Doing Voice Over Commercials Professionally

By Marci Glover

There are a lot of different aspects to advertising, many of which are never considered by the general population. Ads may use stunning visuals or memorable music bits and jingles to capture their audience, but it is usually the vocals that people instantly recognize. Doing voice over commercials is a fun and interesting career choice as long as one has determination and patience.

Contrary to a popular belief, it takes more than just sounding good when speaking in normal circumstances to make it in this business. In addition to appealing conversational tones, one must enunciate clearly and possess a certain amount of acting capabilities. The bulk of the job is reading a script in such a way that it comes out sounding flawlessly natural with all the necessary emotions.

This vocal talent is very commonly used in projects like documentaries, movies, animations, audio books, multimedia and video games. Radio, television and internet ads are perhaps the more frequently heard pieces in this field. Realistically, they are played so often that a majority of the audience has no idea exactly how much they are exposed to this type of advertisement throughout their day.

Advertising of this sort is basically broken down into three main categories. On the first tier are those ads that reach a very localized audience such as civic events and area car dealerships. The second level consists of those covering a regional zone and the third are the ones, often by well known organizations or brands, that are broadcast nationally.

Granted, most of the national level jobs are given to celebrities simply because their voices are more easily recognizable. However, it is important to remember that the local and regional ads can be just as lucrative if one remains persistent. There are far more spots available than a handful of famous names can fill, so there are ample opportunities available in all three categories.

Simply having an appealing sound is rarely enough to take one instantly to the top of the field. This is a talent that needs to be honed through a process designed to increase one's marketability and make it easier to gain the desired success. The journey begins by pairing with a vocal coach that can help improve both acting and speaking skills, honing individual techniques for optimum results.

The next step is creating an audio audition by having a demo tape recorded in a professional quality studio. For best results, this should be submitted to all available advertising agencies, talent managers and production companies that operate during one's target work zone. The CD and written resume' mailing needs to be followed by phone calls to make sure that they are not easily overlooked.

Building success in this field requires one to exercise patience with a fair amount of persistence. Though many of the ads on the national level are reserved for seasoned performers and celebrities, there are still plenty of opportunities available. Working at either the local or regional tiers can be a great way for the novice to gain valuable experience while learning the tricks of the trade, and could become quite lucrative as skills are honed.

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