Voice-Over Customers: Always Right?

Are your voice over clients always “right”?  If they direct you (in-studio, on phone-patch, via e-mail),  is the sound they want always right for the copy in your eyes (ears)? Have you ever had a client give you a line-reading, which you mimic perfectly, only to hear, “that’s not what I meant!”.


The answer is – well, there is no clear answer.

This much I do know.The client has the right to ask you to voice the project

customer service

Leads to Happy – and often Repeat – Clients

any way they want. It is their baby, their vision. Sometimes they ask for our input – and many of my regular clients love that collaboration once they know and trust me – but sometimes, especially at first, our job is to deliver whatever it is they think they want.

Trouble is: sometimes the communication issue comes into play. How to say, in words, what it is the ear wants to hear, the heart wants to feel, in playback?

That’s part of the challenge of voice-over. And, often, part of the fun! And, sometimes, part of the frustration. But when you nail it so that everyone (especially the client) is happy, then it feels like sweet victory. Even if you don’t always agree with the client’s choice. We, the talent, are not always right either.

Example one: a billboard I did recently for NBC.  I asked the producer for a copy of the final 7 takes, and he was kind enough to send me the file.  These are dry (no post-production, music) – and the only “effect” the producer did was to delete enough breath sounds to shave some fractions of a second.

Which one would you have chosen?  Answer later in this post.

Meanwhile, another example: radio ad, local, approved in studio, was asked for “conversational” but also “enthused” – my idea of “natural” differed, but it often does, and the director guides the tone as the session proceeds

Then – I was asked to return for a second session, as the end client wanted a change. Okay. Was asked, this time, for “more confidence”…okay…

This was the final approved version. Can you hear the difference?

Opinions will vary!  But – the end client was happy, and therefore so am I. And that’s customer service 🙂

NBC chose ……(fanfare)….#7.  In this case, I would have chosen that one too!


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Filed under Voiceover, Voice Talent, Voice Acting

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