Here are some VOICEOVER SESSIONS TIPS that will help to get you called back for repeat voiceover work.
Are you a dream to work with? Or a nightmare?
It is very often the recording engineer who can be highly influential in casting decisions in voiceover. They can either recommend you or suggest that another ‘easier’ voice is found for the project.
Getting ready for the recording session
- Check noisy jewellery and clothing. Soft cottons are good, silks and nylons not so good.
- Be warmed up and ready to go – that means brain, body, and voice.
- DO NOT rock up with coffee in hand.
- Turn your phone off.
Hydration and hygiene
- Hydrate! Drink loads of water as a daily habit and sip in the session to avoid dry mouth sounds (annoying little clicks picked up on mic).
- Shower as close to the session as possible. Do not cover yourself in smelly perfumes or body sprays. I can very clearly remember a few VOs who were never be called back because of poor hygiene. Yuck!
At the session
- Say hi and smile.
- Give a real level. When you are asked to speak ‘on mic’ to test for levels give a level somewhere close to how you expect to give a take of the actual script.
- Go easy on the volume – in most cases think of speaking to just one person.
‘The mistakes don’t really matter – it is how you handle them that really matters.’
- Get into the habit of acknowledging mistakes by leaving a silent 3-second pause – the engineer will love you for this. When you do make a mistake, don’t keep saying sorry!
- Look but don’t touch. If you need something adjusting, ask.
- Stay calm – breathe. When it feels like it is going wrong, it probably isn’t and worrying about it will not improve the session or your performance.
- Listen. Listen to the direction and the discussion between producer and client.
- Stay open, playful and flexible.
- Take just as much notice and give just as much weight to the direction suggestions from the engineer as to the client, producer/director. Thank them.
- Be positive, friendly and someone who is fun to work with.
Often, those in a technical role such as ‘Sound Engineer’ can suffer from what is known as ‘Curse of The Expert’…..meaning they know full well what they are talking about and expect you to just get it. Make it your mission to learn as much as you can about the technical side of VO. Remember, you want to be the engineer’s dream and not an engineer’s nightmare. In their role, they are often asked what they thought of the talent so creating a good relationship from the start is important.
Don’t hang around. They’ve got work to do and you’ve got places to be! We’ve got loads of other voiceover session tips and much more over on our training site