“I’ve always been interested in voice overs, but have no idea how to get started. Can you help?”
5 Easy Steps to Getting Started in Voice Over
Voice over is more than just speaking. It’s about being dedicated, polite, persistent & having a passion for learning
We get calls and emails every day from people wanting to know how to “break-in” to voice over. However, today’s successful voices don’t “break-in.” They do their research, learn the vocal skills and techniques needed to record their demo, and continue to learn the marketing skills required to succeed in today’s ever-changing marketplace.
This 5 step voice plan will help you get your voice over business up and running and explain why training, dedication, and the willingness to learn new skills are essential if you are to compete with working professional voices.
The voice industry is truly unique. It’s creative, flexible, laid back, and most of all, fun. Successful voices have dedicated hours of time, effort, and practice to get their business up and running, but just like you, they had to start somewhere and learn the skills needed to get started. Yes, It’s competitive, but this is an exciting time to be involved in voice over, and the good news is, there’s plenty of space for new voices like yours.
Step 1 – Find Your Voice
We all have a voice, but we need to find it to be heard
Being able to impart information in a natural and genuine way has changed how new emerging voices enter the voice arena. Instead of being a vocal gymnast, today’s voices understand why having a more conversational vocal style is the key to getting work.
By understanding your vocal strengths, you’ll be able to find out where your voice might best fit in today’s voice industry and save yourself time going down the wrong path.
People respond best to voices they feel are similar to their own. Maybe you’ve been told you have a good, deep, or a nice-sounding voice. Perhaps you’re an actor wanting to add more skills to your tool-box. You might read stories to your kids and do lots of accents, characters, or funny voices to keep them entertained. Or maybe you need to give marketing presentations or lectures as part of your work and want to learn how to be a more confident communicator. Whatever your reasons are, the first skill you need to learn is how to use and trust your own voice, what we call your “Signature Voice”.
There are many areas of voice work for you to consider:
Radio & TV Commercials, Corporate Presentations, Audiobooks & Talking Newspapers, Educational E-Learning & Video Explainers, Medical & Technical Reads, Museum & Tourist Guides, Telephone IVR systems & On-Hold Messages, In-flight Announcements, Trade Shows & Marketing Presentations, SatNav & GPS Equipment, Toys & Electronic Games, TV & YouTube Promos, Continuity & News Stories, Movie & Game Trailers, Radio Drama, Cartoon, Animation & Games, Podcasts and MORE!
It’s a good idea to decide what area of voice work you want to focus on as this will determine what your training plan should be and, more importantly, what demo you should record first.
We believe there’s no such thing as a good or a bad voice, just the right voice for the right project or product. Any voice can enlighten, persuade, entertain, teach, and sell, but you need to learn how to do it behind the mic. That’s why training is necessary.
Our Intro To Voice Over Remote or In-Studio Masterclass is your 1st step to getting on the voice ladder and will give you a heads-up on what’s needed to build your voice over business.
Step 2 – Explore & Fine Tune Your Vocal Skills
Voiceover is a ‘doing thing’ and the more you do it, the better you get at it
Personal 121 training is essential if you want to grow your vocal skills and unfortunately, many voices think it’s is an added expense and skip this step in their voice plan.
Today’s successful voices invest time and money in training to be able to compete with working voices. They know it’s money well spent and if they skip this step, they’ll end up with a demo that won’t get you work.
Our 121 Training Sessions
will help you develop, grow, and fine-tune your vocal skills and give you the vocal confidence needed to record your demo
One vocal coach can’t teach you everything. We are the only working commercial studio in London with three active voice producers working in all genres that can help you on your VO journey. Our 3 in-house voice producers all teach the same Showreel ethos in all genres, but have their own individual specialised areas of expertise – commercial, documentary, narrative, audiobooks, marketing, branding & P2P site exploration as well as how to set up your own home studio on a budget. The best news is, they all have over 30 years of professional working experience in their field. That’s over 90 years combined knowledge here at Showreel HQ and what sets us apart from any other voice over training facility in the UK.
Having attended our Intro Masterclass, you’ll have an understanding of your signature voice. Our 121 sessions will reveal new vocal qualities, ranges and styles you may wish to add to your tool-box and allow us all to plan the right material to include on your demo.
Step 3 – Plan Your Demo
Everyone remembers a poorly planned or home-produced demo
Keep it natural or be a vocal gymnast?
Today’s clients want to hear your natural vocal tones when casting their projects. When they click on your demo, the first thing they want to hear is you. If there are looking for a young, bright, fresh Irish female voice with a vocal age between 18 – 30 yrs, that’s what they expect to hear first and not that voice showcasing their RP, Northern or other accents.
With today’s increased “voice choice,” casters will always choose a regional native speaker and not someone that can get close to sounding authentic. Your vocal description must match the first read on your demo, or you’ll lose your audience and the job.
Many voices fail at this first hurdle. They choose scripts that don’t reflect their vocal age, range, or style and fail to show their signature voice on their demo.
Your demo must be professionally produced. Every spot/read needs to show a different vocal delivery style and sound like real work. Plan your demo content carefully to ensure you keep the listener engaged. Your commercial and narrative demos should showcase your natural voice and contain scripts suited to your age, ability, and vocal style.
Your demo has to reflect you, and you have to be able to reproduce every style that’s on it. So keep it natural and get it professionally produced. Planning is everything.
No voice performer plans to fail – they fail to plan.
Step 4 – Build A Home Studio
Having a home studio dramatically increases your chances of getting work
Being able to record from home is now seriously challenging the traditional physical agent model. You no longer need an agent to get work. The P2P websites and online voice over marketplaces offer considerable opportunities to new voices like yours, that will allow you to grow your independent voice-based businesses from home.
Voice over is never a full-time job. It’s a sideline that can run alongside your existing day job. Having a home studio means you can audition and record projects in the mornings, evenings, or weekends. It will supplement your current income, and setting up a broadcast quality home studio is now so affordable there’s never been a better time to be able to offer a cost-effective voice solution to your clients.
I believe the home studio approach, combined with the physical agent route is the best way to succeed in today’s voice climate and having a home studio or access to one, is now a serious consideration for any voice over artist who wants to stay competitive.
Our Home Studio Masterclass Session or Personal 121 Home Studio Sessions are the only way to understand what kit is needed and how to record, edit and deliver audio to your clients from the comfort of your own home.
Step 5 – Grow Your Voice Over Business
A successful Voice Over Business requires a successful Voice Over Business Plan
Business skills are just as essential as voice over skills. Today’s voices have a vocal brand that reflects their existing skill-set and the marketing knowledge to find clients online.
Our Voice Over Business Planning Masterclass gives you the skills needed to get your voice business up and running to make money from home. It covers the business of the VO business.
The voice arena is changing fast. Having a voice agent as the sole means to get business is no longer the only route to success. Online casting sites transact millions of pound’s worth of VO jobs every year. From small-budget student projects to major creative agencies and film studios, thousands of buyers are now looking for new emerging voices via todays online P2P sites.
Having your vocal market stall visible to the outside world is essential if you want to be found and get hired.
How To Get Started In Voice Over – 5 Step Plan
Step 1: Attend our Intro to Voice Over Masterclass Session to understand the vocal skills needed.
Step 2: Get some Personal 121 Voice Over Coaching & explore your signature voice.
Step 3: Plan the correct material to record on your demo.
Step 4: Set up your own studio & run your own VO business from home.
Step 5: Learn how to promote your demo to agents, P2P sites, and via direct marketing.