Like the Boy Scouts, working with voice talent for the first time requires you to “be prepared”. Before you engage a talent you need to sort out your own needs. What are your technical and creative requirements for the project? What is your deadline? How will you arrange payment? Is your script ready, I mean REALLY ready, to go?
Here are some things to think about:
Grammar, spelling, punctuation – Is your script well written? Does is still need editing? Are you proud to have the script represent you or your company?
Pronouncers – Are there any tricky or regionally pronounced words? Can you provide a sample?
Brief direction – What voice type do you need? Who is the audience? What style of read?
Length of recording – Do you need a precise 29 second recording, for example, or is there freedom in duration? (The pace and word count will dictate this!)
Deadline – When do you need the voice file returned? What does urgent mean in your context?
Communicating – Do you need to make a phone call, write an email, or IM your expectations? (Here’s a hint.)
Usage – Where and how will the audio file be used? Broadcast, non-broadcast – tv, radio, internet, website, conference, etc…
Technical requirements – Do you need an mp3, .wav, or .aif? Mono or stereo? Where do you need audio delivered – by email, Dropbox, ftp? Especially for voicemail, lots of detail is needed here.
Payment – Are you able to pay upon receiving service? Are there company or tax forms that the talent need fill out?
If you want to take your project to the next level, start with the list above to guide you there and to achieve the best results!