Have you ever thought about adding a short intro to your voice demo?
For some time now, recording an intro on a voice demo has been big news in Australia.
My agent, EMVoices, insists on it – as do many others.
Originally, it was driven by the studios wanting to hear an example of your natural speaking voice before they listened to samples of what you can do with a script.
The studios wanted to listen to you speaking for two reasons:
- To hear the natural tone and rhythm of your voice, and
- To hear your conversational voice style – these days, so many scripts are cast for ‘conversational’ reads.
Many voice actors I work with find recording an intro difficult to do.
Yes, it can be hard to put 10 seconds down of you taking about yourself in an engaging way!
Many will opt out of it by simply saying their name, followed by…”and here’s the demo!”
While that’s okay, I’ve heard from many studios and casting people that they will often cast the job just from the intro. If it doesn’t give them anything that appeals, they’ll just go to the next voice.
The reason I’m writing this is that a couple of days ago, I did a corporate job for a housing development ‘a master planned community’ – in their words.
And they wanted the read to sound ‘conversational’.
That’s all good and is a common direction these days.
It was during the job, when we had the performance working, that the client told me I got the job because he listened to the intro on my demo and thought, ‘that’s the voice I want’.
The read I was cast for was for a DVD that’ll be watched by those choosing to find out about the development.
That is, a captive audience, not a half listening radio or television audience that I need to convince of something.
In that kind of read, there’s never any need to over-emphasise anything.
Another good reason for thinking about an intro on your demo is your ability to convince someone to book you for the job.
If the casting person has never met you, your intro could be the reason they decide they want to meet you.
When I put a demo together for someone, I always suggest they do an intro.
It’s never easy for anyone to do this – I even find it more troublesome than any script I’m ever asked to read.
Of all the things you could say about yourself in less than 10 seconds, what would you say?
I ask my clients to prepare something before they come in to the studio to either record or edit their demo.
“Make it short”, I say, “just stuff about you that would make someone listening want to be in the room with you.”
So, to help you prepare something here are some tips for creating a voice intro that may just get you a job:
- Don’t state the obvious, as in “I’m a voice actor”
- No pleading, as in “I hope you like the demo”
- No formal speak, as in “Hello, my name is blah, blah and I have been working as an actor for several years. I’m also a graphic designer and on the weekends have been renovating my house (too formal, not conversational and boring)
- Just make it informal and conversational, and if you can find a way to inject some humour, then go for it. As in “Hi, blah, blah here, actor, graphic designer and weekend house renovator. So I need the money. Here’s the demo.”
When we’re in the studio, I get them to record it without using the script they’ve prepared – so they’re not reading it.
It’s okay to say ah, and um and not be perfect.
It must sound like it’s coming straight off the top of your head.
Here’s the link to my page on EMVoices where you can listen to my 2014 compilation demo and that intro.
So, next time you’re putting your demo together, think seriously about including an intro.
It just might get you a gig!
Find Your Voice As a Voice Over Actor And Artist With The Voice Over Coach. For over 30 years I've had a successful voiceover career. I work in mainstream voice over for radio and television, narration for the corporate sector, website content and documentaries, as well as characters for animation, IVR, ADR, on-hold and foreign film dubbing.