5 Script Tips For Voice Seekers

5 Script Tips For Voice Seekers

Recording a Voice-overYou’ve got your vision. You’ve written your script. You’ve auditioned voice talent. You’ve picked your winner. Now it’s time to get down to business. It’s time to take that vision and make it a reality. Produce that commercial. Create that video. Update that phone system.

You’re ready to record.

Now what?

As a Voice Talent there are a few things that I’ve picked up on over the years when it comes to scripts that can make the recording process easier. A well written, clearly thought out script can make all the difference in the world between creating a finished product or a great finished product.

So what can you, as a Voice Seeker, do to make this process smoother?

5 Script Tips For Voice Seekers

1) Proofread your script: Actually, have someone else proofread it! I recently wrote an essay for a college course I’m taking online. I must have read that thing a hundred times before I submitted it. I was sure I aced it. And I nearly did. Do you know what stood between me and a perfect grade? A single, solitary spelling mistake. How did I miss it? Because I know what I meant write and that’s what I read each time I proofed the paper… even though that’s not actually what I had typed. Before you send your script to the Voice Talent, have a fresh pair of eyes review it for spelling and grammatical errors that can mess up the read.

2) Mark the script: Do you want certain words or phrases emphasized? Are there certain parts you want to stand out? Do you want the opening to sound a certain way but the closing to be read in a different tone? Mark the script. Use highlights. Use bold text. Use underlines. Use italics. Make sure it’s obvious for the talent which parts you want to stand out.

3) Provide clear direction: We can’t achieve your vision if we don’t see it. Help us see it by providing clear direction. You can do this in a number of ways. Two of the most common, a sample voice or a sample read. Give us a name. Who are you looking for? Morgan Freeman? Tim Allen? Sam Elliot? Dennis Leary? Or did you watch a really great video on YouTube and you want your voice-over to have a similar tone or pace or feel? Send us the link. Great direction leads to great audio!

4) Phonetically spell difficult names: When I do phone systems nothing trips me up more than reading the directory of names and not knowing how to pronounce half of them. Spell them out. Use explanations such “sounds like….” or “rhymes with…” Better still, give the talent a phone call and make sure we know the pronunciation. You could even provide a scratch track of you saying the different names.

5) Spell out phone numbers: If you write your phone number in the script as 555-1234 I’m not sure how you’d prefer me to read it. So write the number out. 555-one, two, three four. Or 555-twelve, thirty four. If you’re giving your phone number twice in a commercial script do you want it read once each way? Twice the same way? Which way? Spelling it out in the script guarantees the talent will nail it just as you want it.

Better Instructions For Faster Service

As a Voice Talent I always want my clients to be happy with the first piece of audio I send them. It makes the process easier for everyone. I appreciate that this isn’t always going to happen. But when it can, it saves time and effort and helps you hit or beat your deadlines.

A well written script can mean the difference between nailing it on the first take and moving onto the final production process or bouncing back and forth with the talent for two days worth of pickups and corrections.

Here’s to getting it right the first time out and beating your deadlines!

About Marc Scott

I've been doing voice work since 1995. When I'm not recording jobs, sending auditions, working on demos or writing new posts, you might find me on a fire truck. I'm proud to serve my community as a Volunteer Firefighter.