifically how you would like a message delivered, it’s best to describe this expectation to the voice talent, in addition to the producers and scriptwriters you’re working with. Without specific instruction, your voice talent and production team will have to interpret what type of reading is best for your script, based on the context and usage.  

To ensure you’re happy with the finished product, take care to describe the “voice” you would like to present. The words you choose should describe the mood, style, and pacing you would like to hear in your finished product. In the healthcare industry, “caring” and “concerned” are words often used to direct voice talent. For a resort or amusement park, “enthusiastic” or “fun” could be words useful for voice over talent direction.

Other words that help voice talents successfully deliver messages might be: “authoritative,” “casual,” “upbeat,” “corporate,” “conversational,” “friendly,” “relaxed,” “seductive,” “expressive,” or “instructional.” There are endless adjectives that can specifically describe your vision—the key to choosing the right words is sitting down and thinking about what your message says, the context it will be used in, and how you want it to be heard.  You might choose to use the same voice talent for your IVR system, message on hold, and corporate presentations, but request a different style or tone for each usage.

At the end of the day, voice talents are actors who will take your direction and turn it into a stellar final product.

Click here to hear samples of the Holdcom Voice Talent, and read how we describe their voices.

Tags: professional audio, tips, voice talent