Voice-Over Narrations: 5 Tips For Better Performance

A voice-over is a narration of a script, usually done by a specialist voice actor. It is used in various fields like radio shows, television productions, theatre, presentations, etc.

Since voice-over narration is slowly gaining traction, many people are looking to work in the field. Whether it is for audio transcription services or a media project, voiceovers have guidelines that need to be followed for best results.

That said, if you’re looking for tips on how to improve your voice-over narrations, you’ve come to the right place.

We’ve put together a small list of tips that are easy to follow and guarantee you having a better performance.

So with that in mind, let’s take a look!

1. Find Your Voice

While your normal speaking voice would be fine for everyday, in-person conversations, it won’t work well for voiceovers. This does not necessarily mean that you have to adapt a game-host voice that is loud and theatrical. 

When you transcribe an audio file or a video, the script you read is written with a certain narrative in terms of tonality. With this, you need to speak clearly and make sure your character fits the narration spectrum. This means that you’ll also need to personalize your voice according to the script.

However, make sure that your narration voice is something that you’re comfortable with and can easily use. Clarity here is of the utmost importance.

2. Read The Script And Warm Up Your Voice Beforehand

The next thing you could do is warm up your voice by reading the script. While this may take a fair share of time, you’re essentially doing two things at once – reading the content of the script and getting your voice ready.

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With this, you find the right voice tone, volume and projection, and pace. This makes you comfortable with the narration part of the script. Similarly, by going over the material, you get a better understanding of the content. You can then alter your tone or pace to better suit the script.

Since certain material can be challenging to read aloud, no matter how simple it is, by practising beforehand, you can familiarise yourself with the content for better flow during the voice-over.

3. Don’t Be Afraid To Make Notes

As you’re going through the script, you might find certain areas that are different and need a tone change or a different pitch. In such cases, don’t be afraid to make small notes on the script itself. 

Whenever you’re going over the content, keep a pencil in your hand. You can then make notes on where to pause, change your pitch or enunciate to deliver a better voice-over narration.

You can then try to go over the script and read it aloud to see the noticeable change and improvement in the narration.

4. Have The Mic In The Right Place

Once you’ve found the right voice and gone over the content of the script, try practicing with a mic. In case you don’t have a studio set up at your home and need to do it elsewhere, make sure you make arrangements accordingly.

With this, when you start rehearsing, you will get a better understanding of further voice changes that you’ll need to make. One thing you need to take care of is the positioning of the mic. Since your voice will change according to the distance between you and the mic, keep it in a comfortable position.

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If need be, place a pop filter that will keep you at a distance from the mic since you may get engrossed in the script and unintentionally come closer.

5. Take Care Of Yourself And Stay Hydrated

Lastly, the most important thing you need to do is take care of yourself. Consuming certain products like coffee and alcohol or screaming may have a negative impact and affect your voice. 

This means that you’ll need to take better care of your voice and make sure not to strain your vocal cords. Additionally, do not underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep and proper hydration; these are also key in maintaining your voice.

The day before the narration, rest as much as you can and do the required vocal warm-ups to ensure a smooth voice-over.

To Sum Up

Voice-over narrations may seem easy but there’s a lot of hard work that goes behind the process. From getting the audio transcription to rehearsing the script, a voice actor needs to keep themselves prepared and ready their voice to get the perfect voice-over.

By following these basic tips, you’re guaranteed a close to perfect voice-over!

Johnny Thompson

Johnny Thompson is a senior reporter for Generator Research in Los Angeles, reporting on technology, business, finances, and more. He previously worked as a reporter for the Wall Street Journal and got his start at newspapers in New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.

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