How to find the perfect voice

Spot on target auditions

Identifying the best voice talents for your project is easy with bodalgo. And if you provide the right pieces of information when posting a job, the results will be stellar. Here is how it works…

For you to find the best voice over talents out there while saving a lot of time doing so, we have created this step-by-step guide on how to create excellent casting calls. In this 3 minute read, we will look at each bit of information that will help the talents provide highly relevant auditions to get your job done.

Type and Usage

<em>Type of audio</em> and <em>Usage</em> have a great impact on the budget needed.

Type of audio and Usage have a great impact on the budget needed.

These two parameters are crucial because they determine the budget for any voice over job. You need to understand when to select "Commercials" instead of "Corporate Presentation", for example. But that's fairly easy: Whenever money is paid for the final recording to be broadcasted/distributed, we are talking about a commercial. In other words: If there is media spending, it is a commercial.

Examples for commercials: Pre-Roll-Ads on youtube (those little clips that appear before and during Youtube videos), Facebook-Video-Ads, tv and radio commercials, etc.

If a clip is shown on the company's own website/Youtube channel/Facebook page etc, then this is a corporate presentation.

Selecting "Commercials" will show one additional parameter: the "Buyout", which determines how long the commercial will be used – an important factor regarding the budget. At the same time, the voice talent needs to know how long their voice will be used to avoid conflicts with other clients dealing in the same business sector in case a client wants exclusivity.

Length of the audio

You may provide the length in seconds, minutes, words and takes/modules. While the first two are pretty obvious, let's have a closer look at the rest: Words: Let's say you have a script you want to match to a video of a specific length. To make sure the copy won't be longer than the video you start reading along with the script in your head while watching the video. Big mistake! Always read aloud as we read much faster when doing so "in our head". This is very important to remember to avoid frustration during production.

Takes/Modules are used mainly used for IVRs or dubbing. A take/module represents one line in a dialogue (dubbing) or a portion of related copy (IVRs).

To estimate the time a script needs to be read, here is a rule of thumb: 120 to 140 words will take a talent approx. one minute to read. Keep this in mind if you have a tight timing. You don't want to rush the talent through your script to make it fit as your message you want to get across will be totally lost. We mean it.

Don't combine jobs

Let's assume you need a great voice talent for three product presentations, two minutes each. Don't combine them to make them look like one six-minute piece. Each video has to be treated separately unless they are indeed connected to each other.

An example: Showing three different aspects of the same product in three different videos would qualify to be combined in one job where showing three completely different products wouldn't. The latter case does not mean, of course, that you would have to post three different jobs. It just means that the budget for three distinct videos of two minutes needs to be higher than for three videos showing three different features of the same product. If unsure, explain the nature of the job in detail in the description, so the talent knows exactly what's expected.

Job description – the most important bit

The triad of excellence: Type of read, target group, objective.

The triad of excellence: Type of read, target group, objective.

The description/briefing is the most important part as it helps talents understand what exactly you need. There are three things that absolutely have to be included or your project is headed to "Mediocrity Valley":

1. What kind of voice and what type of read do you have in mind? Hard sell? Energetic? Calm? Rough voice? High pitched one? Sexy? Confident?

2. What is your target group? If talent can visualize what kind of people they are addressing, the read will be much more convincing!

3. What is the objective? The better the talents understand what you want to achieve, the more relevant the audition will be.

It can not be stressed enough how important it is to provide these three bits of information. It takes you only a minute but it poised to boost the quality of the final result big time.

Providing scripts

If the script is ready, you should always provide a portion of it. It adds to the talent's understanding of what's needed. A word of advice, though: Many voice over talents are willing to record custom demos according to your script. Don't take this for granted and refrain from "forcing" voice actors to only audition with customs demos as a matter of courtesy. Remember: Usually, custom demos (also referred to as "layouts") cost money! If talents voluntarily produce custom demos, be happy about it but do not exploit their willingness to do so.

The issue with weak job postings

If you are looking for the perfect voice over on behalf of a client, there is a chance that you have limited information about what exactly your client wants. This might lead to a rather weak job posting if, for example, you can neither define gender nor age because the client "has not made up their mind" yet.

Why would that be an issue? Because you will end up listening to dozens of auditions that will not be relevant to your client. They might not know what they want, but they will always know what they do not want to hear. Presenting candidates to your client can be a very frustrating experience if the job posting has not been accurate. What's more: It's not fun for the talent either to audition for jobs with little to no information.

Great job postings create great results

Does a proper job posting take a bit more time than just bashing out a vague description? Sure it does. But it pays back big time when you enter the final stage of your production and realize that you have achieved two major goals: Finding the truly best voice over talent in the shortest amount of time.

It's your turn!

Now that you are equipped with all the knowledge you need to create a great job posting, why not give it a try and Post your voice over job now!

Frequently Asked Questions

What's a voiceover?

A voiceover is a voice recording that is superimposed on another recording or a film clip. For example, in interview scenes with foreign-language interview partners, the translation is superimposed on the scene. That way, the authenticity of the original is preserved while at the same time the viewer or listener understands the context. The speaker of the translation can only be heard, but not in the picture.

How do I find voice over talents?

The fastest way to find a voice over talent (or voice actor): Post an online casting on bodalgo. This is not only completely free of charge but offers many other advantages: Within minutes you will receive offers with voice samples based on your script (if provided) from professional voice talents who best fit your project. You can also share your selection of the best offers with colleagues and clients at the click of a mouse. Best of all: bodalgo is completely free. You only pay the voice talent. There are no hidden fees, commissions or escrow fees.

Professional announcer or amateur? Technical quality, pronunciation, and expression give it away…

Professional announcer or amateur? Technical quality, pronunciation, and expression give it away…

How do I recognize a professional voice actor?

Even if you have little experience with voice over talents, there are three simple clues that can help you identify professional speakers and unmask laypeople:

1. Technical quality: Always judge voice recordings with decent headphones (the speakers of your laptop or computer are not ideal). Under no circumstances should background noise, hiss or reverberation of the voice be heard in the recording. At the end of words, check whether they seem "cut off". This may indicate that an effect was used to mask strong background noise. Tip: You should always insist on "dry" recordings, i.e. without background music etc., to be able to judge the quality.

2. Pronunciation: Of course, the voice over talent must be able to read with a clear pronunciation without any unwanted dialect. Watch out for final syllables and how well they are pronounced.

3. Expression: A professional voice actor will give each and every sentence its own "subtext", i.e. the thought that underlies the spoken sentence. This technique enhances greatly the impact of any copy. However, if each sentence sounds the same and the whole text sounds monotonous, you are probably listening the work of an amateur.

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voice over talents  casting  best practices  tipps