How To Build A Successful Voice-Over Demo
The high demand for voice over talent is no secret. Neither is the difficulty of ‘making it big’. There is a wide range of talent located across the globe and with the help of continually advancing technology, any voice from any country can be used for any gig. This means that employers are mindboggingly spoiled for choice!
So – how do you make YOUR demo stand out amongst the thousands of others…?
- First impressions: It is true you only have the first 5-10 seconds to grab the attention of your listener, so make sure you display your very best work right off the bat!
- Short and snappy: Your demo reel should be no longer than 1 minute 30 seconds. Employers listen to hundreds of demos daily, so they’re not going to waste time listening to your 10 minute compilation in between their busy schedules. Keep it short and to the point.
- Dare to be different: Your future employer wants to know what kind of a person you are, and they will often gage this through your demo. If they can connect with the voice on an emotional level they will be more inclined to give you a call. Something funny or witty goes a long way – remember, smiles are contagious!
- Keep it real: Over or under producing your demo can be a hidden trap. An underproduced demo will obviously make you sound unprofessional and amateur, whereas an over produced demo may set up unreachable expectations for when you audition in person. Don’t lose yourself in the production stages; find a balance between authenticity and professionalism. It would be wise to hire an engineer to assist you.
- Labels: This may seem like a ridiculously obvious point, but it is commonly overlooked! Label your demos carefully and clearly. State your name, title of the demo, and the date. That way it will be easy for your future employer (who may be disorganized!) to look you up.
- Save time: There is no need to waste valuable reel time on an intro or outro stating your name or category. Let your demo speak for itself, and your clear label/file name speak for your demo.
- Quality over quantity: Only display your finest work. If that means you don’t reach 1 minute 30 seconds, so be it. You don’t want to be known as any less than Grade A talent!
- Don’t be outdated: As much as possible, keep updating your demo so it only contains the best of your most recent and current work.
- Vary your sound: Try to produce your works so they sound unique to each other. Ask your engineer (if you’re not doing it yourself) to help you use different production techniques (whether it be in on the vocals itself, music beds, sfx etc) to ensure the listener can recognise the variety in your work. If everything sounds identical and somwhat monotonous, your demo will quickly join hundreds in that “no thanks” pile.
- Online advertising: Don’t spend too much money on demo artwork or duplicates – everything is via the Internet these days. You would be far better off investing in a webpage for your VO profile showcasing your work and resume.
Here are a few examples of stand out Voice Over demos. Get inspired!