How to win at voiceover auditions
How to win voiceover auditions? Here’s your top 20 checklist from Voiceover Masterclass’s Peter Baker.
If you’re applying for a voiceover job with other voice artists on a “pay to play” voiceover site or even from a direct client or production company, it pays to know what to do to maximize your chances of winning it. Here is the Top 20 list from Voiceover Masterclass:
1 – Reply promptly. It’s courteous and professional to do so, and if the post is on a “Pay to play” site, your audition will be one of the first the clients will listen to. What if they make a final choice before they get to your audition? Some sites like Bodalgo have a huge membership. Do you really want your audition to be 132nd?!
2- Read every job post very carefully, and ignore the job if you know your voice style or accent is not suitable for the client’s needs. Don’t waste your time or waste the potential client’s time who’ll remember you for next time in a bad light when there could be a more suitable job for you.
3- Do exactly what they ask for. If there’s a voice reference, listen to it. If they want you to read ALL the audition script, do it. If they ask for a name slate, do it. If you don’t follow instructions on just the audition demo, would they trust you to follow the direction for the real job?
4- Don’t add music to your audition. It’s a waste of time for you to mix and also a snub to the client, as it assumes you know what’s needed more than they do. Practically, they can’t test your voice audition on their video timeline with the real music they have chosen, as the music clash will sound awful.
5 - After recording, compress the voice audition file and normalize to 0dB. Auditions are often listened to in a busy open plan office so yours needs to sound “loud”! In Adobe Audition, the “Broadcast” pre-set in “Multiband Compression” is an excellent quick voiceover enhancer.
6 - Create a professional cover note / email to go with your audition. Don’t make it too long; about 50-60 words will be fine. If you have any brand association or knowledge of the industry in the script, say so. Don’t mention the names of specific clients you have worked for (they could be enemies of the client) but say if you have honestly recorded similar jobs for that sector in the past.
7 - Spend time to personalise the text cover note. It’s fine to have pre-written templates for audition cover notes in your Autotext program, but you must carefully customise your “boiler plate” for each audition!
8 - If the voice style direction was vague in the job details, say in the cover note that you are willing to re-audition if your demo is not exactly as they wanted, but maybe that could be with more direction from them. Don’t just complain about the vagueness of the original post, obviously!
9 - If you are allowed to submit multiple takes of the audition, make sure each take is VERY different. Say in your note the number of takes you have submitted.
10 - Don’t put annoying bleeps in between takes, a half second gap is fine.
11 - Don’t put spoiler bleeps IN the audition or change words deliberately or even annoyingly fade out your recording at the end as if you’re worried that the client is going to “steal your demo”. This will never happen, and it’s an insult to them to think they will.
12 - If you’re new to the voiceover world, never say so. Don’t lie, but also don’t offer a cut price job, or plead for the gig to “test out your new studio”. If you haven’t a track record to talk about, just keep the note bare and let your demo do the talking.
13 - Use the personal name of the actual client in the cover note. If there is no name of the person, and just the company is mentioned, it’s fine to say “Hello, (company)” or “Hi, Team (company)!”
14 - If you also know the brand name you’ll be talking about or type of project, weave this into your customisation too. It takes just seconds, but can add more credibility to you, and take away any feeling you are just shooting demos out to everyone.
15 - Talk about your technical setup if you’re proud of it; the client doesn’t want a full kit list; but if you have a high-end microphone and a professional booth, tell them! However, don’t lie and say you have a $2,000 Neumann U87 or a SourceConnect Pro subscription if you haven’t.
16 - Many media projects are very time dependent. Say if you are in the studio and have availability “today” if you have. But say when “today” is, in other words, what is your time zone?
17 - If you have the technical capability, encourage clients to direct you via headphones. They will then know they’ll get the best takes from you and during the directed recording session you can build a personal relationship with them for future work.
18 - Sign off on a friendly note, sound accessible. If you are on a site that allows contact details, check they are correct.
19 - Check you’ve attached the right file before you click SEND. On sites like Voice Realm, you can’t have your full name in the title of the file.
20 - Always check the cover note before you click “send”. Check the grammar and typos too. Read it out loud – you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression!
Want to learn to be top voiceover talent pulling in a regular annual 6-figure income? Check out www.VoiceoverMasterclass.com for highly rated video-based courses on all things voice and voiceover; there’s even a 100% free voice course you can take right now!