Have you ever received a script from a client, read it over, and honestly thought to yourself that any number of a half dozen reads could potentially work? Maybe you’ve even done a few dry reads for yourself and thought none of them sounded bad!
In a perfect world every script would come with completely clear direction, and every client would know exactly what they wanted. But if you’ve been doing voice over for more than five minutes, you’ve realized that’s just not how it works.
I work with great clients on a near daily basis who have a general idea what they want, but they trust me, as the professional voice talent, to be able to deliver the best read possible for the script and it’s use; be it video, commercial, eLearning, etc.
Two Tools For Better Voice Overs
When you get the feeling that a couple different reads might work, or when the client isn’t a hundred percent clear on the direction they want the voice over to take, there are a couple of tools you might be able to turn to to help you out.
Storyboards: I do a lot of explainer video work. It’s not uncommon for producers and clients to send me visual storyboards for these projects. I work with corporate and eLearning clients that will sometimes send storyboards as well. More often than not, you can really get a feel for the direction of the project, and thereby for the appropriate read, but going over the storyboard.
Music Beds: Even more so than storyboards, I LOVE it when clients send me their chosen music bed. Often, within 10 seconds of listening to the track, I can pretty much know exactly what style of read and what tone of voice I need to use to deliver the perfect voice over.
Two tools for better directed voice overs… storyboards and music beds. Click to Tweet
Don’t Be Afraid To Ask
Just this week I was in a conference call with a producer and client discussing a project I was going to be voicing. There was a general idea of the feel they wanted for the voice over, but there wasn’t an absolute consensus. I suggested the client select a music bed they liked and I’d deliver a read based on their choice.
The bed they chose was actually quite different from what I was expecting, and I took the voice over read in a totally different direction. When I delivered the final recording, the client absolutely loved it!
If you’re unsure of the direction, or if the client is unsure, asking for a storyboard and/or a music bed might be just the tool you need to deliver a professional voice over that perfectly meets their need!