Voice Agencies – Impress Them With Your Voice Over Showreel

Voiceover Directory

Voice Agencies – Impress Them With Your Voice Over Showreel


In order to get any voice over work you, it is essential that make a demo or showreel. Voice over agents will judge you on what you sound like and assess whether they can take you on or not. It is in many ways your audio resume, or C.V.

But what are the voiceover agencies looking (or listening) for? In essence, they want to hear what you sound like so they can categorise your voice and see if you have the potential to make them, and you, money. The technical quality needs to be good. It should be brief and not go on for hours on end. A good length for a voice reel would be around three or four minutes, but perhaps even shorter. Let’s look at the kind of material you should record.

For voice-overs you need to ask yourself where voiceover artists are getting the work. Radio and TV commercials spring to mind, as do trailers, but you must also think about narration and the industrial or corporate sector. Then there is IVR, or interactive voice recording, which is another name for on-hold phone messages. All these provide a rich seam of jobs for the voice actor. But where do you find the scripts in the first place?

One cost effective way is to write them yourself. Sit yourself down in front of the TV or radio and listen to the huge range of tones and styles on offer: hard, medium and soft sell ads plus trails promoting programmes and, in the UK and Europe, the ubiquitous continuity announcements. Map out several different styles and products. Then try writing your own. Keep it simple and avoid using real company names as these can date very quickly. The agent listening may also think you have really recorded a commercial for that company, so it is best to make up your own names. Consider writing a 30 second story excerpt and some words that could promote a corporation or organisation.

Remember to keep the scripts short; 30 to 50 seconds each is ideal

Now it is time to record. You will need your computer, some software and a microphone. USB mics can be very good, but always try and buy the best you can afford, even if that means second hand. There is plenty of free software around, so hunt around the net for something that looks easy to download and use.

Place duvets or pillows around the microphone and this will deaden the ambient room noise, providing a much more professional recording environment.

When you record your words, always play the piece back. Listen for technical quality and your performance; are you too fast, too slow, lacking energy or over dramatising the read? Learn to trust your own ears. Don’t forget to include some variety; an agent does not want to listen to you doing the same style over again.

Check that you have a good range: commercials, narration and corporate material and once you are happy with each of your tracks, burn them to a CD. Create a simple covering letter and headline with your voice description, such as “young, fresh sounding female voice; genuine British accent”.

Now you are ready to send the material out to voice over agencies. Do not be surprised if you get rejections as this goes with the territory, but hopefully if your demo is of a good enough quality and they like your voice you could be considered.


Source by Gary Terzza

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