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Start Here Voice Over photo credit: danielweiresq via photopin cc

By Bettye Zoller Seitz, Voice over coach and Voice123 voice actor since 2003

What Is A Voice Over?

Radio is the ultimate voice over. It has often been called, “The Theatre of the Mind.” A voice over can be defined as, “anytime a voice is heard without seeing a person talking.” This definition doesn’t always suffice however, because voice actors often speak on-camera in TV commercials or TV programs. Today, the TV series “How I Met Your Mother” uses voiceovers extensively as do many films (as commentary on the action on-screen) and to move slow plot lines forward.

Voice over talents today are hired to narrate audio books, anime, cartoons, games, translation programs, mobile apps, websites, videos, films, and cable TV programs. They are the voices of toys, talking picture frames, telephone messages, audio greeting cards, GPS navigation systems, public service announcements

SO YOU WANT TO DO THIS? Better Keep Your Day Job for Awhile!

Being a voice over performer can be a great way to earn money. Voice acting can be thought of as ‘extra money’ or as a full time career. You can devote many hours to voice over related activities each week or only a few hours. It’s your choice.  But the average “build” in this field is about two to three years.

Of course, the time-worn saying, ‘you get out of something only what you put into it,’ rings true once again. If you have very little time to spend on voice over tasks now, your progress will be slow.

Skills a beginning voice talent should acquire:

  • Learn how to understand a piece of voice over copy and the purpose of that message
  • Understand the director/producer/client’s needs and goals and fulfill these
  • Determine who you are and build your niche, your branding. Out of sight, out of mind!
  • Obtain counseling for your demo endeavor and practice for it!
  • Start marketing yourself with that ‘killer’ demo! First demos often are “practice.”
  • If your demo’s just not good enough, redo it!
  • Develop a natural, believable, genuine vocal sound.
  • Become skilled at “the cold read,” that is, reading something aloud you’ve not seen previously.
  • Be “at home” in a recording studio.At the very least, know how to operate your computer!
  • Become skilled at audio recording from your home. Take lessons and educate yourself. This is a fundamental skill in today’s voice over business.
  • Stay positive. Most small businesses ‘give up’ too soon (according to studies!). Stick with it.

A career in voice over doesn’t have to take years!

The career “build” need not be slow. If you ‘build’ is in a stall, find out why. What should you be doing a better way?  Do you have a thorough understanding of how the voice over business works worldwide today? Are you operating online and also in the REAL WORLD of agents and advertising agency work? This is FUNDAMENTAL to your success!

You have to make an effort…give it some time. Work at it. Grow. Get your skills sharpened and your business savvy working!

Go for it! Good luck!

BettyeZBettye Zoller Seitz owns http://VoicesVoices.com, a full-service professional recording studio in Dallas. She has won CLIOS, ADDYS, AUDIE NOMINATIONS, and GOLDEN RADIOS for her voice work. Her audio book narrations are also favorites. This year she has voiced: Speaking Effective English with Foreword by Edward Asner, Simon and Shuster; Reboooting in Beverly Hills, Audio-Amazon; Book of James, Cherry Hill Publishing, Audio; Theories of Personality, Audio-AmazonGetting/Keeping VO Agents Audio-Voicesvoices; and more.

Ready to launch or boost your voice over career? Check out Voice123 Academy!