The Importance of Voice Over in Your Video

By August 20, 2015Video Production


Today I wanted to address a question that we often get from clients: how important is the voice over in videos?

Whilst not every video needs a voice over, lots of videos gain something by having someone speaking over the moving images on-screen. And if you do have a voice over in your video, it’s important to get it right. That’s what this post is all about.

The Importance of Voice Over

There’s no denying the fact that a voiceover plays a very important role in the significance of a video. Firstly, we should give a definition of ‘voice over’ and explain exactly what it is.

Voice over is essentially narration over a video. It’s a way of telling the story in words, whilst the images on-screen do the bulk of the heavy-lifting storytelling wise.

As the story presented in your video is so important, if you want your video to be persuasive and effective, and leave a long lasting impression on your viewer, then it’s wise to choose your voice over artist very carefully.

Let’s discuss some reasons why you should pick a talented voice over artist.

An Emotive Voice

Emotions are important in any marketing video. If we can move your audience to feel an emotion (whether it’s joy or sadness, happiness or whimsy), we can get them to feel connected with your product or service.

A skilled voice over artist can add the right emotion to your video. And only the right voice can make someone feel compassionate, happy, sad or excited. The voice adds a human touch to your story. People connect with other people, so the right voice projecting the right emotions is of upmost importance.

But what kind of voice do you need for your video?

Well, if your video is selling an upbeat service like nightclub nights out, for instance, then you’ll want an equally upbeat voice that projects a fun, laid-back, party attitude.

On the other, let’s say you’re selling something far more serious like funeral stationary, for example. Funeral stationary services create orders of service and other printed materials for funerals and wakes. A voice over for this kind of service would be far more sombre and serious.

As a recent example, check out the voice over artist we used in a video for a funeral stationary service called Fitting Farewell:

As you can see, this voice over took a far more serious tone than the kind of voice over we’d expect in the upbeat nightclub example.

It seems obvious using extreme examples like a nightclub promotion and a funeral service, but in some cases the styles of voice over are a little more subtle.

Add Some Personality To Your Video

A professional voice over adds a personality to your video. An experienced voice over artist has the confidence that is needed to deliver the correct high-and-lows, the pauses and the right flow throughout the story they tell.

Quality is the one factor that cannot be denied in a good video. One of the worst things you could possibly do is have a fantastic video that shot and edited perfectly, but then has a terrible voice over. A talented voice over artist brings out the best in the video, rather than detracts from it.

So look for voice over artists who have a long track-record of producing great results. It’s the difference between someone with a voice fit for Radio 4 and a student at university with a 4-track looking to make a bit of beer money!

We have a number of voice over artists we work with regularly and can, of course, find the perfect voice over artist for your project.

Who Is The Perfect Voice Over Artist For Your Video Project?

With that said, we’re often asked what kind of voiceover artist is the perfect one for your project? Here are a few things to look for that can help you find your ideal artist:

1. Clarity and Consistency. The first thing that you should look for in your actor should be the clarity of his voice. He should be able to deliver every word and every sentence without mumbling, garbling or stumbling over any words. It might seem obvious, but you’ll be surprised at how many not-so-professional voice over artists are out there.

The words need be clearly understood. Make sure that in trying to do so, the artist doesn’t overdo it. A Shakespearean theatre background might be perfect some some voice overs, but not others! It should be just right.

2. Pay Attention to Detail. Most people might be unaware of mouth noises. These are the tiniest of sounds that are produced when people talk; the little breathes you take after a sentence and the unnecessary sigh, etc. A skilled voice over artist should be either able to control them or not have them at all.

3. Confidence Is Key. A good voiceover artist must be confident in his vocals. He should have a full control over his voice and should be able to change the loudness, softness, tone and timbre of his tone. And if they’re skilled these changes should be quick.

Here are some points on confidence and how it’s reflected in voice over skill:

  • The artist should be skilled channelling many different kinds of emotions into the microphone.
  • They should be flexible to new ideas for the improvement of their character.
  • A true artist should be able to change and adapt with changes to their script.
  • An experienced artist is comfortable following the written script, but can also come up with ways to enhance the role.
  • A professional artist is connected to his character. They feel the character and whatever he has to say.
  • They sound truly convincing. They project confidence in whatever they say.
  • They need to stay calm, cool and confident at all times.

4. Conversational Skills Are Important. Your professional artist should speak at a conversational speed. Not too many pauses, nor speaking too fast or too slow.

Preferably, your actor should be a native of wherever the product/service is aimed at, since most people find local voices more reassuring and trustworthy. Sometimes, though, the voice over needs to be spoken in a certain accent or dialect.

5. A Team Player. Your artist should be a team player. If you have more than one voiceover artist in your video, then they should be able to perfectly coordinate with one another. Being a team player makes everything far easier. You’ll find most professional voice over artists are used to working in a team and have good social skills.

These are all the qualities and attributes that you should be looking for in your professional voiceover artist.

I hope this has been helpful! Now you know why a voiceover is important in your videos and you know what to look for in a professional voice over artist.


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