1. Your voice.
The biggest misconception people have about voice over is that it’s about your voice. It isn’t. It’s about your ability to use the voice you have to convey the emotion and message that your clients want. Ex-radio people, listen up. Take off your headphones! Seriously. If you have a home studio, you don’t need the cans! Can’t you hear your own voice when you talk? Do you wear headphones out on the town when you talk to people? And if you wear them when recording, then you’re concentrating on the sound of your voice too much and not the message you’re delivering.
2. The Script
This one will be met with confusion. Isn’t the script what you’re being paid to read? Yes, but while the client is paying you to read the words, they hired you to deliver the message. Focus on the message of the script and and deliver that. If you simply deliver the script, the message will be lost and you will not have done your job.
3. The Money
But I have bills to pay! Not while you’re in the booth. Worry about the accounting later. Your job as a voice talent is to deliver the message. Deal with the finances later.
4. Your equipment
I always get amused by people who proudly list their studio and equipment front and center on their website. It really doesn’t matter if you use a TLM103 or a Neumann XYZ followed by a Digidesign whatever running Pro Tools 8. Your equipment is simply a means to get your voice in. Obviously you want pro level equipment and if something makes your voice sound how you want it, then by all means use it. but I don’t think any clients care about what kind of equipment you have. They care about the end result and your ability to deliver their message. If you give Itzhak Perlman a $200 violin, I guarantee you, he’ll make it sound like a Stradivarius.
I mean this in the nicest possible way, but you are a tool. You are a means to an end. The client has hired you to deliver a message. The client is paying you so the client and their message are what’s important. The client doesn’t care that you’re ill or hungover. The client doesn’t care why you can’t meet their deadline. So when you’re dealing with clients you need to make sure that you are speaking in their interests. There’s nothing wrong with getting what you need, but to quote one of Dale Carnegie’s golden rules, “Always speak in terms of the other person’s interests.” Voice over is about them, not you. At least it is if you want them to return.
So those are 5 things that voice over is not. Agree or disagree? Comment! Want to add to the list? Comment!