How To Become A Voice Actor 7

Voiceover for Corporate and Business!

One of the fastest growing areas in voiceover is the ‘corporate’ or ‘business’ area. 

Simply described, it covers anything that’s not a broadcast ad.

One of the reasons this area is growing is that companies share much more material internally now.

Many training programs that were traditionally one-on-one are now delivered online.

For large companies, especially, this is a more cost effective, efficient way of delivering information, no matter what the content.

Companies also create content for their websites that’s about building their brand or product publicly, but it’s made for their website.  Once again, not for broadcast!

Sometimes you’ll record an ad (for broadcast) that the company wants to put onto their website.  You get another fee for this, but it’s not called corporate.

Almost all this material will be audio/visual.  That is, there’ll be pictures.

You won’t always work ‘to’ or ‘with’ the pictures.  In fact you seldom will.

Just like when you record an ad for TV, you’re just shown the images to get a feel for what voice style will work.

Generally the kind of voice that gets this wok is someone who has proven they are a fantastic ‘site reader’.  It’s often someone in the over 40, voice range, because what they’re looking for is a voice that can carry authority, as well as warmth and friendliness.

Voice style will vary with the job, but the most important thing to remember with all long-form reading, is that you need to be able to take a quick look at the script and understand just what and where the focus needs to be.

Here are some things you need to make sure you understand: 

  1. What’s the message?
  2. Where are the words and phrases that tell the story?
  3. Who’s listening/watching?
  4. What do they need to be convinced of?

You can sometimes get the script sent to you ahead of time, so you have some time with the script, to work these things out.

Script running times can vary at between 2 and 20 minutes.

As always, pace, energy and volume and the things you need to nail, once you’ve worked out what’s going on and who you’re talking to.

Here are 5 different types of work you could be doing in the corporate area:

1 Corporate Video Production in General

Much of this work is targeted towards shareholders, stakeholders and interested parties.

You could be voicing a DVD about The Spring Racing Carnival, something from your City Council about the road works to be carried out over a 3 month period, or from an Insurance Company about their latest Insurance Cover.

Your job is to deliver information.  It’s basically the same as an announcer style read.  The language may be dry, but it’s your job to find the message, as well as the real purpose of this program and deliver it convincingly

2 Government work

Many government departments need to let us know what’s going on, how government is delivering programs and how we can benefit.

Same as above.  It’s information.  How you approach it, will be determined by the way the pictures have been put together, the music or sound bed and the general feeling and style of the piece.

3 How-to and Instructional scripts

For instance, Dulux has a new paint with a linen look.  They create a video with the methods for applying it.

The voice artist narrates like an expert who knows just what to do. Often the casting for this will be more targeted.  For instance, if it’s for a new range of granite bench tops in Bunnings, they might be looking for a voice who sounds like a DIY dad.

Web Navigation

A company may want you to take someone on a tour of the benefits of the product.  Perhaps it’s the Marriott Hotel site.  You click on your destination hotel and someone speaks/shows you through what’s there.

Perhaps a Company has just set up a website that has a process that needs to be taught.  It might be a new accounting system or a new way to log sales.

This is potentially the driest of all, so you need to be careful of not sounding bored, just because the content is boring.  For process navigation, it may be things like, “when you’ve filled in your details, click on the next button.  This will take you to the ‘my account’ section.  Now all you need to do is”

Early Learning & Educational Programs

The way material is delivered to students is largely via online portals through schools.  This work is out there for voice artists, but often companies get people from within the company to do it, with varying success.

This is an area that can be quite a lot of fun.  Often you’ll get the work because you’re versatile, because you may be narrating an interactive video about eco-systems in swamps for 4-7 year olds and may need to be the voice of the frog, the ranger, the kangaroo or any number of other characters in the video.

If you think you have the voice for Corporate style, you need to have a demo that says you can do it.   You’ll rarely get the work unless you have some good samples of you actually doing this style of work.

Need a Corporate Demo?

A Corporate demo will be structured quite differently to a compilation demo.  It really only needs to run no longer than about about 1.5 minutes.  You can include three different pieces, each running about 35-45 secs each, showing your versatility with long-form reading.

If you’re in Melbourne, I have a couple of spots left in my November Studio Practice.  During the course, you can record material for a corporate demo, while I coach you in the techniques for making a splash in the corporate pool as a voice actor.

It runs over 3 consecutive Tuesdays, 12th, 19th and 26th November, 7.30-10.30pm

Just click this link to have a look at the page.