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The Voice Says More than Words

Today we're going to talk a bit about style or tone of delivery, while also showing off the wonderful talents of FlyVoiceover's very own Donna. Before we go on, go ahead and take a look at the video, paying attention to Donna's skillful delivery.

Done? Great! So you probably noticed that she was able to make things sound professional but in a warm, welcoming way. This is pretty perfect for the subject matter and style of video, and helps to set the feel that the creators obviously wanted. Think about if this same video was done with someone instead delivering a irreverent, rather snarky tone. It wouldn't come across as genuine, but instead as though she were being sarcastic and didn't truly believe in the product. In truth, it would be pretty off-putting. But, on the flip side, there are scripts where the narrator is written to be making sarcastic and snarky jokes throughout, and Donna's warm professionalism would then be starkly out of place.

When deciding on what the right tone should be, whoever is in charge of casting needs to first take into consideration the script, including any concept planning for the format and feel of the video (if there is one, like for explainers and such, as opposed to radio commercials). This may seem easy, but can be a little tricky to pin down sometimes. For example, many projects will tell the voice actor they want the delivery to be “conversational,” but this is potentially different for different settings. You converse with an old friend much differently than you do a stranger, and would converse with a coworker differently than with a customer. How casual or professional do you want the tone to slant? Does the language in the script come across as less formal and make a few cute jokes or asides, or is more straight-forward and down to business?

If you have difficulty putting into words exactly how you want the voice actor to deliver it, you can always listen to their demo and reference a specific part. Having and expressing a clear idea of the tone and style of delivery you want helps the voice actor to efficiently give you exactly what you need, reducing the chance of requiring retakes, and that helps everyone out.

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