Voice Actor. Author. Alien. Human

Hiring a Voiceover Artist: Do I Really Need a Voice Actor?

Welcome to the Hiring a Voiceover Artist series! You can find the repository of all articles HERE.

So, you’ve got a project, and you’re looking for someone to put a voice to it. You might be a veteran producer, filmmaker, animator, or video game developer. You might be a student, or a brand new producer still trying to figure things out. Before you go any further, there is one important question you need to ask yourself.

Do you really need a voiceover artist?


I know, it seems weird to say anything but that you need to hire one, especially since it’s kind of my career on the line. The truth is, though, that there may be occasions where your extremely limited budget might be better off spent elsewhere.

If you’re still in school, and you don’t stand to profit from whatever it is you’re making, maybe it’s time to barter with someone else who has a decent reading voice. Trade them help on their project for some help on yours. Get something that is “good enough for government work” as we used to say in the Air Force. If having a professional read your work isn’t going to alter the course of your career or your wallet, maybe take a step back and see how you can work around it.

If, however, your project is public facing in any real capacity - greater than a couple of people, especially if those people are decision-makers - then you probably want to consider hiring a professional voiceover artist. It took you tons of time, patience, and love to make your message ready for public consumption; you need to have it delivered by someone who is trained to convey that message in a way that will most strongly resonate with your audience.

Think about the engine of a sports car. It’s meticulously built for power, speed and performance. It’s going to drive beautifully, so you put it in a beautiful frame that will take the greatness of that engine and enhance it with design, aerodynamics, ergonomics. If you took a sledgehammer to the frame of a Lamborghini, you’d still be able to drive it, right? The engine is still there - the core message and the content. But you can hardly say that driving it would be enjoyable. Certainly not to the full potential of the vehicle.

That’s what a good story is like. A good story poorly told is, suddenly, a bad story. Think about how many movies you’ve seen ruined by bad acting. Books you’ve read, ruined by a lack of language mastery.

You want your message to shine - so put it into the caring hands of someone who has spent their life doing just that. And in the next article, I’m going to give some tips on finding that someone. Stay tuned, and don’t forget to subscribe to the blog and follow my Twitter and Facebook page for updates.

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