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How to get Started (or Break Into) Voice Over Recording Work

by Matt Logan – June 2015

 

Regularly I receive e-mails from folks asking how they might break into doing voice-over recording work. While there is no “right” answer, I usually tell people something like this:

 

Step one is to put together a demo MP3. You should be able to find examples of others online. The better and more impressive this sounds, the better chance one will have of getting attention when e-mailing your resume around. Step two would be to try to get a job, entry level if necessary, in radio or TV, reading news, commercials, running the board during ballgames, anything. Working in the business around others who already know it would greatly speed-up the learning curve. The number of verbal and/or speech related tricks one can pick up quickly working around others will astound you.

 

Some examples of this are to typically end sentences with a drop in intonation rather than a rise. This sounds more professional. Another example, if you make a mistake, rather than drawing attention to it; simply say the correct word/phrase appended with the word “rather” (and simply move on). This way one draws the least amount of attention to the error.

 

With the advent of computer automation, the number of staff members at radio stations (example) has been dramatically cut in the last 20 years; which in theory may make it harder to get “an in” then it used to be. Now radio and TV stations “voice-track” shows in advance or simulcast shows in multiple markets while inserting local elements; to make the show feel like it is local. The technology while remarkable has reduced the number of live shows created by on-air staff, as well as interactions by listeners with air staff.

 

Those are the best suggestions I can offer in terms of trying to break into the “voice over recording” or “announcer business”. I hope you find some of it helpful.

 

P.S. Spend a few minutes on YouTube and Google the name “Don LaFontaine”. May he rest in peace, Don was one of the most famous voice over professionals ever to have lived, and I know you will find his work inspiring.

 

 

ML/jk

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