Tips to help cut down on delays and turnaround times with voice-overs!


#1

Here are some helpful tips that can and will cut down on turnaround times when it comes to working with a voice-over talent!

Vocal Style

From the “…in a world” movie trailer voice, to the cheerful “guy/gal-next-door” delivery, the spectrum of vocal styling is expansive! When selecting a Voice-Over talent, make sure you listen to their demo/body of work to hear if their voice is a right for your project. Most Voice-Over talent can do a multitude of different deliveries, if you find one that you like(from their body of work/demo) make sure you reference that particular piece of work when communicating with them!

If you can’t decide on a particular vocal style or unable to reference previous work, here are just a few “buzz words” that you can use that will help you communicate with your talent what type of style you are looking for:

Announcer- think BIG,EXTREME and EXCITEMENT!

Authoritative- Knowledgeable, confident, corporate.

Conversational/Guy/Gal-next-door- Talking to a friend, no real “sales pitch” going on, just good old wholesome conversing!

Inspirational- A caring,gentle voice that entices the listener in a powerful, yet soothing manner.

While there are tons of different and unique vocal styles, these are just a few that will help you and your talent get on the same page!

Pacing/Timing/Flow

While a lot of voice-overs are dictated by subject matter, and are open for interpretation, sometimes the timing/pacing/flow of the read HAS TO BE VERY SPECIFIC! To make sure this is achieved, provide the talent with a well thought out, written script(or copy). Talent can only read what he/she is given, but a good voice-over is dependent on a good script!

Punctuation is your friend. Want excitement or surprise? Use an exclamation point! Want a break in the rhythm? Try placing a (pause) or …If you want something to stand out as more important or urgent USE CAPS or bold.Want something delivered in rapid fire? Runthewordstogether.

If it helps to clarify what you need, include a brief “back-story” to the character. i.e when the line,“A good set of brakes can be a life saver.” us said by someone who just narrowly missed crashing through a guardrail, it will/should different than the same line delivered by an auto mechanic!

Adjust the style of writing to help bring out the personality of the person speaking. Yeahs and uh-hums are for casual,friendly style. Crisp short sentences are for styles that are more formal.

Mispronunciations

The beauty of Fiverr is that it is a WORLD MARKET! However,that can also mean that sometimes,well,things may get…lost in translation!

To ensure that your words/names/places(i.e Naw Lins or New Orleans) and products sound exactly like you need, it’s best to write them the way you want them said, which is not necessarily how they are spelled! If you want,say an unconventional emphases, write where you want it emphAsized. This helps out the voice-over talent immensely; which in turn, cuts down on turnaround time! If there is a particular word or product, that has a distinct accent or colloquial pronunciation, you can always include an audio recording of how you would like it to sound!

Keep in mind that these are just a few tips to help cut down on delays, which can be the result of needed changes/revisions that could have been avoided.

Ultimately,through open communication with talent, you will be helping them deliver the perfect voice over!


#2

A couple things to add:

  • If a language isn’t your native language and you’re writing your script. Perhaps it’s wise to work with someone for a nominal fee, to have those that record in their native tongue to advise you on the wording of your script. Also, keep in mind sometimes when you write something down it looks great, but once it’s read it’s not so great. So, read through it yourself to better understand the flow, emotion, etc that you’d like the voice talent to convey.

  • Pacing: Include the duration of the audio. I’ve come across many scripts where the requested tone is conversational, but the script is 350 words to be read in 1 minute. If we had known the DURATION of the audio you’re looking for at the time of the order, we could have cancelled and saved each other a good amount of time. Conversational reads are anywhere between 120-165 words per minute (some might disagree), it’s dependent on the VO’s natural speech pattern. Natural at 350 words per minute would be someone that has ‘naturally’ consumed 3 dozens of doughnuts, four 2-liters of mountain dew and perhaps some illegal substances.

  • Mispronunciations: Sure type it up in the script as written but keep this in mind. For someone from the Midwest to read New Orleans as Naw Lins, it’s a forced read. It’s like people outside of Philadelphia refers to it as Philly, but people that live in Philadelphia don’t. Words like “roof”, “elementary”, “interview” can all be said differently depending on the region in which your voice talent lives, or has lived. We are taught to read as we speak, so “the” isn’t pronounced as “Thee” (unless it’s a shakespearean script). And like Andrew had mentioned include a recorded audio of YOUR regional pronunciation or company names, currencies, cities, etc so we can best mimic what you’re looking for.

Lastly, keep in mind. Yes, most of the talent here on Fiverr have professional studios but just like your voice changes throughout the day, so does ours. So, adding to a script or slight changes after you’ve ordered the gig isn’t just us saying “one or two more words” and editing that in. Many times, we may need to RECORD the WHOLE THING from top to bottom. Yes, just because of two words added here and there. Which is why MOST charge a revision fee. The best read is the full take of a sentence paragraph, etc. It keeps us in the emotional state, mindset, rhythm to deliver the best results and capture that lightning in a bottle.

Cheers!
J


#3

Great advice, Andrew! Thanks for posting this. Here are some other suggestions that will help the VO Buyers experience faster and better.

WRITING YOUR COPY

You only have a few words to get your message across. You may make great widgets or provide a wonderful service—but can you write great copy?

Fiverr has loads of experienced writers that can tell your story and make people want to buy. I can only read the words that are given to me; make sure they are great words. Remember: Writing for speaking is worlds apart from writing for reading.

LET’S BE REAL

Andrew gave great advice in communicating how you want your words to sound. Here’s some more. There’s a difference in impersonation and emulation. Many folks want the VO to sound like Morgan Freeman or Matthew McConaughey.

Just between you and me, there are very few actors who can mimic those or other famous actors and still deliver a convincing story. You’re better off with an actor that can deliver your copy in the friendly, warm, lilting style of Morgan Freeman or the introspective, pedantic and yet folksy delivery of McConaughey or the snide, snarky Dennis Leary.

Frankly your audience knows you can’t afford those actors and they’re probably thinking, “If he’s trying to fool me about that, how can I trust his product.”

DON’T TELL ME - SHOW ME

YouTube is a valuable resource to find ideas and inspiration for creating your video. It can also help your Voice Actor understand your concept. Find one that conveys the voice and style of delivery and reference it when explaining your project. A video is worth a thousand words.


#4

Ed,

That is a great suggestion! Within the Fiverr Market there are tons of exceptional writers!


#5

“Lastly, keep in mind. Yes, most of the talent here on Fiverr have professional studios but just like your voice changes throughout the day, so does ours. So, adding to a script or slight changes after you’ve ordered the gig isn’t just us saying “one or two more words” and editing that in. Many times, we may need to RECORD the WHOLE THING from top to bottom. Yes, just because of two words added here and there. Which is why MOST charge a revision fee. The best read is the full take of a sentence paragraph, etc. It keeps us in the emotional state, mindset, rhythm to deliver the best results and capture that lightning in a bottle.”

This is a great point to bring up!


#6

Yes, very well stated!