Ask and It Will Be Given

Professional VO tips: The right questions to ask before your next Web Video Voiceover.

Every day, we produce web video voiceovers. Corporate narrations have been around for a long time and this years’ workload of auditions and bookings show that these projects are here to stay!

When I started producing in the 80’s, many of our jobs were voiceovers for corporate films… then they became corporate VHS tapes, then corporate DVD’s and now, its corporate web videos. You get the picture and voice! Nonetheless, the questions I ask my client before we start a session remain the same. As a voice talent or director you should use them before you start any narration. It’s a sign of your awareness that each job is unique and extremely important! Remember: Ask and it will be given.

The questions are very simple. Who is the audience? Is it for small group use or will it be shown before the whole organization or is it for potential customers? How will it be shown? Is it only for the web? Or might it be shown on a large auditorium screen during a conference? Just as important, how does your client hope to present themselves? Is it modern business speak or more conversational? Should it be very hip, maybe innovative in tone or scientific and forward looking?

Each of these questions gives your client an opportunity to direct your read. Listen carefully to the answers! Your client understands the corporate culture that your voice is going into. And when they do offer advice or insight, be certain you indicate that you have that feedback. Repeat what the client says and write it on your copy! These questions will give you the potential to focus and tailor your read to deliver your best voice performance.

One last tip: After you’ve read a paragraph or two, if your client is on skype or a phone-patch, check on the pace of your read. I always say,” First, can you hear all right? And secondly, how do you like this pace?” Also, tell them you like the script. Everyone likes a compliment.

Enjoy voicing, recording and creating narrations for a business model that has always been a major part of the voice game!


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