Voice Over Training Courses – Do They Help Finding Work and Jobs?

Voiceover Directory

Voice Over Training Courses – Do They Help Finding Work and Jobs?


Has this ever happened to you: You are chatting away to someone; a work college, friend or even a complete stranger and suddenly they remark on your voice. They may be impressed with its richness, depth, smoothness or even on how sexy it sounds. You may even have suggestions that you should be doing voice overs.

But the big problem is where to start? Is your voice suitable? Could you do it from home, or do you have to go to a studio? Do you have to be an actor? Is the market satrated? Where do you find voice over jobs and sometimes, most important of all, do you need to be trained?

A quick scan of the internet reveals a plethora of companies, individuals and organizations offering their services. Some offer coaching in group workshops that may last days, weeks or even months, while others seem to concentrate on intense one to one sessions. The choice is endless and it can all seem overwhelming.

However, before researching the type of courses available, you need to ask yourself a more fundamental question: do you actually need any training? Voiceovers are used in many different markets from TV and radio commercials to audio books, on hold phone messages, corporate and business material, podcasts and website audio content. On the more specialized front there is also the world of character / animation voice overs, although this arena is harder to break into and requires a special kind of vocal skill.

So what about 'straight' voice overs, where you use your natural speaking voice? These are easier to do because you are being you, as opposed to playing a character. The essential ingredient is the way you read a script. If you have young children, you will know what I mean when I say it is important to lift the words from the page while reading stories. A young audience can be very critical and if it sounds like you are just going through the motors, you will be told in no uncertain terms!

Story reading is a great way to practice, because that in essence is what a voice over is all about: reading out loud. If you can read you have definitely ticked a critical box.

So you sound good, you enjoy reading, but now what? Well, you need to let your potential clients know what you sound like and that means recording a demo or showreel. This can be done on your own if you have the recording gear, or you can book a studio. Write a useful of scripts (no more than half a dozen at this stage) covering various styles such as commercials, narration, corporate and documentary material and then get recording. A studio engineer will help you achieve a professional sound and the golden rule is keep it short; those who employ voice over artists have limited attention spans.

But what if all these sounds too daunting? It is then that it might be worth considering professional coaching. A good trainer will help you get the most out of your voice and demonstrate how to use intonation, expression, pace and energy to the best effect. They should also provide you with care advice and how best to market your voice.

When selecting a coach, choose wisely. Make sure your tutor has a proved track record; ask for testimonials and contact some of them directly. Find out what the package features: is a voice reel included in the price? Will the coach provide guidance in finding work and are there any hidden costs? Most of all remember that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Lessons with a qualified teacher can really help, but do not dismiss doing it yourself – this might be the best and most cost effective option.


Source by Gary Terzza

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