If you are hoping to break into the voiceover industry, or, as I have been discussing in recent blog posts, you want to get your child into the business, you will need to create an audio demo.
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE VOICEOVER DEMO The demo tape is truly the most important part of any application process you will go through from this point forward. Think of the demo as a resume of sorts. Just as you want to ensure that your resume lists every possible highlight of your career -- including education, experience, awards, and certifications -- you want your demo to showcase every nuance of your voice talents. Be sure that this recording showcases everything that makes you a great, unique, talented voiceover artist who is undeniably perfect for whatever job you may apply for.
THE TIMING OF THE DEMO As a general rule, you don’t have a lot of time to showcase your talents. In this day and age, especially, people don’t have long attention spans. If you can’t capture their attention within the first few seconds, then you have likely lost them. Assuming you do pull the listener in, you will still have a minute or two to get across everything you are capable of. Even the longest demos (and length is not necessarily a virtue, in this case) are just three minutes in length. Your best bet is to create something that is approximately one minute long, but that delves into who you are as a voice actor and a real person.
KNOW THE NICHE Although it can be tempting to try to create a demo that appeals to every prospective client, it really is best to focus your efforts on a particular niche within the market. So, your aim might be to do voiceover work for advertising firms – commercials – or you might want to aim for longer gigs, such as audiobook work. There are a number of different directions you can go, but decide what you want before you begin to record the demo, because you will want to showcase different talents for different categories. Don't try to showcase all categories of voice over in one demo. It will takes several demos to establish that such as... Commercial Demo, Narration Demo, Character/Animation Demo, etc.
FORMATTING When the demo is complete and ready for release, be sure that it is saved in the MP3 format. This is the most widely accepted format.
Once this process is complete, you will be ready to apply and that is when things get really exciting!