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How Long Should My Voiceover Demo Be?

QuestionI think the PVR is one of mankind’s greatest achievements. Perhaps my standards are a little low. But really… I do.

Did you know the average one hour primetime television drama is actually only around 45 minutes long? That means the other 15 minutes are commercials. Can you sit through commercials? I can’t anymore. Not since I got my PVR a couple years ago. Now, watching commercials is like watching paint dry. Unless it’s a funny commercial. Or one I voiced. 😉

My point is simply this… thanks to iPhones and iPads and PVR’s and high speed Internet and everything else that has turned us into an instant gratification society, our attention spans are getting less and less.

So how long should your voiceover demo be?

I recommend keeping it between 60 and 90 seconds.

If it’s much longer than that, you’ll lose them. Think about it. If you can’t sit through a TV commercial which is likely either 30 or 60 seconds, do you really think a client is going to listen to your 5 minute demo? Especially if they’ve got dozens of other demos they need to listen to?

Probably not.

Be violent when you’re editing your demo. Cut it. Then cut it again. Then cut it a little more to be safe. This is your first impression. Make it count!

That doesn’t mean you can’t showcase your other work. Post it on YouTube. Put it on your web site. Promote, promote, promote. Just make sure your demo is the gold… about 60 to 90 seconds worth!

What do you think? How long is your demo?