by Bill DeWees on February 21, 2012

voice oversToday, I want to discuss the importance of recording effective voice overs. I have been a voice talent coach for a long time and I have worked with hundreds of students along the way.

One of the biggest challenges in making effective voice overs is getting the voice artist you are working with to be themselves. This is difficult because most people, especially earlier on in their voice over careers, are trying to be something that they perceived they were supposed to be.

Let Go Of Voice Overs From Your Past

We grew up hearing certain voice overs, voices or watching performers that we thought were good. We then naturally wanted to look like them or to sound like them. However, we are not them and that is okay because we are not supposed to be them. We struggle with the obstacle that I think we have to wrestle with our entire lives and that is becoming ourselves and being comfortable with being ourselves, in this case behind the microphone.

Successful Voice Overs Drop The Announcer!

As I do voice overs, the single most consistent piece of direction that I see on scripts that I receive from casting directors and agents is this: No radio announcers. Many of us, myself included, who are in voice over work, came to the voice over business from a career in radio. We bring with us a number of bad habits from being radio talent.

The first and biggest to overcome is the fact that we sound like typical radio announcers. This is not a good habit for voice overs. If you have been a radio personality for a number of years, you might not even realize that you do it. I received an audition recently from a production house in Las Vegas.

I do many voice overs for them and this particular voice over acting job was for a hospital. The part was for just a regular guy, most of the scripts that you will audition for and record are just looking for the man or the woman next door. To be successful doing voice overs, you really have to get to the point where you do not sound like a radio personality or an announcer.

Better Voice Overs In Just 4 Steps

Here’s a quick 4-step process to helping you get past this hurdle and recording great voice overs. First, drop the headphones. When you listen to yourself in your headphones, it tends to exacerbate the problem of you sounding like an announcer. The more you hear yourself, the more you want to be an announcer. The next thing that you want to do is not project your voice.

That goes hand in hand with the third thing and that is you want it to sound and feel more intimate. Visualize that the person that you’re talking to and that their ear is three to six inches away from your mouth. The best way to do that is to cozy up to the microphone. Lastly, you want to use normal inflections. Think in your mind “How would a regular person, not an announcer, say this line?”

Afterward, find the words of emphasis, words that evoke emotion that you can work a little bit, pause, and give them special attention. I know it’s tough to really learn these important steps in a three to five minute read, but hopefully you began recording effective voice overs this way and find these steps to have helped. Remember: drop the headphones, do not project, work close to the microphone, make it sound intimate and use normal inflections.

As you go back and listen to your voice overs and voice over recordings, think, “Would a normal person talk this way or am I announcing?” Identify words and phrases of emotion that are in need of emphasis and slow down to work those phrases and those words. You will be well on your way to doing great auditions and getting great voice over jobs because you will no longer sound like an announcer.

Your Voice Overs Are Sounding Better Already

You will sound like the real person that you are and who they want to hire to record effective voice overs. As always, I wish you all the best success in recording effective voice overs or whatever you are tackling today.

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Who Is Bill DeWees and

Bill DeWees is a professional voice over talent and voice over coach. Bill's voice over credits inlude Warner Bros, Microsoft, Dell, National Geographic, AstraZeneca, Whirlpool, Quicken and many more household names both globally and across the US.

Bill's website provides valuable voice over training including techniques to record better voice overs, strategies to close more voice over jobs and step by step methods to build a voice over career and business.

Bill DeWees delivers his own style of voice over training through a range of engaging online courses, live workshops, events and personal one on one coaching sharing all his secrets from his own 6-figure voice over business to help you build yours. To connect with Bill or get additional information visit

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