Here you find the writings of a madman. Well, perhaps not that mad, but certainly a man. Scroll down to see what has been happening and the various articles which David has written.
I am a voiceover talent. Well, when I say talent, what I mean is I read words into a microphone, save it as a sound file and then send it to my client and (hopefully) get paid.
Easy, right? OK, it is a lot easier than digging a ditch in blistering heat, or torrential rain for that matter!
How easy is my job as a voiceover though? Is my voice any more valuable than Joe or Jane who works at the local store? Well, that depends on your point of view really. Read on and you will see what I mean.
There are websites which allow you to hire a freelancer for what seems to be very cheap indeed. How do people make a living from this? Well, in the case of voiceover there are additional services which are offered by them to enhance what you have already bought. Alternatively, they may have just started out in the business, or perhaps use this marketing method to get further work after this particular gig is finished. After all, who wants to work for seven pounds fifty a day?
Is it worth paying more than seven pounds fifty to get a voiceover for your thirty second radio advert or your elearning project? Let’s see.
1. Let’s start with you
Let me make a prediction in terms of voiceover. Your logo, your colour scheme and the font you use for your signage tells the world who you are and what you do. Shouldn’t you do the same for any communication from your business? Remember a voiceover is just an extension and representation of your brand.
2. Paying for the equipment
I regularly invest in my equipment. Of course that’s my choice, but it means the quality of the sound is superior, the job is finished quicker and my clients are super happy with what they receive. I have to get the money to pay for the equipment somehow, and that is the same as any other business. I did tell you it was a business didn’t I?
3. It’s only reading a few words. How hard can that be?
Similarly to any other job, as a voiceover talent you need at least some training to succeed. Not just voice acting training, but sound engineering and business training too. Another cost to the business, and it is ongoing.
4. Audition, audition, audition. Then audition.
So, you want a sample before you commit to hiring a voice over? No problem. Voiceover talents are used to that. However, consider if you do around fifty auditions a day. That is fifty times you have recorded a script for fifty separate people. That is your whole day gone and you have no income to show for it.
5. Quality? Use your smartphone
No really, use your smartphone. After all, nobody really needs a soundproofed and treated room which cost thousands of pounds do they? Just record in the back office. It will sound just fine. Honest.
I am sure I haven’t exhausted this list, but it gives you a slight insight into why it may be worth paying a little extra for the voice you want.
Do you want a British male voice over who is friendly, warm and sincere? Give me a call.
You want a 1200 word, 30 second radio advert recorded to broadcast quality for seven pounds fifty? Ask Neil in accounts. He’s got a nice voice and just bought the latest smartphone with a voice recorder on it. Is he a voiceover talent?
David Ayers is a British voiceover talent.
What is the best way to speak to your fellow people?
The devil is in the detail
I had an unusual email sent to me from one of those ‘blue chip’ companies. Why do they call them ‘blue chip’ and not ‘red’ or ‘pink’ or ‘yellow’ was beyond me, and why ‘chip’? It all relates to poker so I believe, however I digress from my email. Incidentally, it had nothing to do with being a voiceover talent.
The key part of the email read
“We want to give you a pandoras box full of delights”.
Very kind of them I must say.
I know what the marketing department of this company wanted to convey, but what did it really mean?
Pandora’s box? I will let you ‘google’ that one. However let me just say that opening this box is letting all the horrors out into the world (excluding voiceovers of course). Once opened and all the devilish contents have been jettisoned, all that is left at the bottom of the box is hope.
I wrote back thanking them for their kind offer, but I have all the troubles I need at the moment. I mean, what is a voiceover talent to do?
Compliments are great. Most of the time.
I read a wonderful testimonial this week.
“Richard delivered a seminal voiceover for me”.
It would have been great if the client had not been married, but well, sometimes the single life is far better.
Seminal actually means delivering semen you see. Perhaps the voiceover was for a cattle breeding programme and Richard was particularly keen to contribute. He must have been a very willing male voice talent!
It’s critical. Let’s pull together and give one hundred and ten per cent
How many times have you heard that? If your answer is ‘never’, then either you are about sixteen or you have never worked for anyone before. Or both.
Fortunately I have two small children who always tell the truth. Well, unless it involves missing marshmallows and then suddenly the dog is guilty.
Either way, my two small analysts can see through the lies of ‘one hundred and ten per cent’, ‘it’s critical’ and ‘let’s all pull together’. If children can see it as ridiculous then what does it say for those who take it seriously? If you cannot see this then you are clearly destined for some kind of management role. Congratulations.
David Ayers is a British voiceover talent (who struggles to take life seriously).
Do you trust me?
Today I was in a coffee-shop which was part of a large multinational chain. I browsed the menu and ordered a café latte. The guy at the checkout asked for a different price to the one shown.
He could see the confusion on my face.
“Yes, it’s to help our customers who bring their own cups. It’s a service we offer our customers and also to help reduce waste. Cups cost an extra five pence”
What did I think of this coffee chain? Will I go there again? Maybe, if I am desperate. As I was keen to turn a completely peed off situation into something a tad more positive, I tried to apply this to my voiceover business. In fact as a British male voiceover talent who is reserved as we all are, I tried to complain but nothing came out!
Does everyone (or anyone) trust me?
Heavy question. Hmmm. Deep soul searching. Let me explain.
Within voice acting / voiceover there are two aspects to this question.
1. Actors are essentially good liars
Please don’t send me hate mail. I mean they are good at pretending to be someone or something else.
2. Businesses are bad liars.
In other words, businesses should be sincere and tell the truth. Shouldn’t they?
Quite a paradox eh? Well yes.
In this article I am focussing on the business side of things so let me expand on this part.
Should businesses lie?
Well of course many do tell lies, but should they? I don’t mean this as a moral conundrum, but for their business profitability (AKA their bottom line).
As with many things in life, there are many variables: the industry, the market, the culture and so on. However, I am going to focus here on voiceover or voice acting as a business.
From what I have seen and learnt, within the voiceover business everyone seems to know everyone else. So if you’re doing something of interest, then this gets communicated to many, many others and pretty soon everyone. This, of course, includes any current or future clients.
So, does this mean you should do like your mum said and always tell the truth?
Yes. However, also present yourself in the best way possible. Be the best version of you that you can.
Anyone fancy an overpriced coffee? No thanks.
British male voiceover talent