Different Types of Voice Overs
Some people may hear the term ‘voice over’ and only think of a single, broad genre of work. However, voice over opportunities are as diverse as they are numerous. Someone who is perfect for hosting a radio station might not be a great fit for narrating an infomercial and vice versa. When looking for a voice over actor for your project, it’s important to know which of the different types of voice overs is the right fit. Consider the intent, tone, and target audience for your project as you explore what kind of voice over work you want to use.
There are endless tones, styles, and formats for commercials, which means there is also a diverse range of voice over talent for you to choose from. Before you start your search for voice over talent, look over your project and determine the exact tone and message you want your commercial to portray. The ideal voice over talent will fulfill these ideas and expectations, helping you create a high sales conversation rate with your audience.
The type of commercial you create will also have a large role in what kind of voice over talent you want. The following are some popular forms of advertisements, and we share what to look for in a voice over actor for each of them.
In the world of ads and commercials, infomercials stand out due to their unique length and format. Because they are both selling something and trying to keep the audience’s attention for a longer period, infomercial voice over actors have to be authoritative and relatable. A lot happens throughout an infomercial, and your cast is responsible for making the information you present clear, understandable, and interesting. You want a voice over talent who can introduce and demonstrate your product while also making it appealing and interesting to your audience. When searching for infomercial voice over services, keep your ear out for an actor who provides this wide range of talent.
The internet is booming, and more and more people are turning toward it to socialize, perform research, find entertainment, and shop. As such, more and more businesses are relying on online advertisements to create sales. Internet ads need to grab their audience’s attention right away. If they don’t, there’s no reason for a visitor to stay on that website and continue to watch. Internet advertisements are also typically shorter than their made-for-television counterparts, which means your voice over actor will have to present your information clearly and efficiently.
Narration is by far the largest voice over genre, and there are plenty of different projects that need it. When it comes to finding a voice over talent to be your narrator, you want to look for someone willing to dedicate as much time and energy as you are to the project. If you’re filming a documentary, your narrator should be passionate about the subject. In a short film, animation, or another type of movie, they should seem invested in the story you—and they—are telling. Most voice over actors dabble in some form of narration. So getting to know what kind of experience and interests your potential voice over actor has will help you decide the best talent for your project.
Animation and character work are wildly popular for voice over actors. Many character actors are also comedians, as impressions and improvisation are great tools for this type of project. Stage or screen actors also commonly double as voice over actors, especially when it comes to major projects such as feature-length films or high budget video games. Animation voice overs help give audiences a more in-depth look at your characters. If you have a really good voice over talent, they might even contribute a unique or fresh spin that makes the story and script even better.
One of the more traditional types of voice overs is the radio voice. Those who host radio shows are charismatic and pleasing to listen to. Like with the internet, it’s easy for audiences to switch channels or turn off a radio host if they lose interest or don’t find something entertaining. However, unlike the other different types of voice overs, radio voices have no images to complement their work. Therefore, voice over actors for a radio project should be relatable, eloquent, and able to entertain audiences with just their voice.
With modern technology, businesses and schools are turning to specialized videos to educate and train students and employees. Sometimes, this includes a form of character acting, as many e-Learning videos use animation rather than live actors. Other types of educational voice overs are how-to and self-help videos, website tours, and product guides. They usually target everyday consumers, new employees, and students of all ages. Educational voice over actors should sound enthusiastic while also giving clear and accurate information.
Not all voice over work is a form of acting. Announcers are in high demand for many different jobs. Airports and train stations need concise speakers—either live or in recordings—to communicate directions, notices, and schedules. Sports stadiums, theaters, and other venues are also good opportunities for announcers to welcome guests, introduce athletes or musicians, or hype up the crowd. You may also find this type of voice over work used during trade shows, award shows, graduation ceremonies, and more.
There are many varieties of voice overs that work for audiobooks. Some voice over talents use a simple narration, while others incorporate character work into their readings. The type of voice over you want often depends on the story’s genre. For example, having distinct, emotive character voices is great for a children’s book, while a strong, classic narration is good for a biography or memoir.
From videos to phone applications, inspirational or motivational voice over work is growing in competition. These voice over talents can lend their skills to exercise videos, motivational scripts, or calming apps designed to help listeners relax or fall asleep. These voice overs need to be steady and soothing so they can convey a sense of peace and self-confidence.