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Voice Overs To Tell Your Stories

Aug 17, 2007
People have been telling stories since the dawn of time, drawing upon their voice to convey their messages to others in their circle of influence. Over the centuries, the art of communicating with other people about a given purpose and the transmission of the spoken word, the most powerful, persuasive, and distinctly human tool in any marketers arsenal, has evolved to the degree that you don't have to be in the same room to get a message across, even the same country for that matter. Geographic locations and time zones afford little to no obstacle for communicating with others in a meaningful and cohesive way.

With all of the advantages this new world and new media bestows, it is very important that a message received is a message that is understood, believed and acted upon. Much of this depends on the copy writing and voice over skills of the messengers, which brings us to five different characters if you will that will help you get your message across in a direct and effective way.

1. Instructor (formal, didactic voice over)
2. Real Person (informal voice over)
3. Spokesperson (advocate, authoritative voice over)
4. Narrator (omniscient storyteller)
5. Announcer (sets the stage and calls for action)

Let's explore these types of character roles in detail.

1. Instructor

When teaching someone on what to do, for example, a corporate training video or children's game, the voice over best suited for this kind of project is a straightforward, didactic and educated voice. The role of this particular voice talent is to instruct or provide information to fulfill a specific goal or purpose.

2. Real Person

Projects requiring a more casual approach often benefit from relatable, genuine voice overs. These voice overs are referred to as "Real Person" voice overs, commonly known as the "regular guy" or the "girl next door". The character is homegrown, sensible, and friendly with a touch of familiarity and provides a more intimate interpretation that instills trust.

3. Spokesperson

A spokesperson can be on camera or off camera depending on the medium you are using. The role of a spokesperson is generally played by a confident, charismatic person able to promote a cause, product, or service with ease and authority. A voice over of this nature needs to be driven, optimistic and assured.

4. Narrator

Storytelling is where the narrator is most at home. Omniscient, courteous and honest, a narrator's job is to provide an audio landscape for a listener, briefing them on background information, posing questions, and providing solutions as they guide their audience through a program or documentary. Narrators can be male or female, and the most important factors are that they can communicate clearly and engagingly.

5. Announcer

The announcer, often heard live at events, on commercials, promos or introducing segments for podcasts, is a product of the broadcast age, most celebrated at its height in the Golden Era of Radio and early television broadcasts. Announcers can introduce an idea and assertively make a call for action at the conclusion of a commercial advertisement or short video. One common misconception is that an announcer has to sound like an announcer from decades ago, however modern announcers act more like narrators, and in many cases, adopt the Real Person approach.

Now that you've met the different kinds of people or characters that can help to make your production a success, the next question is where do you find voice talents?

If you are reading this article, you are already on your way to locating a voice talent to record for your project.

Using the Internet to find a voice will streamline all of your efforts, saving you a significant amount of time and financial expense. You can search for, listen to and hire professional voice talents to record your voice over within your budget range. Posting a job at a voice marketplace to find the appropriate candidate to record for your project is not only convenient, it is also a desirable option, providing you with the opportunity to choose the voice that will best represent your company and deliver on your vision.

Professional voice over talents can take your script from concept to completion and quickly become an integral part of your creative production team. Breathing life into the written word is what they do for a living, so you can rest assured that your project is in a good hands with a profesional voice talent.
About the Author
Stephanie Ciccarelli is the VP of Marketing with Voices.com, the voice over marketplace hosting more than 10,000 professional voice talents. Stephanie is also the author of The Definitive Guide To Voice-Over Success.
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