Whenever I meet someone new and mention that I’m a voiceover artist I’m often met with the same response ‘oh right…what actually is that?’. Most people are familiar with VoiceOver for Animation or Video Game and perhaps even Documentary Narration but might not be aware of just how many industries benefit from working with voiceover artists.
From education to advertising, name an industry and you’ll probably find at least one VoiceOver artist who calls it home.
Imagine hopping on the tube in London and hearing silence, no announcements, no helpful guide warning you of the ravine that’s about to appear between the train and the platform.
Imagine calling your broadband provider and just hearing hold music, having no idea which number to press next or how long your wait time might be. Imagine turning on the TV and hearing nothing when watching the ad break. Imagine doctors and nurses or construction workers and engineers watching training videos with no explanations behind the images appearing on their screens.
A picture doesn’t speak a thousand words, not on its own. A voiceover artist does.
A voiceover artist’s job is to bring words, stories, and pictures to life. It’s our job to teach, to advise, to inform, to inspire, to encourage, to move you or to make you giggle till your sides ache.
Whether we are helping the next generation of doctors learn about a lifesaving medical treatment or simply warning you not to break your ankle when you hop of the train in a hurry. As humans we crave connection, now more than ever before.
Voiceover artists are there to humanise text and help people better connect with the videos and images they see. Take an explainer video for example, without an engaging voiceover, the human touch is all but absent.
Without the extra connection provided by a voiceover, the message of the video may be lost. This goes for commercials and corporate videos too where voiceovers are there to help leave a lasting impression on the viewer.
Voiceover artists also help us all navigate the world around us, from navigating public transport, museums and public places, to making our phones and devices more accessible. As we have seen throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, Voiceover becomes an essential tool in moments of crisis too. Think about the plethora of covid related announcements you have heard of the last year on every medium, from the radio to pre-recorded messages on your
employer’s phone system. Voiceover artists were there to help important updates and safety messages reach the public as quickly and as efficiently as possible.
Not only do voiceovers help us safely navigate the world around us but they help us learn about it too. Whether you are 5 or 65, chances are you’ve experiences virtual learning in some capacity, particularly over the last year when even more of our learning has moved online. With so much learning taking place at home, complete with a myriad of distracting pets, snacks, house chores and the lure of Netflix, it’s more important than ever to keep a learner focused and engaged.
A professional, friendly and human voiceover captures our attention with greater success than plain text ever could and makes sure information is absorbed.
Voiceover is pretty much everywhere and I think the world would seem a little bit colder without it. So, the question is not why hire a VO, the question is can you really afford not to hire one.
Written by Marilena Gant