Everyone wants an upbeat, natural and conversational read.
Someone sounding like they're animatedly and passionately explaining something to a mate makes for the best kind of narration - particularly for explainer videos.
The ability to deliver natural and conversational reads has always been my main criteria for VOs who want to join flyvoiceovers.com and we have some of the best at it.
But to get a natural, conversational read, you can't present the voice over artist with any old script with "read this in a natural conversational way". The delivery all starts with the writing.
If you want 'conversational' from the guy or gal behind the mic, the script has to be written in a conversational way - the way that humans actually speak.
I’ve had “Rosko, we want this to be upbeat, vibrant and conversational” and I’ve opened a document simply called Tax Information featuring bullet points… there's just no opportunity for anything 'normal' in there.
Similarly, cheesy scripts are impossible to not deliver in a cheesy way. It's not the VOs fault that your audio comes back dripping with brie when you opened with, say, three questions like:
"Had enough of having a flaky scalp? Take two bottles into the shower?! Ever been so bothered you felt like chopping off your own head...?!"
That kind of thing... sort of...
So, practically speaking, start sentences by using human expressions, like,
"What if I told you..?"
"Let's take a look at..."
"Cool, now let's..."
Think of more and litter your script with human expressions that you wouldn’t perhaps traditionally write.
As a VO, expressions like that are music to my… errm.. eyes. They stick a double dose of me into the recording. It’s those little peaks in flow that fill a script with rhythm and bounce.
Also contract words and use apostrophes too. “Don’t” instead of “do not”. No one says “do not” in real life unless they’re bollocking their dog!
And be yourself in your writing - does anybody want to feel like they're listening to a policy booklet? No, no one does. No one. Not even top level management super corporate bods who wear their suits with pride and look, like, REALLY serious. So pile in with your sense of humour where appropriate, but try a bit harder. The usual corporate banter is little more than David Brent in text. So if you can, BE funny. There's room for laughter in most topics - and if you cue me up with those beats, I'll find them and deliver them for you with a 'sideways look to the camera'. And if you can't write funny, if it suits the project, perhaps consider hiring someone who can - there are people out there who write funny for a living.