- Bright, friendly, natural
- Straight read
- Humour-tongue-in-cheek – ideal for animation videos
- Soft sell
- Explainer/How-To video
- Friendly, but with authority
All Posts Tagged Tag: ‘corporate narration voice talent’
For the past couple of years, I’ve been lucky enough to be asked to provide the voice overs for Caple UK’s promotional videos for all of their kitchen appliances and, when they were about to launch some new products, my agent called me to say they’d very much like me to voice for them again. Because the creative team are based there, and it involves multiple personnel, I travelled to Films at 59 Studios, a large post-production studio in Bristol. It was great to be asked again, but also a wonderful opportunity for getting out of my own studio!
Caple UK’s products are unique in their cutting edge design, technology, materials and performance.
Here’s just one of the many promotional product films I narrated. This one introduces Caple Sense Premium stainless steel products:
So, I travelled down to Bristol for the day to voice it for them. When I arrived at Films at 59, it was a hive of activity, with a lot of other productions going on there at the same time, in their multiple post production studios, and I was looked after so well by the reception staff and runners there. In fact, it’s so busy, that the runners permanently have walkie-talkies strapped to them for their next mission!
It was also lovely seeing the whole external creative team again, who were in attendance in the studio; the same team who were involved the first time around. It can be a bit nerve-wracking when there’s a crowd in the adjacent studio, listening in and directing, but the team are so lovely they made it easy for me.
After only about an hour, our work was done, and it was time to leave. The taxi was called for me and off I went, back to the station to head for the journey home.
Films at 59 offer the full post-production service, both audio and visual, through to straight studio hires. This can involve similar projects like ours, corporate and promotional, intended for exhibitions, and possibly YouTube, but also documentaries and films.
To listen to some of my work, please visit my homepage here
To make an enquiry about my Voice Over services please click here
It’s magic isn’t it, creative stuff? There’s often a perception that anything creative is sprinkled with fairy dust and magically appears with minimal effort!
As a voice over, I often get asked to work with video production companies to provide the narration for corporate video.
So, I wanted to find out about what’s involved in making that magic video appear. I asked Mark Pirrie of Mugshot Media to give me a breakdown of the step-by-step process. I wonder if a voice over is in this list somewhere…?
VIDEO PRODUCTION PROCESS
- What is the purpose and objectives for the video?
- What do you want the video to achieve?
- What should it look like?
- What should it feel like?
- Who is the audience?
- Whats the output?: TV/DVD or web etc
Cost and finalisation
- Agree cost based on concept requirements
- Agree final brief
- Agree style, number of film days, cameras, locations, etc.
- Key Message session
- Script creation / review
- Shot list creation
- Agree locations/ logisitics (overnight stay)
- Hire/ cast presenters/ actors / voice over – yay!
Actual storyboard and shot list creation resulting from pre-production planning.
- Offline/online edit of film
- Voice over narration added, if used
- Bespoke transitions
- Audio mastering, node-work and EQ
- Image grading
- Render & export
- Compression for final output dvd or internet streaming
- Final encoding and exporting of approved film
- Upload all film to the video server platform.
- Film delivered in web ready format , DVD or TV output
- Ongoing provision of film viewings metrics reporting
That’s some list! I hope you spotted the bit whre the voice over comes in stage right?! Of course, not all videos incorporate voice over narration, but that’s another blog post!
Some video companies, such as Mugshot Media, provide a range of options reflected in the price, to suit budget and needs.
As a whole new wave of potential clients look to feature online video in their marketing mix, hopefully this gives some insight as to what’s involved in the actual process. It may appear like magic at the end but, for clients who want a professional job, a considerable amount of time and work has gone into it!
To hear samples of Lindsay’s corporate narration work CLICK HERE
Many thanks to contributor Mark Pirrie from Mugshot Media :>)
I was asked to voice a promotional video for corporate clients Rowan International, specialists in international sales. They wanted a friendly, warm female voice. ‘Strawberries and cream’ was one comment on the end result. I don’t know about that, but given we’re in the midst of the Wimbledon tennis fortnight, I was reminded of this one amongst the batch I’ve recently recorded:
Featured Project: Corporate Video for Rowan International
Over the past few years I’ve been selected to voice numerous ‘corporate’ type pieces, from presentations, to product demonstrations/infomercials and other corporate marketing audios. Sometimes, when I’ve asked my client as to the preferred reading style, the response can be along the lines of ‘fairly natural, just be yourself’. However, the reality of ‘just being yourself’ is that, when they hear the ‘natural’ version as opposed to a more formal ‘corporate’ read, that is more informative but lacking the emotion of a more natural interpretation, some still opt for the latter.
Right up until the mid 1950’s, here in the UK we were used to BBC Received Pronunciation English in television and theatre drama (with the likes of John Osbourne’s Look Back In Anger) and radio/TV announcing; it’s only in more recent years that we are becoming more accustomed to a more natural sound.
The question is…is there a general trend of moving towards the natural corporate voiceover, or do we still prefer a more formal corporate sound?
There is a school of thought that the formal corporate sound – clear and precise as it tends to be, enhances the information giving process better when less emotion is involved in the voice.
It’s possible that companies use a more formal style either in order to be taken more seriously or professionally by the listener, or based on what might have historically been the more accepted style.
Whether or not to adopt a natural style on a corporate voice over seems to be where consideration is given to choice of voice over and vocal style to reflect the company image, and/or target market and their perceived expectations, but also how the listener is meant to think/feel/respond about either the message and/or the company.
I think there will continue to be both objective and subjective viewpoints. I generally offer both styles to my own clients, and give them the choice from short samples.
I’m not sure that a more informal, natural sound will ever be used universally however. Can you imagine voicing an introduction to Buckingham Palace in natural ‘street’ parlance for example? Neither can I…mind you, that could be fun!
This article is designed for business owners who are looking to use online or corporate video as part of their online marketing campaign or any corporate video strategy, but is also a useful tool for anyone who wishes to improve their voice and the way they sound!
So, you’ve decided that you want to use that great tool that is now the online video for your company, corporate or business website, as you’ve realised that it has great marketing and relationship-building potential, and you’ve also found out that Google loves online video in helping to boost your rankings. Then you need to decide whether you want to have your company expert or MD/CEO to narrate it, or to use a professional voice-over . Let’s say you’re going to use someone from your company to narrate it. Here’s a few tips that may just help!:
1. To start with the basics of course, you need a great, relevant company or corporate video
55% of how we learn is by seeing – the visual aspects of the video, of course. I know of several video production companies who could help you if you get stuck, just use my contact form…
2. It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it!
It is generally known that impact of communication is greater from the sound and tone of your voice– 38% , compared to only 7% by the words used. You can spend ages writing a great script, using your best corporate lines, but if the vocal quality and tone of your voice are terrible, the piece is doomed, as people will switch off and, more importantly, they won’t be impressed by your company! Read on to find out how you can turn this around…
3. If you think that you’re stuck with the way you speak, you’re wrong!
Most people do not know how to utilise their voices to their fullest extent and think that they are stuck with what they have; when in fact, with a little help, the majority can improve considerably. The tools are there, you just need to bring them out and dust them off, as some of them may never have been used before! In the same way (I’m also a singer), so many people tell me that they can’t sing. However, whilst this is true for a minority, the rest have just been conditioned to believe that they can’t, which can be attributed to background, upbringing, and geographical origin, as well as confidence. These were my findings when I wrote my final degree dissertation on the voice years ago. I need to go find it and when I do I will add more reference points to this article…it must have been OK, as I graduated with my 2:1 honours degree!
4. ‘Centre’ your voice
What I come across most of all is where people speak from their throat rather than their diaphragm. This tends to result in a rather thin sound, which is unstable as it’s not supported from what I call the ‘centre’, ‘root’ or diaphragm. This, in turn, can make people sound as if they lack confidence, or straining their voices. So, how do you obtain that ‘centred’ sound?
So, we’re going to learn to centre your voice. Remember, this sound should come from the very deepest part of you, and you can get to it by utilising your diaphragm.
Stand up straight, feet slightly apart, hands by your sides.
Make sure your feet are firmly on the ground.
Take a deep breath in and use an exclamation that you tend to use when you’re angry – it’s usually something like ‘Huh!’. Using anger is brilliant, as it is a base emotion and instinctively we are better able to produce a more gutteral sound. Notice that, when you do this correctly, you can feel your diaphragm working, and that ‘Huh!’ resonating through your body right from your feet upwards. If you’re feeling that resonance, you’ve got it – well done! This effect is what we call using a ‘centred’ voice. Your vocal tone will sound more definite, meaningful, confident and you should find that people are more likely to take you seriously when you’re speaking. Again, it’s not the content of what you are saying, it’s how you sound which will determine the message you are trying to convey.
Most of us wince at hearing the sound of our own voice, but you need to do this if you want to improve. Or better still, record it and ask a good colleauge or friend for some constructive feedback using the suggestions that follow. Try recording a piece of text and play it back. At this stage, I would suggest that you keep it to an audio recording and not a video, as you will end up also picking up visual signals which will detract from what you are trying to do. Listen to your own voice carefully when you play the audio recording back and make notes. We often think that we sound better than we do in reality. Does it have any or all of the following qualities? If it does, you don’t need these tips at all!:
6. Modulate your tone of voice
Does your voice modulate nicely? Or does it sound more monotone /monotonous? – in other words, the same tone all the way through, which you dont want! Sometimes, partcicularly when we are nervous and presenting something, our voices can tend to become even more monotone than usual, so it’s even more important to think about varying the tone of your voice. If you’ve started to use your diaphragm and are centering your voice, in other words, you’ve now got more control over it, it should make it easier to moderate your tone of voice.
7. Make your voice sound more authoritative
It may well be that you already have a great authoritative speaking voice and, if so, skip this one! If not, try listening to people that you admire for being able to get their messages across well and who exude confidence. If you think that you fall into a type of voice that currently lacks authority, I would suggest that you try to deepen it. Does your voice have enough depth to it? Is it deep enough? We tend to take notice of people more when they use a deeper, more resonant voice than those who have a lighter, quieter, or whiney type of voice. Those with those deeper, more resonant vocal tones are those that you are more likely to listen to and believe. This is because they have learnt to centre their voice. They may have been lucky and been born with it, but more likely it stems from confidence, background, geographical location and/or upbringing.
This one could also be part of 7. Authoritative, as those speakers we tend to listen to and take notice of as being authoritative, usually pace their phrasing really well, and speak slightly more slowly than others. The same is also true of those who physically take the space they are occupying, and their bodies move in a more measured, slow, regal, style. You don’t see the Queen of England scurrying about her duties do you?! Actually, her voice pitch is slightly higher, but because both her speaking and bodily movements and posture are slow and measured, she gets away with it – plus her status speaks for itself!
If you’re preparing to voice your video but have in the past had concerns about being taken seriously when you present yourself, try to implement the above suggestions. I know that, if you’re not used to producing a richer, deeper sound, you’ll probably feel a bit silly at first. The other thing is, if you are in this category, you may be thinking ‘I’m not sure that going through all this effort is really going to make a difference’, then try this experiment – it works every time. Call someone who doesn’t know you and make a request for something, or to persuade them to take a particular action. I don’t mean make a weird phone call to a stranger, but it could be your utility supplier to check on a bill payment that you have in your in-tray, or any other company for example that you may have a query with but haven’t yet called. When you get on the phone, speak using your deeper, richer, centred voice at all times. If you do this correctly, and listen to the response of the person at the other end of the phone, I think that you will find you will a) get your message across better and b) you will get better results from your request or query – and faster. Don’t forget to modulate the tone of your voice to keep it friendly, warm and polite, as you’re even less likely to achieve your aim! Notice how both a) and b) are exactly what you want to achieve in your online video?
Alternatively, you could use a specialist voice-over artist for your online video, instead of doing it yourself. The sample audio track below contains clips from recent corporate voice over work:
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