A voice over artist (VO) is a professional actor who creates a recording for a video project, usually a commercial or audiobook. They use a microphone to record their voice, and they read from scripts provided by their clients. Their responsibilities include operating recording equipment and working with organizational leaders to achieve the desired tone and message of the project.
Voice over artists come from a wide range of educational and career backgrounds. Some are experienced actors, singers, radio DJs, or podcasters who have chosen to focus on the voiceover industry for the flexibility and portable freelance work it offers. Others have no significant performance experience but are drawn to the industry by a promise of flexible, mobile, and lucrative work from home opportunities. Regardless of their initial educational or professional background, the most successful voiceover actors possess a set of soft skills that are essential for success in this competitive, flexible, and demanding industry.
They’re receptive to feedback and open to direction. As actors, they understand that a single reading can sound different when tweaked for diction, intonation, cadence, or emphasis. They’re also accustomed to working outside of their comfort zone, and they know how to adapt and work well under pressure.
They’re efficient and cost-effective. Hiring a professional to do the job right the first time can save you money in the long run by eliminating the need for multiple recordings and edits that often come with non-professionals who don’t have the ear for detail or expertise when it comes to post production work. Additionally, many professional voice talents also offer a number of pickups (recordings that are added after the original one is delivered) for free as part of their overall price.