Sounds Like…Rhymes With…5 Ways To Help A Voice Talent Out

Posted on March 22, 2013 by

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When I get a new voice over script, the very first thing I do is read it over and look for anything that might trip me up.

This could include grammar errors, spelling errors, misplaced words, or words that I simply have no clue how to pronounce. I want to make sure I’ve got all of those things sorted out before I start recording. If I come across anything I’m unsure of, I check with my client right away.

There is nothing worse than sending a client a completed voice over and getting a note back being told you’ve got to do it all over again.

5 Ways to Help a Voice Talent Out

help-me-help-you

 1) Sounds Like: When there’s a word in your script that isn’t common, perhaps a business name or a product name, provide the talent with very clear instructions. Do this either in the script or over the phone. My best suggestions in the script are to use examples such as, “it sounds like [insert word]” or “it rhymes with [insert word].

 2) Assume Nothing: Say you’ve got a commercial script. In the commercial, there are five different phone numbers. Your desire is to have the closing paragraph read five times, each time with a different  phone number. DON’T: Simply write the phone number five times. DO: Write out the closing paragraph five times, with each number. This way it’s clear. Never assume the talent will know what you want unless you provide clear instruction.

 3) The Right Script: This has happened to me more times than I care to admit. The client sends a script in a rush. They need a recording ASAP. I record ASAP. I send the voice over for a approval and get a note back from the client, “I’m really sorry. I sent you the wrong draft of the script. I need you to record it again.” Always double check to make sure you’ve attached the correct script file.

4) Audio Specs: Be very clear with the talent upfront about the audio specs you want. For example, do you just need an MP3 at 192kbps? Or do you need a 24bit, 48,000Hz WAV file? There’s a big difference. And converting audio files after the fact isn’t always easy or (sometimes) even possible. Include this info in your audition instructions or in your script.

5) Audio Delivery: How would you like your audio files delivered? In one single file? In separate files broken up by paragraphs? Or headings? Or slides? This makes a difference in how some of us record. It also makes a big difference in time. The more audio files you need, the more time we need to complete the job. Being clear about that upfront helps us quote the delivery time for the project more accurately.

Help Us Help You

The clearer you are with your instructions or directions for the voice talent from the start, the better service your voice talent will be able to provide you. It’s the difference between getting it right the first time, and having to go back and record again, and again, and again. Leaving no room for error or confusion helps the talent deliver fast, and that helps you meet or beat your deadlines.

When in doubt, pick up the phone. Personally, I include my phone number in my audition proposals for this very reason.

About the author

Marc Scott is a Voice123 voice talent