Why Mistakes Matter in the Voice Over Business

Anyone who has been in the voice over business for some time understands that mistakes happen more frequent than desired. While they are inevitable, voice over artists try to limit them as much as possible. They do this in many ways:

  • Practicing as much as possible before recording
  • Checking with the script writer to clarify if something doesn’t sound right
  • Asking someone else to critique the dialogue to catch any mistakes missed by the script writer and voice over artist

While many mistakes may go unnoticed, some end up having a lasting impact. These mistakes can cost a company its reputation or deliver an unintended message.

One example of a mistake that was caught too late was a trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens’. As Mark Hamill was doing the voice over for the trailer, he said “My Father had it.” rather than “My father has it.” As you can see, what he said was the past tense, while what was supposed to be said was the present tense. This sent fans into a frenzy because they thought this meant that Darth Vader was not dead, which means he could show up in The Force Awakens.

It is not easy to clean up mistakes. Sometimes, spokespeople have to make a statement to clear up the confusion. Other times, public relations experts have to step in and save the reputation of a business because of the mistake.

Voice over artists can lose their job when they make a mistake. Their name can be tainted, which could lead to problem finding work again. This can be disastrous when trying to succeed in the voice over industry.

What to Do After a Mistake

As much as you can try not to make a mistake, it does happen from time to time. The following are some tips on how you can mitigate the damage of one.

  • Let the client know about the mistake as soon as you realize it.
  • If the client catches it first, do not question it.
  • Apologize immediately for the mistake.
  • Ask what you can do about it to help the situation that has come out of the mistake.
  • Offer to redo the voice over work with a fast turnaround.
  • Offer to apologize to the public for the mistake.

Showing you care is the best thing you can do after the mistake. There might not be anything you can do, but at least you are offering to do whatever is necessary.

Take your time with your voice over work. The more careful you are, the higher the chances are that you will catch errors before anyone that matters notices them.