Choosing a good voiceover voice?

Never really understood the appeal of a blog but recently I was asked “what makes a good voice” a voice that is heard on the radio or with a voiceover. The person asking wanted an idea of the sort of voice that would suit their brand. As often is the case, they were saying how much they can’t stand the sound of their own voice and therefore they needed to hire one to best represent their marketing needs.
Hence my first blog!

So what makes a great voice? a voice that people enjoy listening to, a voice that people warm to and trust. Is there more to it than that? You might think that after 20 years of using my voice professionally, I would have the answer by now and truth is whilst I have some views on what people like and don’t like, they are just views. I can’t be sure for certain, but having been in radio presenting for some time, it does mean you get some very honest feedback from the public on what they like and what drives them to the off button.

So have a look at what I feel makes a good voice.
That voiceover tone that will engage your audience.

Travel thirty miles and you hear the change in accents around the UK. My home county of Suffolk, has the Ipswich accent, the Lowestoft accent and the two vary greatly and that is between just two towns, but what links any voice is warmth, a willingness for the audience to listen to what the speaker has to say.

How much better is customer service on the phone when the speaker sounds engaged, natural and interested in you.
Voices that smile and have clarity, whatever the accent is, are far more likely to connect than a voice that sounds cold and bored.
Warmth is surely the key battle line, It is these that best work on radio and voiceover .

Say this out loud: The dog has eaten the tax return…
Now say it but imagine a broad smile as you do….
The dog has eaten the tax return…
Sounded better?
Suggesting that even the most annoying news can be delivered in a style that is at the very least engaging.

Warmth then and a genuine friendliness, inquisitive and with a tone that can seamlessly change gear from the light to the serious and back again without sounding as if the car is jumping on the road….leaving the passengers holding on for the next pitch dive.

So when choosing a voiceover ? ask, does it match your company or product?
Would that firm of solicitors really sound that happy?
Why are they so pleased with themselves?
Do I trust them with my divorce?
So many questions and good enough reason to trial a few voices before picking the voiceover that is right for you.
Knowing your audience will be one of the best guides as to the sounds and tones that will resonate with them.
For some help or advice on voiceovers – please get in touch via the contact page and I will be happy to try and answer any questions.

First blog posted, may have to keep this up.