Updated: Sep 23
If you are embarking on your first big voiceover job, congratulations! If you feel nervous, remind yourself that every successful voice actor once had their very first big gig too. To help you nail your first voiceover job like a pro, here are some tips to keep in mind.
Understand the project
Before you begin recording, make sure you fully understand the project you are working on. This includes the tone, pace, and style of the project, as well as the target audience. Familiarize yourself with the script. This includes the other characters, if applicable. You never know if they might ask you to read for another role! By understanding the whole project, you can tailor your performance to meet the specific needs of the client and increase your chances of success. When in doubt, ask questions!
Warm-up your voice
Just like any other performance, it's essential to warm up your voice before recording. This helps to prevent strain and injury and ensures that your voice is in top condition for the recording. Some simple warm-up exercises include humming, lip trills, and tongue twisters.
Practice your lines
Take time to practice your lines before recording to ensure that you feel confident and prepared. This will help you to deliver your lines smoothly and with the right tone and inflection. Don't over-rehearse though, as you don't want to get locked into a particular read and not be able to break out of it, should the client direct you differently.
Use the right equipment
If recording from your own studio, you need to use the right equipment to deliver a professional-quality voiceover. This includes a good-quality microphone, headphones, and recording software - see our recommended & affordable gear list here! Invest in high-quality equipment to ensure that your recording is clear and free from background noise. For your first couple of jobs, it can help to take the pressure off if you rent out a local studio & engineer. This way you don't have to be an engineer and an actor all at the same time, especially if you will be directed live during the session.
Speaking of taking direction, the client or director may provide input on how they want the lines delivered. Be open to feedback and take direction on board to ensure that you deliver the performance that the client is looking for.
Voiceover work can be physically demanding, and it's essential to stay hydrated to keep your vocal cords in top condition. Drink plenty of water before and during the recording session to keep your voice clear and prevent strain. We recommend room temperature water with a little bit of lemon. If your mouth is dry, eating a green apple before the session really helps!
Be patient with yourself
Remember that voiceover work takes practice and patience. Don't get discouraged if your first recording isn't perfect, and keep working at it to improve your skills. With time and practice, you'll become more confident and polished in your voiceover work.
Nailing your first voiceover job requires preparation, practice, and patience. By following these tips, you can deliver a professional-quality recording that will impress your clients and set you on the path to a successful voiceover career. Good luck!