When I tell people what I do for a living, I usually get a puzzled look. I guess it’s not something you hear every day. Voice-over announcer. To be honest, I didn’t even know what that meant until I started doing it myself. I am fortunate to have grown up in a bilingual home, where our mom spoke to us in French and our dad in English. Switching from one language to the other just seemed natural to me, not a skill that would become useful.
This is how I got into the industry. One afternoon, sitting on the bleachers at a ball game, a lovely lady heard me speaking French to my mom on the phone and then asked me if I’d like to come into her company’s recording studio to audition as there was a need for bilingual talent. The idea was very exciting and new to me, but I really had no idea what it entailed. It turns out that it wasn’t as simple as just reading a text; I had to be coached on how to read.
When they said they’d have work for me if I was interested, I decided to take a workshop. That’s where I learned the basic techniques and skills needed…but in reality, the more I worked and the more experience I got, the more comfortable and confident I became. It helped to have a wonderful engineer working with me, who was very patient and gave great direction. That’s how I got started, more than 20 years ago! Thank you On-Hold Marketing.
I am now recording mainly from my own home studio and have regular clients that I do work for like On-Hold Marketing. If you think it’s something you’d like to try, all it takes is learning how to read different types of scripts, with varying styles of delivery (this is where a workshop would help) and then to find a good producer to get a demo together to send to agents. You don’t need to sound like an announcer to learn how to become an announcer. Sure, a nice-sounding voice helps, but really what it comes down to is that you’re able to deliver the sound that clients are looking for. Take some time to listen to commercials on the radio and TV; you’ll hear a wide variety of voices all varying in age, accent, tone, and pitch. With some practice and persistence, there are sure to be opportunities for you.
For me, it’s been a great part-time career and honestly hasn’t felt like work at all. Well, other than the larger e-learning projects which require more time and effort. Otherwise, it’s a fun way to earn extra income.
“Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with deeper meaning.” – Maya Angelou