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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

What to Do When You Have Concerns About the Script

As a voiceover talent, you are hired to read the script provided to you by the client. In most cases, that is exactly what you will do. With the exception of the possibility of multiple takes, it will go smoothly. However, there are times when the script is difficult to read in areas or when you recognize a problem with the verbiage.

The dilemma of whether or not to address the concern with the client is one that most voiceover artists will face during their career, and likely on multiple occasions. It is important to understand, though, that you and the client share the same desire -- a good, clean recording. So, if you note problems or difficulties with the script, it is definitely worth addressing them in a professional and tactful manner. First and foremost, introduce the matter as a need for greater artistic direction. Ask questions about what you're reading.

Uncomfortable sentences or phrasing:  If you are stumbling over a particular phrase, simply ask if there is room for some minor rewording to make the sentence easier to speak clearly.

Difficult pronunciation: If the problem is with the vocabulary used -- particularly if it is industry jargon -- consider asking the client to record him- or herself saying the term, or to read it if in a live session, so you can familiarize yourself with the pronunciation.

If the problem is one of reading preference (i.e. how to read numbers), if the script is a short one, consider providing multiple readings, so the client can choose which suits their vision best. If this is a repeating concern within the script, then ask for clarification.

The most important thing to remember is that you need not fear the client. Asking questions is more apt to turn out a high quality product than trying to make clumsy verbiage sound natural.
A rule to always fall back on is... first record it the best you can as it is written. Then, ask if you may record it another way as YOU see fit. That way, you may not "step on someone's toes" (like the copywriter's) but will merely add an optional take to the mix.


  1. A tricky one sometimes. I know voices who just change the script if they find grammatical errors and record it that way without saying anything to the client. Personally I like to charge extra if I have to proof read the thing.

    1. Thanks Tim!

      Well, I usually change a few minor errors myself as well. However, if the script is riddled with them I'll let the client know that it needs to be cleaned up. I believe proof reading, except for long form narrations (audio books, etc) is simply part of our recording prep job. I take that into consideration when I price the job before I except it.