Top Tips For Directing Voiceover Artists

Top Tips For Directing Voiceover Artists

So, you’ve written the script, chosen your voiceover artist and you’re ready to get into the voice recording studio. But your job’s not done yet. Whether you attend the recording session in person, or you’re working with your talent remotely, you’ll need to give feedback to ensure you get the performance you want. There top tips for directing voiceover artists will help you make the most of your recording session. 

directing voiceover artists

If it’s your first time directing a voiceover artist you may be a bit nervous about giving feedback, but your talent wants guidance on what you have in mind. There are a few simple things you can do to make sure they have the information they need to give you their best performance.

Provide materials before the session

Share the script with your talent beforehand if at all possible. While some voice jobs will be used for radio or other voice-only media such as audio books, many (if not most) will be used over some type of visual media (i.e. explainer videos, presentations, commercials) – so make sure to share any illustrations or links to the video as well.

The more information your talent has prior to stepping into the booth the better. This gives them the opportunity to get a sense of the production and identify any questions they might have before you start recording, including how to pronounce unfamiliar words. You can also provide them with links to videos or voice clips with a similar feel or sound you are looking in terms of tone or pace.

Clarify the audience

It’s essential the voiceover artist understand the audience for the video, as well as their relation to this audience. For example, are they talking to a group of mums or scientists? If it’s mums, are they a mum too, or maybe someone who deals with children, such as a doctor or teacher? If the audience is a group of researchers, is the voiceover artist a scientist talking to their colleagues or a patient that would benefit from their research?

This may be clear from the script itself, but it’s good to make sure the talent knows exactly whom the video is aimed at, especially with scripts where the audience might be quite specialised. It’s also good to let the voiceover artist know where the audio will be played. The delivery for a video that’s being shown in a boardroom for a handful of people is probably going be quite different to a TV commercial or online radio ad.

Explain tone, pace and feel

Before you start recording give your talent some idea of what you are looking for in terms of tone, pace and feel:

Should it be serious? Playful? Commanding? Direct?

Is it pacey, or slow and drawn out?

Do you want it to sound like they are talking to a friend or should it have more of a high-energy ‘sales’ feel to it?

Be as descriptive as possible, but don’t overwhelm them either. Give them a few keywords to work with and see how it goes; then can give feedback based on the initial reads.

Give specific, constructive feedback

Keep it positive and be specific in what you feel is or isn’t working. Your voice artist wants and needs to hear from you, but it doesn’t help if you are vague or negative.

Avoid too many cooks and ‘line reads’

Too many cooks: You may have more than one person that needs to sit in on the session (i.e. director, producer, client). This can be confusing if multiple people are trying to provide feedback at the same time or give contradictory information. If you have more than one person at the recording, keep feedback to one ‘director’ who speaks for your group.

Line reads: While there may be a few places in your script where certain words need emphasis, it’s best to avoid telling the artist exactly how you want each line read. Often they’ll find something in the read that you might not have seen yourself.

Have fun

At the end of the day, you’ll get a better read if both you and the voiceover artist are relaxed and enjoying the session. So don’t forget to have fun!

Contact Voiceover Soho today

We have undertaken many professional voiceover projects, and work alongside a number of highly experienced voiceover articles. Find out more about our voiceover recording capabilities today, or for a free quote about our voiceover rates. Our friendly, professional team is on hand to answer any questions you may have.