From briefing to voice recording

6 tips for hiring voice actors

Finding the best voice actors for your projects highly depends on the casting process. Find out what's necessary to achieve stellar results…

On bodalgo, you will find 12,498 professional voiceover talents in more than 80 languages. Voice actors for advertising, voice over talents for explainer videos, presentations, and much more. To help you receive auditions from voice talents that fit your project best, we have compiled tips to help you find the perfect voice. Let's get started!

Hire professional voice actors online

Professional voice talent casting has never been more effortless! On bodalgo, you will find 12,498 professional voice talents for advertising, eLearning, explanatory films, documentaries, presentations, and much more. bodalgo's multiple award-winning online casting helps you find the perfect voice for your projects.

Hire voice over talents

Beware of amateurs

Make sure to hire a professional and avoid websites that offer many different kinds of freelancers

Make sure to hire a professional and avoid websites that offer many different kinds of freelancers

The internet can be a beauty sourcing talent online. But there are many websites out there that will not differentiate between amateurs and professionals leaving you with the responsibility to find out – sometimes the hard way of sub-par results. So stay away from websites that feature freelancers in many different areas rather than focusing on a specific topic. Naturally, websites that cater to an overwhelming variety of fields have little to no expertise in a specific field. Neither have their users.

But even many voiceover-focused online marketplaces can be a problematic choice if they are willing to feature any "talent" willing to pay the membership fee. Rule of thumb: Avoid websites that claim to feature hundreds of thousands of talents. Many of them will be amateurs.

Unlike the vast majority of its competitors, bodalgo vets each and every single talent.

The Briefing: Foundation of successful auditions

Let's start with the most critical part of job posting: the briefing, i.e., the description of what you are looking for.

It is evident that voice actors can only provide relevant auditions if they are clear about what you as a client expect. And although it is, of course, clear that a good briefing plays a decisive role, far too often – and it must be said this clearly – it is seldomly provided that way.

It is not unusual for a (not so great) briefing to look like this:

"In need of a voice for a presentation."

That's it: no further description, no script, no nothing. And now put yourself in the role of a talent who, with these few details, is to provide a meaningful audition. Tricky, isn't it?

Ironically, it's the client who ends up taking the most damage. Because of the lack of precision in the description, the offers are unspecific and will hardly match the client's certainly existing (but not communicated) needs.

Finding the perfect voice for your projects: A proper briefing is crucial

Finding the perfect voice for your projects: A proper briefing is crucial

As a result, such an outcome is not satisfactory for either side, talent and client. The talents do not know what to do, and the client has to deal with a sub-optimal selection that can cost time and even nerves.

The remedy is simple: Two minutes are enough to add the three most important points to make the briefing shine:

1) What is the objective of the project? To inform, motivate, sell, explain, or entertain? Describing the goal of your project description already provides the rough framework from which the talents can draw conclusions about how to approach your project.

2. What is the target group of the recording? Children, potential buyers, experts, multipliers? If the voice actors know who they address, this will have a significant influence on the voiceover's style.

3 What type of voice (rough, soft, scratchy, dark, etc.) and read (friendly, selling, competent, sensitive, etc.) do you imagine? Precisely outlined, this point will not reduce the number of offers to a healthy amount, but at the same time will increase the relevance of them enormously! A good briefing will try to describe the desired voice in sound and expression as detailed as possible, possibly by referring to similar-sounding voices.

In summary: The more precisely you will describe objective, target group, and desired style, the more relevant the offers will be, the better the result will be.

Limit voice age and gender

Our second tip takes a similar approach: narrowing down the age and gender of the voice. We regularly receive castings in which the client virtually leaves the gender and age of the desired voice open.

Of course, we know that it is not always easy to define this clearly, especially if the voice actor casting takes place early in the production chain. But the resulting problems are the same as with an unspecific description: auditions with little to no relevance.

Our advice: only search for voice talents when it is clear what kind of voice you are looking for. The phrase, "Our client has not yet decided on a certain gender or age, and wants to be inspired by your offer" really should read: "There is no concept yet." But this is a sure sign that it is simply too early for a voice casting. You can only find an appropriate voice for a specified project.

By the way: As a client, you also benefit from this approach: For unspecific castings, clients often receive 100, sometimes 200 offers. What an effort to listen to all of them! Because: the best audition could be the last of the 200 samples.

Custom auditions according to your script

bodalgo allows you to add a script to your job posting. And many voice over talents are quite willing to read parts of the script and add them to the quote.

But remember: The production of free layouts is a voluntary service of the talents, which you cannot demand! Remarks such as "We will not consider auditions without a custom recording of our script!" might not only come across pretty rude, but also fail to recognize that layout recordings usually have to be paid for. Just because talents record custom auditions voluntarily in some cases (certainly to improve their chances of nailing the job, of course) does not mean that clients are entitled to them. But there is nothing wrong asking for them in a friendly manner.

Short deadline, fast results

The voice actors of bodalgo are incredibly responsive, which means: Usually, you will receive auditions within minutes. On the other hand, this means that in most cases, a deadline of one or two days is sufficient to receive a good number of auditions.

For internationally less common languages, on the other hand, you should plan for a more extended deadline, since the number of available talents might be smaller. This is currently the case for languages from Scandinavia, parts of Eastern Europe, and Asia.

Use the Shortlist

With the shortlist you can easily share the best candidates with colleagues and clients

With the shortlist you can easily share the best candidates with colleagues and clients

If you are looking for a voice on behalf of a client, you would like to present the best candidates to your client after the deadline has expired. And that's is exactly what the talent short list is for, which allows you to share the list of favorites via a link.

The procedure could not be more straightforward: You mark the voice samples you want to present to your customer with a "thumbs up" symbol and send the link to this list to your customer. That's it! The notable advantage: You don't have to upload the recordings, the customer doesn't have to download them. Instead, the candidates are clearly listed on an neutral web page, without no bodalgo branding whatsoever. Instead, you can add your company logo, if you like.

Remote directing for free: bodalgoCall

<a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><b>Remote directing with bodalgoCall</b></a> is only a mouse click away.

Remote directing with bodalgoCall is only a mouse click away.

In contrast to other solutions, bodalgo offers remote directing recording sessions with up to four participants and excellent audio quality – free of charge!

Nowadays, it is common for voice actors to record jobs without direction in their studio. In most cases, this is unproblematic, especially with a good briefing as explained above.

However, some jobs are more complex in terms of pronunciation or style, or where the client has extremely precise ideas about how the recording should be done. The latter is the case with advertising, for example, which benefits greatly from the talent's (and director's) ability to wield emotions with pinpoint accuracy.

Just a few years ago, this was only possible if the talent, director, and client were on site in the studio (or – and this solution was even more cost-intensive – in two interconnected studios).

Today, the browser connects the director and the client with the talent's studio, free of charge. Remote directing a recording session with bodalgoCall is only a mouse click away. What's more: Unlike other solutions, bodalgoCall offers a clean, intuitive design that is reduced to the essentials and allows up to five participants in a recording session.

Minimum effort, maximum effect

So there you have it: With a few simple tricks, you not only get a better result, you save a lot of time and offer your customer better user experience. At the same time, you help the talents creating more compelling auditions.

In the end, everyone wins. Remember this when you need to hire voice actors in future.

Photo: Seej Nguyen/Pexels

⨳ ⨳ ⨳
voice actors  castings  best practices  briefing