Most Common Voice-Over Styles, That You Should Know


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By now you already know what a voice-over artist is, and what their job description entails. The question remains, do you know the voice-over styles we have out there? We have so many voice-over styles, but in this article, we will look at just a few. We will look at what kind of voice artist works well with these different styles and then have a further look at the main factors that differ within these voice-over styles.

Working as a voice-over artist is so far, one of the best professions out there. Voice artists get to work in different industries and are not limited to one specific niche. This helps voice artists to be versatile and all-rounded, which is a plus for any profession. Whether you are an up-and-coming voice artist, or a director looking for voice artists, this article will be of great help to you. The following are the voice-over styles to be aware of, when seeking work in this industry, or looking for an artist for your project.

1. Commercials

We all know what commercials are. If you own a television set or a radio, then chances are that you have interacted with commercials more than once. Television and radio commercials make a tiny percentage of this business, but it’s what everyone always relates to when they hear anything about voice-overs. One sure thing about commercials is that getting your foot into that market is hard, as they always have specific talents to work with. The minute you get your foot in there and get more gigs, then it can be a lucrative profession where you can make lots of money and grow in your career with more challenging projects.

2. Narration Voice-Overs

The first thing you should know about narration voice-over is that they are a progressive kind of job. This is the case, as it’s a voice style applicable for audio-books. Most voice artists who work in the narration part of voice-over work with publishing houses or freelance authors, as their work entails narrating different books. From cookbooks to novels, to recipe books, you name it. If you ask me, voice artists who do narrations have more of a steady income, compared to those who work on one time gigs. They make most of their income from narrations, which make almost 92%, of most voice artists’ income.

3. Announcement Voice-Overs

We all know what an announcement is and have a rough idea of where they are made. These are usually used to pass information to a group of people. Announcement voice-overs are pre-recorded or done live. In places where the voice over is prerecorded, you find that it’s done on a repetition. We often encounter announcement voice-overs in airports, stadiums, train stations, malls, and other large public areas.

4. Biography Voice-Overs

In biography voice-overs, the process used, is the same as in narration voice-overs. Biographies are like stories, and since they are stories about people, reading through them, would be termed as a way of narration. However, this is not the case, since they are biographies and not normal stories. The voice-over style applicable to them is usually known as a biography, and not a narration. Voice over artists’ who work in a biography, tell the life stories of celebrities and politicians. They can work in biography films, by telling the stories of the people in them. This is one style that is rarely tapped into because people prefer to read a biography rather than to listen to it.

5. Character/Animation Voice-Overs

This is one of the most interesting, entertaining and interactive kinds of voice-overs. If you ask a voice-over artist who has worked on most of the different voice over styles, they will definitely tell you they enjoy working on character and animation most. This voice-over style taps into specific characteristics that take a lot of expression and animated voices. Not everyone can hack this style of voice over. It needs a lot of practice to be a pro and a perfectionist. You’ll find that there is a specific voice artist, whose directors gravitate towards these animations and character voice-overs. This is because not everyone can hack them well.

6. Corporate Voice-Overs

You may wonder how it’s possible for voice artists to work in the corporate world, or to do corporate voice overs. Well, it is very possible, and I am sure you have experienced their work once or twice in your professional life. If you are an employee in a certain corporation, chances are you have received training at the beginning, and chances are that you listened to training audios, or used promotional material that has human voices in the background. These are corporate voice artists’ work. They are not so common, but if you are a person who works in a corporation, high chances are that you know what they are, and have interacted with them at a particular stage of your corporate life.

7. Internet Voice-Overs

This is a very common and rapidly rising form of voice-over. With the fast rise in the internet’s use, the internet has made the world a global village. From time to time, you will find business owners getting voice artists to advertise and market their businesses. The good thing about internet voice-overs is, they cut across all industries. Depending on what industry your business is in, you can create internet voice-overs and put them on your website. They are not exclusive to a particular industry. Internet voice-overs entail creating videos for website tours, banner ads, and online tutorials.

8. Exercise/Inspiration Voice-Overs

This is one of the voice-over styles that doesn’t have that many numbers of voice artists getting into it. Not that it’s a hard style to work on, but more because it is not as exciting and challenging as all the others. You would think more people would get into it because it is less challenging, but it’s the opposite. Exercise and Inspiration voice overs need voice artists who have a soothing and motivating voice, that either commands the attention of someone or makes people comfortable and interested in what you have to say. Also, you must be a voice artist who is confident when speaking. Did you know that your voice can tell if you are a confident person and if you are knowledgeable about what you are saying?

9. Education Voice-Overs

Earlier in this article, I mentioned that we have corporate voice-overs, which are voiceovers that revolve around the corporate world. Education voice-overs, however, are voice-overs that revolve around the education sector. Any recorded educational material that you have ever come across is an educational voice over. These are done by voice artists, who are well-versed in different educational topics, and know how to perform, and relay the information, educationally. You will find them working in educational institutions like schools and universities. Some of them have an artistic side and may even work in the dubbing industry, or any other voice work that needs character.

10. Film Voice-Overs

All movies are not biographies, and from time to time, they usually use voice artists to complete a particular film process. The reason I mention biographies is that I already talked about biography voice over, and my plan is not to confuse you. The film process I’m talking about that uses a lot of voice artist called dubbing. For those of you who don’t know what film dubbing is, it is localizing films to fit local standards. In such a process, directors prefer working with voice artists who can act or have a voice and personality that would bring a particular character on a film to life. Depending on what kind of film it is, a voice artist can get a big or smaller role in film voice-overs. One thing I know for sure is that it is a very lucrative career.

There are lots of voice over styles in the world today. These are just the most known voice styles that people engage with most from time to time. If you have been thinking of getting into the voice over industry, this article has definitely given you an insight into the different voice over genres that you can specialize in, depending on the quality of your voice. It’s good to note that some of these work in line, while others are exclusive to their industries.

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