After hiring a voiceover artist, and you have booked a session, your job is not all done. There remains one tiny little problem, and that is the direction.
You need to know that voice actors also need to be told what to do most of the time, even after the file that contains the brief you sent to them. And that, Voiceover is not a one-size-fits-all business, the more you brief a voiceover actor, the better their chances of nailing the voiceover.
So how do you make voice actors understand what you need them to do.
Here are some things you need to talk about briefing a voice actor.
The first thing the voiceover artist needs to know is the why. The reason you’re recording the voice. Is it going to be part of a marketing campaign, a voice message for your company’s phone system, and explainer video or anything else. This prepares the voiceover artist ahead of your session.
Then there is the audience, who will be listening to the voice. Consider your target audience and tell your voice actor about them in clear terms.
You also have to tell them how you want them to sound. This may not be necessary for, let’s say, an answering machine voiceover, it is very important with commercial campaigns, and the script has probably being through one creative or more.
You really have to make the voiceover artist see what you see. It helps the voice actor too if you give detailed words to describe what you want: hip, comic, slapstick, warm, cool, booming, sassy, trustworthy, calm, … etc.
Again, if you already have visuals ready for your video, it is important that you show it to the voice actor. This can help them understand the concept of the script better. Imagine having to dub the role of Nairobi, in La Casa De Papel without seeing the original episodes. You’re probably cringing your ears already.
You can also give the voice actor references like links to voiceover samples that are similar to what you want. This can be a good tool for showing the voice actor the kind of pace you are after.
The voice over actor might have completed an audition. If they did, you should give feedback. This allows them to smoothen out the rough edges before the final recording.
Also, remember to be nice. The voice is one great way to express emotions. Your attitude towards your voice actor may affect their emotions and in turn your work, for good or bad.
With clear, specific direction your voice actor will be able to nail the script.
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