The job of a voiceover announcer is a bit different than that of a voiceover narrator. Narration is the underscoring of a presentation. In the case of a documentary, it is merely words that tell us what we are looking at on the picture. It is not a dramatic read or news read. It is an underscoring-type, flat read with a downward inflection at times.
The voiceover announcer, on the other hand, is presenting something and is very punchy. Whether the announcer is announcing at a local benefit or the Academy Awards, he/she is presenting something that is extremely important or special. His/her voice shows enthusiasm and energy.
Getting into the Voiceover Announcer Niche
There are many different types of voices needed in the commercial world: gravelly voices, low voices, flat voices, whiny voices and even average voices. Therefore, with a little determination, you can still enter the field even if you do not think you have a classic ‘good voice’.
There is much more to successful voiceovers than just having a great sounding voice. Although having clear speech is important, you also have to be able to read another person’s words (script) and have them sound sincere and believable like they were coming directly from you. This is more in line with timing and acting ability than voice quality. This skill can be learned with proper training. The ability to persist and a strong desire will be what you need.
You might be wondering why you should take acting classes. The reason is you will need to be able to ‘speak’ the characters you are doing. An animation class alone will not cut it. You need to begin the process slowly. It’s not about your voice at this particular moment; it’s about the intention behind your voice that will give it shape. After three months of acting class, you will have opened yourself up and can now move into voiceover classes.
Voiceover classes should be simple enough to find. You can do a search on Google for classes in your city. Often, performing art centers and universities offer classes. Positive word of mouth referrals are a great way to find good classes, so ask around.
Find your Niche and Range
Now that you have conditioned your voice, it’s time for you to choose your market and decide your range. For instance, are you the stadium announcer person, the classy BMW voice or the Don Pardo game show host? You might be all three! Figuring this out is important before you attempt to get out there and promote yourself.
Ask your coach what type of voice you have. Are you the edgy, hip voice or the everyman’s voice? Do you have a natural announcer voice? Figure out your range and foster it. This is how you’re going to make your money. Stretch your voice even more by trying out character voices, accents and more.
Equipment is not a big deal. You can find the simple USB microphone for around $100. You can obtain recording devices from anywhere from $200 to $400; however, chances are your computer is already equipped with this software.
Finally yet importantly is your professional demo. This is critical to have when out building your niche in voiceover. You can hire a professional production company to add in sound effects and music to make it sound as if you have already done commercials, but you will pay anywhere from $800 to $2,000 for this. In any event, you need your demo.
Does being a voiceover announcer sound like something you would like to do? Get started on your career today.