What is a voiceover demo exactly?
A voiceover demo is a selection of recorded material that showcases your voice, your vocal range, and versatility. It’s your audio business card. But be careful; your demo should never be:
- A recording done as an afterthought at your desk, and edited with online software.
- An announcement of what you plan to do in the industry.
- ‘Spoken word’ or poetry recordings.
- A statement about who you are, and why you want to do voiceovers.
- A quick recording done on your mobile phone in a closet.
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s get down to business. It kind of makes sense that a voiceover demo needs to be as professional as possible. This is equally true for those who are only just starting out in the industry as it is for talents who’ve been around for years. You should not – even for a moment – consider rushing your demo, or just ‘putting something temporary together’ to create a presence for yourself online while you work towards creating ‘your real, proper, super-excellent, perfect demo’. Just as luck always tends to favor the prepared, bad luck always tends to favor the unprepared. The worst thing you can do to your voiceover career is to put something online that:
- Is so bad it makes a potential client feel bad for you.
- Annoys the client.
- Gives them reason to keep searching for other voice actors.
- Gives them reason to remember not to look for you again.
- Makes it abundantly clear that you are nowhere near ready to work as a voice-actor.
Have fun and play. Do something different to stand out. Often the client doesn’t know what they’re looking for. Make them sit up and take notice.
A demo is not you reading a sample script you snatched from somewhere. That’s practice. A demo is a sample of a commercial recording that showcases your voice in a way that it attracts clients. It needs to be something that gives the impression it was played on radio or aired on TV.
But what if you haven’t yet recorded anything like that?
With all the fantastic software tools at your disposal today, there’s absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t be able to record something good and put together a decent package – music and all. Even if you’ve never actually recorded a real commercial, you can make it ‘sound’ like it.