Are you interested in doing narration voice over work? Narration jobs make up a huge percentage of the work available. Narration is still a competitive area, so you need to train as well as have a strong demo. Here is a guide to working in narration and booking more voice over jobs.
Types of Narration
Narration is a broad range of job opportunities. It could mean documentary, TV narration, audiobooks, and corporate.
Documentaries and television use narration to underscore the action and help tell the story. Audiobook narration is a full storytelling of both nonfiction and fiction. Audiobooks sometimes have one narrator or multiple narrators. Corporate narration can vary from internal and external communications, annual report videos, training videos, conference openers, explainer videos, and e-learning.
Each narration type has a different style of narration that is used. Think about what suits your voice and personal voice over style. While you can train and work some voice over actors, find some types that are easiest to master and become sought-after actors.
What are Clients Looking For?
It is not always easy to know what sound a client is looking for out of a narration voice actor. There are some general descriptors that you will see in the audition notes or job posting are, “real person”, “conversational”, “authoritative”, “inspirational”, and “genuine”. While these tags can be vague, they give you a starting point.
One of the things to think about is what clients respond to with your voice, what style is a good fit for you and them. If you study the options, train, and use your unique gift, it will land the jobs.
When you are deciding upon your strategy for narration, think about what your wheelhouse is. Think about the styles that you book. You will want to make sure that you have updated demos that showcase that so you can continue to book those jobs. However, you may decide that there is another segmented area that you want to book. This is the time to work on those skills needed and expand.
Demos need to show your range and the best work in order to get a callback and book a job. Some think that your demo should be in a mixed-format while others feel that tracks should be separate. The best option is to have both ready to go so that you can send what it is that they want. Not everyone has time to listen to multiple tracks and narration demos tend to be a little longer than other demos.
Another tip for a narration demo is if you know the type of read the client is looking for send them that cut. This will give them exactly what they are looking for and the stronger possibility of them hiring you.
Don’t forget about production in your demos whether you are exceptionally good or starting out, a strong demo has excellent sound. If the demo does not sound professional, no matter how strong your voice is it will not get you booked. Work with a professional producer and continue to work on your editing skills. These days as more voice over actors are working from home studios there is a level of production and editing that is required by you.
Some narration for TV done for popular shows like on The Discovery Channel, Food Channel, Animal Planet, History Channel and many more require special "in-show" narration to enhance the action in the footage being shown. The demo for these shows need to sound exactly like what you hear on those programs. I just made my very first demo of this kind this year. Here's a link: