Your voice-over demo is your portfolio, your audio business card, if you will. It’s the best representation of your voice range and acting abilities. A voice-over demo is what you need to market yourself as a voice-over actor.
Different Types of Voice-Over Demos
There are different types of voice-over demos for varying types of voice-over work. To market yourself as a commercial voice-over actor, you need a commercial demo. To market yourself as an audiobook narrator, you need an audiobook demo, and so on. The length of the demo also depends on the type of demo that it is. Commercial demos are typically shorter in length (45-60 seconds), while audiobook demos are generally closer to 1 1/2- 2 minutes long. Other types of demos include narration, animation, video game, IVR, corporate narration, and promo to name a few!
Who Creates Voice-Over Demos?
It’s very important in this industry that you don’t try to create the voice-over demo by yourself. There are many reasons for this. First, an amateur demo can be spotted a mile away and you only have one chance to make a first impression. Second, you want to make sure that the copy (voice-over demo scripts) and music are appropriate to use legally and a great representation of your voice. Third, you want to focus on what you’re the best at. As a voice-over actor, your strength is voice acting so it’s not ideal to try to be the best at editing, mastering and producing as well. Leave those to the pros in that area! Last, even if you have a great ear and know what a voice-over demo is supposed to sound like you still want someone else directing you and producing it for you. Even the top pros hire other pros to produce their demos. It’s always best to have another set of eyes and ears on something as important as a voice-over demo.
What Do You Do With a Voice-Over Demo?
With today’s technology, almost all voice-over marketing is done online. So your voice-over demo should be recorded as a high quality WAV file and then converted into an .MP3 file to upload to websites. Your .MP3 should be a small enough file to email. When you’re marketing yourself to prospective clients, you can either email a link to where your demos are posted or email them an .MP3 directly.
How Often Should I Re-Record My Voice-Over Demos?
Since your voice-over demo should always be the best representation of you, it’s recommended to re-record (or at least reassess and perhaps switch out a piece or two) as you continue to grow as a talent and/or when your voice changes. If you’re a nine- year-old doing voice-over (and yes, there are many opportunities for child voice-overs), by the time you’re thirteen you won’t sound the same! Also you want to make sure your demo is always relevant to the times, meaning in content and industry standard. If you have a spot on your demo with a store that has gone out of business, that’ll automatically date your demo. If your demo is significantly longer than current trends, it’ll stand out in a poor way as well. Every year you should reassess your demo and make sure that it’s still a great representation of you that the spots are still relevant and current with the voice-overs you hear today.
How Can I Find a Voice-Over Producer?
There are many great voice-over producers out there. You want to do your homework and make sure the one you choose is a great fit for you. Ask to listen to demos they’ve produced, check their qualifications, and make sure your personalities are a great fit! Often times a voice-over coach is also a demo producer, but not always. Such A Voice is a great resource for voice-over coaches and demo producers.