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Thursday, September 26, 2013

How Suitable is Your Voice for Voice Over Work?

It is the one question everybody thinking about starting out in voice overs wants to know: is there a market for their particular voice? But I reckon this is the wrong question. Here's why.

For starters, your voice is merely an instrument. You may have a Steinway piano, but it does not mean you can play it like a concert pianist..... or even play a tune at all. Likewise your speaking voice may be lush and deep or husky and sexy, but it tells us nothing about how you read a script.

Voice overs are partly about the tonal quality you produce with your vocal cords; they are mostly about the performance and delivery you give.

Although it is natural to want to know if your voice is suitable, in reality you have to ask "suitable for what?". You may be ideal for corporate projects and audiobooks, but not necessarily hard sell adverts.

The more relevant question is asking if you have the potential for voice overs.

Always bear in mind voice overs are subjective; you are chosen (or not) because someone thinks your voice is appropriate for a particular project. You will be right for some things, but not for others. However the essential skill of the voice over artist is about making other people's words sound like your own.

As we say "said not read".

So the sound of your voice is only part of the equation. The more important aspect is what you do with your voice: how you read the scripts and bring words to life. 

This is a learnt skill. We are not born being able to conjugate verbs, nor do we have an innate ability to read a commercial radio script. It takes practice.

In my experience, the real question is "am I a suitable person to do voice overs?"

Ask yourself the following:

• Am I willing to invest in training?
• Could I run a small business, selling my voice over services?
• Would I be prepared to spend time and money promoting my voice?
• Do I take rejection personally?
• Am I prepared to learn new skills such as recording at home?

If you are responding positively to the above, then give it a go. If not, perhaps a career in voiceovers is not for you.
Send me an email  if you would like more advice

Gary Terzza is a voice over coach based in London 
Further voice over resources at

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