How to Find the Right Narrator for Your Web Video - Demo Duck

How to Find the Right Narrator for Your Web Video

NarratorYou’re ready to get started producing your web video. Maybe it’s your first or possibly you’ve been at this for a while. Either way, I’m sure you’ll agree that the voice-over is an important part of the production. It’s how viewers will hear your message.

There are some quick wins to be had, particularly by getting a vision for how your video will turn out, matching your message with a narrator who reflects your brand, and then listening carefully to select the best voice for your organization.

Let’s start at the top, your creative brief.

Writing a Creative Brief to Help Guide Your Decisions

This doesn’t have to be long or complex, but this is an important step in the creative process. Your creative brief should include considerations for both the on-camera (video) and off-camera (audio) elements. Ask yourself:

  • Who is the video for? Who would they like to hear?
  • What is the video’s intention? What is the core message?
  • Where is the video located? Is having an accented voice needed to support the story line?
  • What is the suggested era? Do I need to consider a character voice to match?
  • Why is the video being created?

By taking even 5-10 minutes at the outset of your project the answers to these questions will help guide your decisions. As the saying goes, “make choices, not guesses.”

Matching the Voice with Your Brand

Know what your brand stands for. For example, if you’re Southwest Airlines, humor is your brand value. You should be working with a fun-loving and humorous voice talent.  If you’re Coke, you’re looking for a young and fresh voice.  If you’re Caterpillar, you’re looking for a tough, authoritative voice. If you’re Lexus, the luxury car company, you’re probably going to go with a sophisticated foreign-accented voice.

That may be an easy exercise for global brands, but what about for small business?  Consider your brand, what you stand for, and what you want other people to think when they hear the voice.

Profiling Your Ideal Voice

Many clients that we work with at Voices.com can actually hear the ideal voice in their minds. However, we can’t hear what they’re thinking so that can present a challenge for everyone else involved in the casting process. The solution is to profile the narrator. There is some criteria that can help you find your ideal voice talent so that when you hear them you can exclaim, “Yes, that’s it!”

  • Language
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Artistic Direction

The profile of your ideal voice could be as simple as:

  • “Because we’re a fun brand, we’re looking for an English-speaking, middle-aged, male voice with comedic elements.”
  • “Because we’re a luxury brand, we’re looking for a British-accented, young adult, female voice with an air of sophistication.”
  • “Because we’re a construction equipment company, we’re looking for a tough, authoritative male voice who can speak both English and French fluently.”

Finding a Narrator for Your Video

You may know a guy or girl with a great voice, but are they cut out to be the audio ambassador for your organization? Do they have the acting skills and technical know-how for making the soundtrack of your video sound amazing?  If not, there are plenty of resources where you can find professional narrators.

Online marketplaces like Voices.com showcase thousands of professional talent located across the country and around the world, with voice-overs available in over 100 different languages.

Using your creative brief and a copy of your script you can hold online auditions and have your talent cast and the finished audio in your inbox in as little as 24 hours. Depending on the length of your video, you can expect prices to range from $250-500.  For more details, check out this voice-over rate sheet.

Listening for Your Ideal Voice

It’s been called The Almighty Playback. Does what the narrator submitted match your needs? When listening to auditions:

  • Plan to do all your listening at once. Dedicate a half hour to an hour to listen to auditions.
  • Listen in a quiet room. Consider turning off the lights and putting on headphones. You’ll be surprised at how much more sensitive your ears become when you eliminate all visual distractions.
  • Listen to all of the auditions. The next voice could be the perfect voice!

Selecting the Best Voice for Your Video

Once you’ve found the perfect voice to represent your message, be proud of your selection and celebrate the fact that you’ve hired a professional to bring your story to life.

There is power in the human voice.  Work with a professional and realize its potential.

You’re ready to get started producing your video.  Maybe it’s your first or possibly you’ve been at this for a while.  Either way, I’m sure you’ll agree that the voice-over is an important part of the production. It’s how viewers will hear your message.

There are some quick wins to be had, particularly by getting a vision for how your video will turn out, matching your message with a narrator who reflects your brand, and then listening carefully to select the best voice for your organization.

David Ciccarelli Voices.comDavid Ciccarelli is an experienced technology entrepreneur and the co-founder of Voices.com. His company has been written about in The New York Times, CNNMoney, BusinessWeek, Entrepreneur Magazine and Fast Company. He has appeared on Business News Network, and The Globe and Mail TV. He co-authored the Voice Acting for Dummies® book with his wife, Voices.com CMO, Stephanie Ciccarelli. Follow David on Twitter or read about the biz on his blog.

 

Ready to talk?

Contact us!
Laura Irons
Director of Partnerships