Voice acting | Voice over guide

Everything about voice acting 

This section covers the ins and outs of what you need to start voice acting, from how to audition for voice acting jobs, to whether or not you’d benefit from a voice over coach and why we think voice over demos are a thing of the past.

The human voice is unique. As our primary means of communication, nothing can engage us like it; nothing can enrapture or enrage us like it. The human voice is our most personal instrument. Its range and infinite versatility make it a singular instrument. Those of us who have the ability to earn a living simply by speaking are remarkably fortunate. 

How to start voice acting

Can you really earn a living doing this?

Yes, you can – but it takes immense dedication and perseverance. The voice is present at the core of our personal power and can project whatever we propose; it expresses both the rhythm and the purpose of our existence.

This industry is not about easy and fast money. Despite what your friendly “15 easy online jobs to do from home to earn hundreds of dollars quick” listicle says, voice acting is an art and a craft one must continually develop and refine. Voice over training and technical expertise are essential; the way you sound and the way you apply the tools you require to record your voice add so much to the impact of your message. All these things are critical components of your credibility and authority as a professional voice talent. As also outlined in How to become a voice over artist. 

The auditory experience you’re presenting includes…

You audition for voice over jobs. Clients who resonate with your voice may end up checking out your voice actor profile and listening to your demos and samples. This is the ideal journey of finding (and potentially retaining) a recurring client, starting a mutually beneficial relationship between the two. But how do you make sure you’re prepared to take this on? 

How to improve your voice over auditions covers the fact that it should be to no one’s surprise that an audition is like a business pitch. It’s your time to shine. This isn’t a space to practice for future auditions, no, not at all. 

We’ve also got a list of tips and tricks to improving your voice over auditions and securing more work, as well as an exclusive interview with successful voice actors Courtney Greer and Gwendolyn Carter about their auditioning processes and advice.

Voice over demos

Do you need one?

A quick search on Google’s got everyone echoing the same message: it’s essential to have a voice over demo! It’s your resume, everything about what you can do, your portfolio/showcase of work, etc.

But we’re taking a different stance on this topic. They’re old-school. Overproduced and expensive for the return on investment you get back in the long run. We’re championing voice over samples; you can learn more about them here and how to put them into action.

“The demo I had professionally produced, it's out of date now. And [with samples] so I'm able to update with spots that I've actually done that you pull out one conversational read for another conversational read and just constantly keeping it fresh that way. You're kind of staying with the trends in voiceover.” - Andy James

How to practice voice acting

There are many ways you can practice voice acting:

  • Listen and learn from successful voice actors
  • Take online courses and workshops
  • Ask for feedback in online community/forum spaces, fellow voice actors, mentors, etc.
  • Seek the help of voice over coaches  

Do I need a voice over coach?

Determining the right voice over coach for you depends on where you are in your voice over career, and whether or not it’s a good time to invest in coaching. It’s great that there are so many prominent coaches out there with fantastic, inspiring resumes. But just because they have a sparkling resume filled with the biggest gigs in a certain genre doesn’t mean they’re a good coach for you.

A good voice over coach will help you figure out where you fit in the industry, and equip you with what you need to get going.

It’s important to understand the reality of this environment, and be prepared to ask questions. Are you learning how to practice voice acting and performance skills? Are you revving up a stalled voice over business? Understanding and reflecting on your needs will help with deciding whether or not you should get a voice over coach, as will other suggestions in our piece on voice over coaches.

Joshua Alexander is an author, voice over business mentor, and voice actor. He’s voice acted for clients like Microsoft, Uber and Amazon and helps voice actors learn how to make the most out of a voice over business.

“I’ve talked to a few people who think they should be a coach. They end up making promises to people, charging them money and then bailing. And they leave a little path of destruction in their wake.” - Joshua Alexander

There are some red flags you ought to look out for. Promises such as, ‘You’ll book [number] gigs in [certain amount of time] guaranteed!’ often don’t deliver. We hope this piece helps you understand how important it is to be clear with your goals of what you’d like to achieve if you’re to invest in voice over coaches! 

Voice over sample scripts

Access our compiled list of voice over sample script libraries, as well as other helpful tools and resources.

Visit Voice Over Resources

Interestingly, research has shown that the sound of a speaker’s voice matters twice as much as the actual content. That’s worth remembering because successful businesses know this. As a result, when looking for a voice to both represent and project their brand message, they’ll most probably seek a voice that’s confident, responsive, and utterly believable.

Ours is the digital age. The Internet of Things – the integration of the internet and everyday objects, such as a fridge or doorbell – is surging ahead, bringing with it extraordinary opportunities. But to cut through the clutter and be heard in the cacophony of cyberspace, businesses need outstanding voices. Most brands want to radiate passion and presence. While technological innovation continues to progress in leaps and bounds, the human voice remains a powerful weapon. The choice of the right voice is a no-brainer when it comes to compelling as well as impactful marketing and sales strategies.

The choice of the right voice is a no-brainer when it comes to compelling as well as impactful marketing and sales strategies. Click To Tweet

Get in depth insights with core topics related to voice acting from successful voice actors here.