If you’re an employer who wants to cast voice talent for your upcoming job, you want to be familiar with their style of work before booking them. In today’s highly saturated and competitive market, knowing how to evaluate your voiceover talent can put your project’s quality over the top.
If you are a voice over talent, you may undergo an evaluation process for some employers before you can begin working for them. This is where voice talent tests come into play. If you are a business owner or producer, you can look for several attributes before hiring the right fit.
What Are the Main Categories to Look For?
While many aspects can go into choosing the perfect voice talent for a job, a few key factors should be considered, including:
- Project type
- Quality of the voice
- Target audience
- Available voiceover samples and demos
Another factor cannot be overstated: the client’s priority is the top priority. Factors such as experience, a versatile portfolio, amount of voiceover samples, or any other tangible attributes can be favorable. However, the client has the final say over which voice fits best with their project.
The type of project you are working on will play a vital role in selecting voice talent. Their familiarity with a given type of work will helps when seek to cast a talent. The types of jobs can include:
- Announcers: Announcing jobs involve introductory segments for events. These can be awards shows, sporting events, or promotional events.
- Narrators: Narration jobs focus on explanatory content in which the voiceover explains a concept or a process. These can include audiobooks, documentaries, educational videos, and audio tours.
- Voice actors for entertainment programs: Character voice jobs have a voiceover talent voicing a character in an animated movie, animated TV show, radio dramas, Automated Dialogue Replacement (ADR), and dubbing foreign shows/programs.
- Miscellaneous voiceover: Miscellaneous jobs can include public relations gigs, advertisements, over-the-phone recordings, website voiceovers, etc.
Quality of Voice
Testing for voice quality can involve many different attributes, but four big ones are pitch, enunciation, articulation, and clarity. All come together to create good quality in a voice.
Evaluate Your Voiceover Talent to Reach the Target Audience
Another part of evaluating voice talent is how well they can connect with the chosen target audience. Depending on how far you are willing to go, you may already have extensive demographic data about your audience. Knowing an audience will help you tailor a voice over for greater effectiveness and can include:
- Tone: The tone of a voice is a vital part of helping to influence your audience. Different tones are needed depending on the type of project that is being made.
- Voice actor age: Sometimes, the age of a voice actor can also be a consideration. Specific demographics may find an older, more mature voice more trustworthy. Others may find younger, more energetic voices more relatable.
- Male or female voice: Choosing a male, female, or gender-neutral voice may have to be considered based on what your audience expects.
- Accents: Depending on what region or country a project takes place in, a specific accent for a voiceover might be required. You may ask what accents a voice talent is familiar with before casting.
- Language: Much like accents, there may be some projects that require a voice actor to speak another language. This could be a sticking point when evaluating talent for those roles.
Evaluating Voiceover Samples and Demos
You can also evaluate talent based on the voiceover samples that voice actors make available on their websites. If you like the samples a talent has available or has provided, then you may reach out for a job.
Just relying on prerecorded samples doesn’t always give a feel for a voice actor’s abilities, however. Sometimes, an employer may want a more recent, tailor-made sample to help them decide whether or not a voice over talent is right for the job. In these cases, employers may request a custom audition or ask for a custom sample.
Final Considerations on How to Evaluate Your Voiceover Talent
Some final measures that might not be obvious but are still very important include recording quality and scheduling. A pre-recorded demo may sound perfect, but a custom demo with a deadline attached ensures that a voice over talent has good equipment on hand.
This also helps to let you know that a voice over talent can work on a tight or flexible schedule. Depending on the type of project, voice talent who can fit a tight schedule can be the decisive factor when you hire someone.
For employers seeking voice talent, knowing who to look for and knowing how to evaluate them is a necessary step in finding the perfect voice for a project. Using the proper metrics can greatly reduce the time spent trying to hire the right person for the job. That means you can get to work on your project faster.