VoiceBox, Part of Wolfestone Group

One of VoiceBox’s core ethos as a company is to not just sell voice overs, but to develop relationships with our customers. Our value is to share what knowledge we have, to try and get the best possible results for our clients.

Some voice over companies see a voice over order as something they need to record and send back. We see it as an opportunity to understand your target market, understand your objectives and help you achieve them with the resources we put in place.

When it comes to voice overs, in our experience there are certain things you can do to make sure any project goes well. Our workflows mean that usually projects go without a hitch, but you can almost guarantee success first-time by following these 5 tips:

1. Prepare beforehand

If you want to build a tower, you would first sit down and plan it. If your project is a multilingual voice over, you should equally prepare and plan how things will work logistically.

For example, will the studio be available when you will need it? Your project could grind to a halt if the studio is not available for your recordings, so be really clear from the outset about what deadline you’re working to.

Some questions you may want to ask yourself and prepare:

• What is the target market?
• What am I trying to achieve with this voice over project?
• Can the voice over company I have chosen provide me with the voice I want?
• What is my budget?
• What quality do I want for my video?

Good preparation will help you save time and money, especially when it comes to briefing agencies.

Picture of a man doing a voice over

2. Choosing the right voice

It’s really important to choose a voice that is not only really nice sounding, but also fits the brief.

So think carefully about the type of voice you need. What language, and what kind of accent? Do you want your artist to sound cheerful or formal?

You should always look for a voice that would suit the genre of your video. For example, if you choose to make a video for an advertisement, the voice should sound lively and energetic, not boring or annoying.

Does your project require hundreds of videos with the same voice? It’s a good idea to check if the voice will be available for the longer-term, since people come and go and you might lose continuity.

But choose the right voice, and you’ll engage your target market again and again.

3. Pay attention to accents

If you need a bilingual voice over artist, make sure your artist speak both languages well, as a poor accent could ruin your credibility in a new market.

The problem with the wrong accent is that the listener may be distracted by the speaker’s accent, and not listen to the actual message.

The best way to check an accent is to run the sample you’ve chosen by someone in the target market, and just get a second opinion that this is the right kind of voice. It may add time to the process, but it’ll save time in the long run.

4. Think about differences in language

Each language has different structures. For example, Japanese could expand by up to 60% when translated from English.

Some other common languages such as German or Spanish can be longer than English, too. A literal translation of an English voice over script can be too long to fit in the allotted time, and your script sounds more and more like horse racing commentary.

This is where our consultative approach helps – we can advise you on how to streamline the script. We have in-house editors who can help suggest changes to the script without changing the message, or for major rewriting we can use a professional linguist experienced in writing for video at a small additional cost.

5. Be clear with your directions

At the final stage, you’ve selected an awesome artist and given a really good brief.

Now is a good time to make sure you give your voice over company clear instructions before the recording sessions, with any finer details that may not have been included in the brief. Any information on pronunciation, brand guidelines, tone and objectives could help. Re-running through these keeps things focused and on brand.

While you may not be there in the studio, a really clear creative brief for the session like this is followed by any good studio engineer, ensuring no need for re-recording.

Getting a voice over recorded is an exciting time, and following these steps in our experience means the result is as good, or even better than you hoped.

What are your top tips for recording a voice over? Have we missed any out? Let us know!