The demand for voice-over recording is booming. With that, there is a huge influx of budding voice-over artists in the industry every year. The average voice-over artist has to go through at least 200 auditions before they land a job!
But that’s no reason to lose hope.
To make your mark, you not only have to hone your craft but sidestep the most common voiceover recording mistakes beginners make.
This complete guide outlines the errors that casting directors look out for to choose the most suitable voice-over artists for a project.
Voice-Over Recording Mistake 1: Reading Too Fast
Giving your first voice over recording audition is bound to get that adrenaline pumping. Whether it’s the nervousness or the need to show off reading abilities, most rookie voiceover artists fly through the text.
Reading too fast is likely to mar the understandability of the content. It also incurs the dreaded possibility that the audience will not remember anything from the voice-over recording in the ad, and no producer wants that!
This seemingly simple mistake will put you behind competitors who can control their speaking rate and speed to allow the customer to grasp the information.
If you’re a new voiceover artist, remember that slow and steady wins the race (but not too slow!). Choose a reading speed that does not compromise the clarity of the content. Make sure to enunciate!
Spend time understanding the script and put stress on relevant words and phrases to convey the message properly. Pause once in a while so the viewers have sufficient time to absorb the information.
Voice-Over Recording Mistake 2: Setting the Audio Volume Too High or Low
The voice-over recording volume could compromise your reads or deliver a satisfactory result. You may read professionally, but this mistake could set you far behind competitors.
If the volume is too low and barely audible, the audience might not be able to hear what you’re saying. If the audio is too high, you run the risk of garbling the audio or blasting the listener’s eardrums!
Most people think the audio volume won’t be an issue once hired. They fail to realize that you must ensure the audio is clear to get hired in the first place.
Understand audio levels to set the right audio volume. We recommend staying between -10db and -20db to ensure the audio is clear enough to be understood without becoming too loud.
You can even use audio recording software that indicates if your audio recording is in jeopardy of being clipped or overly loud.
Voice-Over Recording Mistake 3: Using Poor Quality Equipment
Most beginners aren’t willing to invest in expensive, high-quality equipment that would drain their budget. While that’s fair, most low-quality equipment is unsuitable for professional voice-over recordings, especially microphones.
You’ll deliver an unimpressive demo that might deprive you of lucrative opportunities with the best casting directors out there.
Poor quality equipment, especially microphones, will pick up many outside noises. Don’t let cheap equipment come in the way of conveying your full potential to the producers and casting directors in high-competition auditions!
The equipment you choose plays a vital role in how your voice-over recording turns out. Instead of choosing the cheapest option, find the balance between fancy and low-quality microphones.
A decent mic will cost you between $60 and $100 but will make a remarkable difference in the final demo. It would be smart to test out a few options based on the results and your budget before you commit to one.
Voice-Over Recording Mistake 4: Making Mouth Noises
Ever heard of unwanted mouth noises interrupting the message in an ad? No, right? That’s what you should aim for, even as a beginner.
Lip smacks, pops, and clicks during a voiceover recording sound unprofessional and run the risk of your dismissal straight away. You may not notice these mouth noises in your everyday life, but a voice-over recording will amplify these sounds.
A noise-free voice over recording will allow the casting director to concentrate on the clarity of your voice, tone, and voice without being distracted by unnecessary sounds.
No one deliberately wants to add mouth noises to their audio, but how do you avoid them?
Prevention is key!
Instead of waiting to edit these noises out, especially as a novice, avoid the occurrence from the start. Ensure you’re hydrated, as dehydration can majorly cause involuntary lip licks and smacks in the middle of an otherwise perfect voice recording.
Voice-Over Recording Mistake 5: Using a Flat Tone
As a beginner, you might be auditioning for several voice-over recordings in a single day. Due to this, you might resort to a flat, almost robotic tone that fails to do justice to the script.
Casting directors listen to thousands of voice-over artists, so a dull delivery will fail to get you noticed. Ad producers want a voice-over artist who can deliver their message with enthusiasm and fervor.
Since you’re just entering the industry, you don’t want to earn the reputation of that voice-over artist with a flat tone!
As a novice, you might rely on muscle memory rather than creativity when auditioning, as it’s safe and familiar. However, this inadvertently means you lose the uniqueness you bring to every voice-over recording.
Treat every audition differently. Read and understand the script, and then immerse yourself in it. Practice at least five variations in your tone and delivery style and incorporate the most appropriate one in your voice recording. Your enthusiasm should be infectious, forcing the viewers to want to listen to what you’re saying.
Voice-Over Recording Mistake 6: Stopping When You Make a Mistake
As a beginner, you are bound to make mistakes during your voice-over recordings. The faster you learn that, the better! The idea is to keep going instead of stopping to apologize every time you fumble.
Voice-over artists may mispronounce or miss a word, but stopping to restart will only make it worse.
Stopping every time you make a mistake will make you more self-conscious and may lead to more slips and errors in the remaining recording.
No matter how often you practice, you may still make a mistake, and that’s okay! As they say, to err is human.
Instead of panicking or starting from the top, which will only waste time, trust the audio engineer to edit out these mistakes. Don’t let a single setback get into your head so as not to mess up the entire recording. You may signal the audio engineer to take note of the slip to help during editing.
Voice-Over Recording Mistake 7: Trying to Mimic Other Voice Actors
There are many successful voice-over actors, and you can draw inspiration from them. But creating your voice with an amalgamation of their tone and delivery will only make for an inauthentic read.
A good voice-over actor speaks from their heart and without much pretension. Casting directors take hundreds of auditions daily, so don’t think you can dupe them by mimicking other voice actors.
Ad producers are constantly on the hunt for unique, authentic voices to win the audience’s trust.
Voice-over recording is more of a natural talent. Instead of trying to incorporate an aspect of other voice-over actors in your speech, hone your talent.
Create your niche so casting directors want to hire you for certain gigs. The more authentic you are, the higher your chances of landing a job (or long-term contract) with a company.
There is immense potential for voice-over artists. There is just as much competition. It can be tough for a beginner to make their mark in casting directors’ minds, who listen to several voice-over recordings in a single day.
These seven voice-over recording mistakes can tamper with your chances of being hired. Realizing how to fix these common errors can set you ahead of your competition and ensure you deliver a professional voice-over that gets the product or service noticed.
Check our Free Voice-Over sample scripts for your demos!
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