Developing a high quality and professional voice reel is an integral element in the promotion of your voice over career; it is the key to increasing your profile amongst talent agencies and building trust between you and your potential client base. There are, however, a few things to consider beyond the simple act of getting in front of the microphone and hitting record. If these strategies are applied well, it may help your unique voice stand out from the crowd.
Developing a professional, high quality voice is the first step in your voice over career. However, there are a few things to consider beyond just getting in front of a mic and hitting record.
Quality Over Quantity
If you’re asking talent agencies and potential clients to stop what they are doing and pay attention to your voice, it stands to reason that you don’t want to take up too much of their time. A talent agent – someone that could be vouching for your talent – will want to highlight voiceover artists that can be trusted to deliver a professional performance across a range of styles.
So, instead of reading a lengthy, impenetrable monologue that you might think is gold, it is much better to deliver a concise, but versatile range of voices that display a diverse and convincing variety of characters.
Consider that most voiceover content on any given radio commercial will probably span from ten to twenty seconds. Therefore, there isn’t much time at all to create engagement with your audience. Creating a well-rounded showreel that displays one to two minutes worth of material, segmented into small chunks of about ten to twenty seconds each, will show both clientele and talent agents that your voice is commercially viable and trustworthy.
Getting the Technical Stuff Right
Think about voices you hear on commercial media. They sound clear, full and intimate. To be considered for a commercial voiceover project, your clientele will need to be able to envisage you in that same professional environment. Therefore, recording your showreel with high audio quality is imperative.
An acoustically treated studio space, free from extraneous noises, will yield the best result for recording voiceover material. Using the right microphone for your voice – one that compliments your tone and creates a pleasing listening experience – is crucial.
Collaborating with a producer that offers you real time feedback on your performance while monitoring technical specifications can elevate your product immensely. Having an engineer edit your performance and tailor the sonic characteristics of your voice to create maximum impact can also benefit your final product. In short, creating a showreel that accurately reflects your quality is a process that requires collaboration and attention to detail.
The performance, of course, takes top priority when recording voiceover showreels. Yet, paying attention to these simple technical concerns and always listening with a critical ear will give your showreel a professional finish.
Almost always, there is a musical element to commercial audio broadcast. Though it will be easy enough for clients to imagine your voice coupled with music they have sourced for a project, it pays to present your voice in a musical context.
Investing in original music production, or buying pre-made music from audio libraries and incorporating these sounds into your showreel can lend extra depth and relevant context to your voice, thus making your product more applicable in a commercial environment.
Breaking into the voiceover market will depend on your ability to convey professionalism and personality. Creating a showreel that reflects diversity in character and strength in repertoire is a great opportunity to create meaningful engagement with talent agencies and future clients.