Try to communicate with customers or clients — without talking.
Try to describe your products or services, try to field their questions, direct their calls, market to them without using a voice. It is possible to do that and some individuals and entities manage it very well.
But if you need to use a voice to promote your products or services, then you need a professional voice.
You need a voice that is, for the most part, understandable, one that fits your message and one that can convey the most appropriate mood for your message. It may not be a gorgeous voice. Maybe your product or service needs a particular ruggedness or quirk or some other quality to attract a particular audience. That’s fine. But that voice has to be able to interpret your script and deliver your message in the most effective way. That voice represents you, your company or your cause. It has to be the best voice for the job.
Some business owners think they can produce professional voiceover themselves. Frankly, they aren’t always right but how many clients are willing to say:
“You know your voicemail greeting really sucks?”
– or –
“I want to hear more about your new product line, but can’t understand the narration on your promotional DVD!”
Most of the time, you just won’t hear from those clients — because they will have gone with the outfit that sounds more professional.
Most people agree they need a professional sounding voice, but what they are really asking is whether they need to hire someone to be that voice.
Do you need to outsource your voiceover project? You may find that you or someone in your company or organization are more than capable of producing the type of voiceover you need to effectively convey your message. If that professional voice is literally right under your nose, that’s awesome. Give yourself a pat on the back and go record your professional voice track.
Do you know how to produce professional voice tracks? Oh no! You were so close to staying in-house, weren’t you? But the fact is that, although computer technology has made it possible for everyday people to produce quality audio tracks, some projects need qualified sound engineering to record voice without hums, pops, clicks or other annoying sound artifacts. Some projects also need quality sound effects and royalty free music beds. Some projects may even require a little ambient echo or some funky distortion or vocoder effects, or just some simple compression and EQ.
Recording, mixing and mastering isn’t something you can learn overnight. When your project needs not just a professionally interpreted script, but also a professionally produced audio track, it may well be time to outsource your voice project to a professional voiceover talent.
Coming soon: How to Hire a Professional Voiceover Talent.