HOW TO MAKE A FORTUNE IN HIDDEN VOICE OVERS
By Susan Berkley
Did you know that there is an entire world of “hidden” voice overs that are never broadcast on television or radio?
They are used in corporate audio-video, internet and e-learning platforms; for all types of instruction and training; for sales programs; for phone systems (voice prompts); point of purchase displays (those videos you see in the store that show you how to use a product); travel and tourism; in cars; elevators; and inside a variety of talking appliances and gadgets.
Non-broadcast voice overs come in all sizes.
The typical script is about 20 pages long, but they can be as short as several sentences or hundreds of pages long. I recorded all 1,440 minutes of the day for AT&T (“The time where you’re calling is 4:45 PM”) and once had to read 20,000 drug names for a major pharmaceutical company.
You don’t do this type of thing in a single day, of course, but it still requires a tremendous amount of stamina and voice control. Non-broadcast voice talent should have clear speech; a warm, yet authoritative tone; and the ability to make boring technical copy sound interesting.
How much can you make voicing a non broadcast script? Rates vary widely but are typically several hundred dollars per job depending on the length of the script and the experience and negotiating abilities of the voice talent. Larger jobs can pay several thousand dollars. If you do a good job, your corporate clients will keep coming back for more and they can have a huge lifetime value of many tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars
How to prepare for a large non-broadcast voice over job
Arrive well rested. Nothing beats a good night’s sleep to improve stamina.
Eat before the session. The studio microphone will pick up the rumblings of a hungry tummy. To minimize mouth noise, avoid dairy products or oily, fried foods.
Start hydrating early. It takes a while for the fluids to cycle through your body and hydrate your vocal folds.
Dress in comfortable quiet clothing. Avoid noisy fabrics like starched shirts or nylon. I recommend wearing a knit t shirt as your base layer in case the voice booth gets too hot
Ask for the script before the session. Flag any unfamiliar terms and look up any pronunciations you don’t know. The producer or client will be happy to help if you have questions.
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Susan Berkley is a top voice overs artist
and founder of The Great Voice Company, a company devoted to teaching great voices around the world how to become successful voice over actors. How to Make a Fortune in Hidden Voice Overs