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Get a voice over demo that rocks!

13 February

You may think your voice over demo rocks, but does it?

Your demo is your essential tool to secure the kind of voiceover jobs you want and are suited to!

So let’s talk about how you ensure it’s doing its job.

Getting your voice over demo to really work for you takes:

  • some time,
  • some research,
  • some analysis, and
  • a really good strategy.

Here are the two questions you need to answer.

1 Is your voiceover demo getting you heaps of work and do you know why?

To understand “the why” you need to research and go back to the work you’ve been cast for.

Listen to the copies of the work you’ve done – if you haven’t got copies, start requesting them!

Now, recall or listen to your work then ask yourself:

“Which are the tracks on my demo that are similar in style to the work I’m getting most often?”

When you have the answer, you’ll also know that this style is what people are buying the most about your voice. 

This is a good thing to know as it allows you to listen out for others doing similar kind of work.

How do they sound?  What are they doing that works?

Now that you know what people like about you, are there enough versions of that style on your demo? 

Or is it time to re-vamp the demo to include the best of what you’ve done recently.

Once you’ve done that, you can send your demo out again announcing an updated demo.

Creating a reason to send a demo out is a great way of marketing your voiceover talents.

2 Is your voiceover demo getting you very little or no work and do you know why?

If you’re getting some work and want more (well who doesn’t!) you need to listen to your demo for the tracks that never get you any work.

Be honest and ask yourself why that might be?

There could be a few reasons why:

  1. You just might not be the best person around at this style,
  2. It’s just not a strong enough read, or
  3.  It’s a style that is seldom or never used – you’ll need to be really ruthless with this one!

Character voices and accents are often too heavily represented on demos.

You may be good at character voices and accents, but if you listen to radio and television for the amount of character and accent work around,  you may not hear very much!

To help you get cast for jobs, your demo must reflect the kind of work that’s out there – not necessarily the kind of work you’d like to do.

You may have to ‘kill your darlings’…get rid of the things you love most, because they’re just not serving you.

When you’re being cast from your demo (or samples from it that may be sent to a producer) you’re going to be successful, if the read:

  • Connects with the listener – no matter what the style is
  • Shows you understand the message
  • Satisfies the listener that you understand who you’re talking to, and
  • Entertains.

So what to do next?

  1. Replace the reads that aren’t working, with either work you’re been getting or a script that you source that reflects the kind of work you get. Make sure it’s different in pace, rhythm or energy from what you already have.
  2. Make sure there’s no repetition – if two tracks sound similar, pick the strongest track.

Constantly refining and re-launching a demo is an essential piece of voiceover marketing.

I know that those I’ve coached, who are now successfully working in the industry, constantly revise their demo’s, to reflect what it is they’re good at.

So, have a listen to your demo, with a critical ear and make sure it stacks up!

And a parting “voiceovercoach tip” that will help your demo making a little easier.

When you do the job, ask the studio to email you a copy and then store them in your ‘My Voice Demos’ file – next time you’re creating your demo,  you’ll have some tracks to choose from.

Happy voiceovering!

Abbe Holmes About Abbe Holmes
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.

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