You hear the phrase “show don’t tell” a lot in film and video production, and for good reason. After all, if you can figure out a way to make your point in a purely visual way rather than having to guide the viewer with sound, then that’s usually the way to go. It tends to result in a more impactful and memorable experience.
However, that doesn’t mean that sound doesn’t matter at all, because it absolutely does. Make no mistake, everything from the sound effects you may use for your project to your choice of music will have huge repercussions when it comes to the viewing experience.
Today’s post, though, isn’t about the value and power of sound in general but one particular part of sound design: the voice-over. No, it’s not always necessary nor right for every project, but when it is, it’s often one of the most important elements in the entire video. So, read on to learn a few tips for ensuring you’re getting the most out of your V.O.
Quality recording is critical.
Before we even get into the types of voices you should consider using for your voiceovers as well as what those voices need to accomplish, we first need to stress the importance of a quality recording. Why? Because without that the people you choose, the things they say, the way they say them, none of it will matter all that much.
So, how do ensure that you’ll get a quality recording? Well, that depends. For instance, if you’re reaching out to an external video production company for help with creating your content, then it’s all about reviewing their previous work, evaluating the kind of equipment they use, and speaking with them about their experience doing voice-over work.
If, on the other hand, you’ll be attempting to create your video in house, then it’s all on you and the members of your team. You’ll need to create as quiet and controllable an environment as possible and it’s always a good idea to try out different tones and cadences so that you have some options later on. For some more tips on that, check out this post from PremiumBeat.com, How to Record Better Narration and Voice-Over.
Either way, though, it’s not just the actual recording of the voice-over that will make or break its quality. You also need to think about post-production and how well your team or video crew can clean the recordings up and remove outside noise. Just remember that if you really don’t think your internal team is up to the task, then you shouldn’t hesitate to bring in some pros.
We talk a lot around here about the importance of achieving some level of consistency with all your video content. That’s the only way to really get your message across over time, and there are a variety of ways to do it, whether it’s through the inclusion of your brand elements like your logo or color scheme, the types of stories you choose to tell, etc.
For more on that, check out this post, Why Consistency is Key to Successful Video Content and How to Achieve It, but the bottom line is that all that doesn’t change when it comes to your voice-overs. Like any other part of your video, they provide yet another opportunity to hammer home your unique message, style, and personality.
So, you may want to start coming up with some adjectives that describe your or your brand’s identity and personality if you haven’t already. Then, you can try to look for those same characteristics in all your voice-over options. For instance, if the adjectives you come up with are warm and knowledgable, then you can look for voices that have those same qualities.
You get the idea, but the point is that you don’t just want to find smooth, velvety voices for your voice-overs simply because they sound that way. You’ll be far better off using voices that align with the message you’re trying to get across and with your unique personality and style.
Relatability & trustworthiness are key.
Now, while any voice-overs you add to your videos need to be high-quality as well as fit your specific message and style, from there, it’s all about the audience. Their preferences and expectations always need to be at the forefront of your mind, and no matter what kind of video you’re making, there are some things all viewers look and listen for, namely relatability and trustworthiness.
They need to be able to identify with your video content in some personal way, which is why you should always factor that into your voice-over decisions. Think about it, if you’re creating something like an explainer video to explain something unfamiliar to your audience, then don’t you think they’d want to hear a voice that sounds somewhat familiar explaining it?
It could be the accent of the voice-over artist or some other quality of his or her voice, but the point is that finding a voice viewers can relate to is key, as is finding one they can put their trust in. How do you know when you’re hearing a voice your viewers will be able to trust?
Well, it could be something about the pitch or inflections, or it could be that there’s just something soothing or melodic about the voice that will allow for listeners to feel comfortable putting some of their trust in it. You could also always try to reach out to an influencer in your industry to see if he or she would be interested in providing their voice. They’ve already earned the audience’s trust.
We’ve been in video production for long enough to know the power of the right voice.
Like mentioned at the top, you hear the phrase “show don’t tell” a lot in film and video production, but there will always be times that call for voice-overs. And if your project requires or could benefit from one, then you need to know how critical it is to find the right voice to carry your message.
We hope these tips help you do it as well as help you to ensure that your message is remembered once delivered. Good luck!
About Us: KVibe Productions, one of the top NJ & NYC video production companies creating video content of all kinds, can handle every aspect of the process. And whether it’s a commercial, a corporate video production, or a feature film, at KVibe, we always create to inspire.