Got a good script and a clear idea of your radio ads? That’s good and all but you won’t get anywhere without a voice artist.
However, hiring the right voice over talent isn’t a quick and easy process. They play an essential role in a successful radio campaign.
But don’t fret. We’ve got a few voice over tips you should follow when looking for the right talent. Read on below and fine-tune your hiring process:
1. Know Your Target Audience
Before and during the hiring process, make sure you keep your target audience in mind. Voice over work for a political campaign, for example, is vastly different compared to the work intended for an explainer video or an Instagram ad.
Identifying your audience can narrow down the type of voice, accent, and style you need. You can immediately cut out the applicants that don’t fit the bill.
For example, a good radio campaign needs a strong, clear voice. You might also want to stick with a flat tone instead of something emotional, riddled with too many high and low pitches.
2. Check Voice Samples
Even when you have a good idea of what you want, don’t hesitate to listen to a few samples. You might hear voice quality you weren’t necessarily looking for but it might click with your campaign needs.
Once you got a list of potential candidates, listen to as many samples as possible. Get their full portfolio and take time to listen.
You might like a voice actor during the interview only to discover they struggle pronouncing certain words or names. One of the voice actors you weren’t too keen on may have a sample showcasing their full potential, turning them into top candidates for the job.
Remember that the bigger the portfolio, the more experience and training a voice actor has. Let’s dive deeper into the importance of experience.
3. Experience Matters
Did you know Tara Strong is 46 years old, as of the time of writing? Despite her age, she plays a myriad of young characters. She voiced characters like Bubbles in Powerpuff Girls, Timmy in Rugrats, Batgirl in the Batman Animated Series, and Twilight Sparkle in My Little Pony.
This doesn’t mean you have to hunt down older voice actors. Age isn’t a measurement of work experience. It’s often the case but you shouldn’t disregard young voice actors immediately.
You might find voice actors below the age of 25 already brimming with experience. Not all of their work might be official. There are many fan-dubbing projects for anime shows and foreign television shows that have no official English versions.
4. Try Different Emotions
Launching a radio campaign doesn’t always require a flat, monotone voice. Think about it this way: you’ll need to convey different emotions if you’re running a radio ad for products compared to a political ad.
For the prior, you need an energetic voice. The latter demands more authority and certainty. Don’t hesitate to run tests with your applicants and see how they perform with different campaigns or scripts.
Keep in mind that with voice over work, the audience can’t see the speaker. They have to elicit emotions solely through their voice work and the eloquence of the script.
Have the voice actors read the same line in different ways. Let them try to elicit excitement in one take and a tone of dread or authority in another.
5. Different Mediums, Different Talents
Gone are the days when the term “radio” simply meant broadcasting on a radio station. Nowadays, the term can also refer to podcasts or streaming projects. Make sure you know the kind of medium you’re hiring voice talent for.
Don’t always assume that you can use one kind of voice talent for different mediums. Different mediums demand different kinds of talents.
Going for a traditional radio broadcast ad? You might do better with someone who can speak quickly but clearly. Traditional radio ads cost a lot and they charge you per second, after all.
Looking to make an ad for a podcast commercial? These give you more leeway so you might want someone with more energy and better annunciation. You can also get playful with different accents and intonation variations too.
6. Long-Term Considerations
One of the most crucial voice over tips when hunting for talent is to have long-term considerations. Look at the long game instead of hiring solely for a one-and-done project.
If you were around in the 1980s to the early 2000s, movie trailers always had a voice-over narration. More often than not, the voice work was by the same talent, providing consistency. When people heard that voice, they knew it was for a movie trailer.
Emulate this practice and consider the long-term reliability of your voice talents.
This builds trust and comfort. You need both if you want your radio ad campaign to become a success. Set expectations early by planning and hiring voice talent you know you can rely on for multiple projects.
7. Get a Few Recommendations
Sure, you’re bound to get a few cold applications. That said, you’ll need to conduct a few auditions to sort out the talents and narrow down the ones you like. You can simplify this process by getting a few recommendations.
Why are recommendations often good hires?
They come from people who already worked with them. There’s already a sense of trust and reliability. You also get the guarantee that they have some training and experience, otherwise, no one would recommend them to you.
It’s always a good idea to take the recommended talents and give them a try. Audition them like everybody else. They might end up easier to work with, even as early as the hiring phase.
Follow These Voice Over Tips When Hiring!
Hiring the right talent isn’t too monumental a task with these voice over tips. Don’t rush the process and go over things like their portfolio, different samples, and style to find the talent you need.
But getting the most out of your campaign doesn’t end here. Why not read our other guides to get one step ahead of the competition? You can start with our post about the reach of radio right here.