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Hire a (Professional) Voice Actor

Hire a Professional Voice Actor

“Hire a Professional Voice” is a Guest Post by Voice Actor, Teacher, Home Studio Consultant, and VO Audition Director, Dan Lenard

As ironic as it sounds, for many voice talent, when asked at a party or gathering, “what they do?” many say “it’s kinda hard to describe.”  The reason is actually because many professional voice talent do a whole lot of things.

Along with commercials for TV, radio and internet, there are also explainer videos, e-Learning courses, audiobooks and characters for animation. Another huge area is voices for video games, a huge industry, outperforming sales of the movie business!

Also, in each of those categories, are specific skills and techniques that have to be utilized. Some specialize in very narrow genre’s like voicing telephone prompts and other automated systems. With all that one could be potentially be doing, sometimes trying to give a definitive answer as to what one “does” is harder than it sounds. 

Are you looking to hire a voice talent? 

Don’t get an employee or cousin to record your project. You need to hire a pro. The voice you use is the voice of your brand. However, with so many people flocking to do “VO” (Voice Over) as we call it,  hiring a voice can be a challenge. Who can actually do what you specifically need done?  All these new faces (and mouths) may think they have great voices, but doing VO requires skills that take years to develop. 

If you’re looking to hire a voice talent, it always best to hire a professional, full-time voice talent. 

When you hire a professional voice, at professional wages, you elevate your project and product. 

The value that a professional brings

To gain a better understanding of the value that a professional voice talent brings to your product or service, consider:

  1. Experience – a professional with many years of experience. 
  2. Industry Knowledge – an understanding how the components of a voiceover project work and what is expected of the voice talent. This includes sensitivity to the needs of all the players in the process: the client, production company, ad agency, director, producer, writer, video editor and audio engineer. 
  3. Professional Studio – owns and maintains a professional quality personal studio, saving you additional studio fees and avoiding scheduling difficulties. 
  4. Trained Actor – an understanding of how to deliver an authentic performance in front of a microphone (as opposed to on stage or in front of a camera). And, is able to interpret your script in the context of its intended audience and medium in which it will be heard. 
  5. Trained Editor – a voiceover artist is also a skilled technical audio engineer, ensuring professional quality recordings of your script. 
  6. Readily Available – full-time professional voice talent are able to quickly turn around your projects, readily accommodating your schedule. 
  7. Commitment – a professional stays abreast of trends in the industry, from varying styles of vocal performance to the latest technologies for recording live with clients around the globe. 
  8. Valuing Your Brand – The most important thing to consider is the impact that a professional production will have on your brand identity. When you invest in your business, it’s for the benefit of your company— signaling to your customers that you value quality.

So, where do you find talent who can put a checkmark in front of all those factors?

There are a few online marketplaces that many voice talents flock to and pay to be listed. Voice seekers can post a job and ask for recorded auditions from people who match their criteria. For example, you may want a male voice, female voice, young, old, energetic, understated, an accent, and more. However, be wary of some of these sites as they are attempting to make an underhanded profit and pocket a large percentage of the budget you are working with, making it harder for professionals to earn a decent living.  Most of these sites are also top heavy with amateur talent looking to break in to this demanding business. This causes you to wade through hundreds of auditions of similar sounding voices. Inexperience and lack of training in all of the aforementioned factors means delays in getting your project done. And, that means cost overruns and wasted time. 

Look to the industry association of freelance voice talent

A good place to start is with the roster of a professional organization of voice talent. World-Voices Organization (WoVO) and its searchable roster of vetted professional voice talent voiceover.biz is the industry association of freelance voice talent. All pro talent have profiles posted with professional demos in different genre’s of voice work. Check off your search parameters, click and you’ll be guided to vetted, professionals who fit your specific parameters.  Listen to their demos and invite the ones that fit your needs to audition.

Most important is to ask questions. Remember, you can choose two of the following: cheap, fast, or good. A professional talent is worth your investment. Cheap = expensive!


For questions, please contact WoVO directly, Dan Lenard, or me!

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