Voice Over Training Guide

Wondering what kind of voice over training you need to have a successful voice over career? Browse this checklist of what good voice over classes should offer and which voice over acting classes are best for the types of voiceovers you want to do.

What makes a great voice?

When we hear actors like James Earl Jones, we can’t help but acknowledge that some people have more interesting voices then others. But you don’t need to have a movie trailer voice to have a voice over career.

Actually, with good voice over training, most actors can become successful voice over artists. That’s because there’s much more to voice over acting then the natural quality of your voice or the ability to speak like a funny character.

Here’s what you’ll need to succeed:

  1. Diction, of course, is very important, so speech classes are a must for those who don’t have perfect enunciation.
  2. “Voice acting” is just as much about voice as it is about acting, so if you’re serious about voice-overs, you’ll want to take a good acting class before you get started with your demo and before you start thinking about voice-over classes.
  3. Once you’ve covered simple diction and basic acting skills, it’s time to work on specific voice over skills by picking a good voice-over class.

Here’s a checklist of what voice over classes should include:

-A good voice over class should teach you how to interpret copy and take direction.

-It should provide warm-up and vocal exercises and offer tips on how to keep your voice healthy.

-It should teach you how to use pitch, tone, volume and speed to modulate your voice for specific voice over jobs.

-It should offer some pointers on how to market yourself as a voice over artist, including assistance with your voice-over demo.

-It should give you the opportunity to work in a real recording studio so you can learn the Dos and Donts of the sound booth and some basic microphone technique.

If you want a voice over career in a specific area like commercial voice overs or animation, then you may want to get additional voice over training. Here’s a list of the skills required for different types of voice over jobs:

    1. Commercial Voice Over Jobs
      You’ll do well at commercial voice over auditions if you understand commercials and know how to analyze commercial copy. A good commercial voice-over workshop will not only teach you how to break down commercial copy, it will also help you practice a range of selling voices, f rom hard sell to low sell, and choose appropriate material for your commercial voiceover demo. If no commercial voice over class is available in your area, enlist in a regular commercial acting class.
    2. TV and Movie Voice Over Jobs
      You’ll need acting skills for narration jobs. Looping requires improvisation, but there’s no need to take a class since no one will be able to make out what you say. All you need is to hold a conversation and have fun!
    3. Dubbing voice-over jobs
      Dubbing requires lip-synching, which is a whole art in itself. Even if you’re not interested in voice-overs, this is an important skill to have as a film actor because you could have to dub your own dialogue during an ADR session in post-production (it’s also a cool “special skill” to add to your resume).
    4. Cartoon and Video Game Voice Over Jobs
      Acting skills are very important for these jobs, as is the need to understand voice modulation techniques to create unique and believable characters. Of course, you’ll need some basic lip-synching skills as part of your voice-over training as well. Knowing how to do accents and dialects will also be a big help by giving you access to a wider range of characters.
    5. Narration Voice Over Jobs:

Acting skills are the most important thing in narrations because you need to keep the listener’s attention. Since narrations often involve long chunks of text, your voice over training also needs to include voice placement so your voice won’t get tired or strained when you get a voice over job.

Don’t know where to start?

Read this great book from two voice over actors who work all the time in cartoons, video games, narrations and commercials.

This book covers everything from how to get started in voice-overs to how to find your own unique voice and market yourself in the voice over business. It includes vocal exercises and warm-ups along with specific tips on how to deal with voice over problem areas like plosives.

The writers also share their secrets on…

  • what happens in a recording booth
  • how to keep your voice at its best
  • how to do well at voice over auditions
  • where to find a good voice over agent
  • how to set up a home studio
  • how to put together a voice over demo for commercials, animation, promos or narrations
  • … and much more!

Best of all, this book is really fun to read so you don’t feel you’re studying while you complete your voice over training.

You can look for it here:

Watch the short video below to see the writers, Tara and Yuri, share what they love about voice overs.

To read voice over training tips from Tara and Yuri, check out this interview published in our newsletter.

Once you have taken a good voice over class and feel ready to work, it’s time to record your voice over demo.

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