Voice Tones & Styles
Voice overs come in many different shapes and styles. What you would record for TV or radio may not be something for an educational video.
The tone of your voice is also what you need to consider. What tone of voice do you have? Is it deep, guttural (movie trailer deep) or higher pitched, young sounding (like friend next door)?
Style without fashion!
Find your voice!
Here are several examples of voice over styles that I have recorded during my career.
Hard sell: This style is normally heard in a car commercial, Hair Salon, Concert, (Something exciting). This is a voice over that is fast, to the point and lots of information. Background music is normally faster, driving force...makes you feel like you have to hurry up and buy. It's called Hard Sell because the point of it is to make you run as fast as you can to go buy this product or service.
Serious Tone: Normally used for commercials, message on hold, corporate, educational...exp: Law office, Funeral home, Doctors office, Bookstore, Some sort of non-profit or foundation. Of course it always depends on what the style the client wants. This isn't particularly depressing but a more serious tone that is friendly but not higher-pitched or fast moving. It's to make the person more relaxed even in a serious situation. Thinking friendly, somewhat serious, soothing. Music is slower, methodical, even classical.
Conversational: Can be used for a Doctors office, Lumber Company, Veterinary Office, Doggie Daycare, Kids daycare, School, Bookstore, etc. This is the friend next door type and can be one of the most challenging. Conversational is very popular right now and engages the listener as if you're in a conversation with a them or a friend. Lots of people love this type of voice over style for their companies because it sounds friendly and non-confrontational. Music is faster, lighter sounding, fun.
Regular read - A regular read could be for anything, depending on what the client wants. This is what I call a regular straight read with normal inflection that can be used for just about any client. Music should always match the style of the company you're doing the voice over for. I always stick with something neutral that isn't too fast or too slow and seems to match my voice.
Tone of voice! Here's a few questions to ask yourself to figure out the kind of tone your voice sounds like. Finding your voice or tone is key to figuring out what niche or types of voice overs your voice will fit. For example if you have a super low voice then more than likely you won't do a voice over for children's clothes or something for a young adult. However if you have a higher-pitched voice then you won't be doing voice overs for a script that requires a deep (movie trailer) type of voice.
What tone of voice do you have?
How would you describe your voice?
Is it deep, older sounding, young adult, child like?
Can you do different tones? Deep & higher pitched?
Similar to singing...how many octaves can your voice go?
Have you tried different tones to see what you voice is capable of?