The Different Voiceover Demo Types
It is best to work on a type of demo that suits your voice and showcase your best skills. Knowing the different types will help you make an informed decision on what to record and market. There are two main types of demos: Commercial and Narration.
Though commercial work only makes approximately only 10% of voiceover work, it is a popular type of demo recorded by voice talents as it can let the talent demonstrate different types of voice presentation – conversational, announcer type, hard-sell, etc. that will help in the brand messaging of the company. Commercial demos can be for television or radio broadcast, and in the more recent years also now used for made for internet commercial spots.
Narration may be one type of demo that is necessary for a talent to record. Corporate videos, e-learning videos, telephony or voice messaging, explainer videos, documentary and such make up about 80% to 90% voiceover work. Narration or descriptive demos, as their names suggest, tells a story or describes what is being seen. Television and films companies make extensive use of voiceover or narrators in documentaries, television series and feature films.
Here are some of the more specific type of Demo Categories.
An audiobook is a spoken word recording based on either traditional or electronic books, or other written works. With tablets and smartphones now easily available, audiobooks are becoming more popular with literary fans, thus prompting more writers to create audio versions of their writings. Audiobooks can be recorded by a single artist or a full cast. In recording an audiobook demo, you should be able to showcase your storytelling skills and demonstrate a variety of character voices and acting skills to make an interesting performance.
Character / Cartoon & Video Games
Again another popular demo type is Character / Cartoon & Video Games demo due to the influx of animation projects in film, television and even over internet, and of video games. Some would say that the popularity that the voiceover industry is experiencing now and the interest in becoming a talent maybe due to the fascination of fans in both animation and video games. Voiceover work that you can target varies from animated films, television cartoons, video games, phone apps, toys, foreign cartoon dubbings, and more. When creating a character voice demo, you should focus on a voice and performance that you would be able to sustain. You should be able to showcase an exaggerated acting performance to make your character or personality larger than life.
Companies have drastically increased their online presence in the last 5 years as they aim to reach more audience in this digital world. Corporate videos or explainer videos make up a lot of the current voiceover work especially in voiceover platforms or marketplace sites. Companies are creating more fun and engaging videos, so talents should be able to match this energy. Be versatile in creating your corporate demos by presenting both a fun and animated side and also a professional and corporate read.
E-Learning and Medical Narration
The education sector and certain businesses may require training videos, learning modules, presentations or medical videos. These forms of learning enhancements are being used more commonly now as it has proven to be an effective and efficient way to convey ideas. To be effective in this category then, you may need to be an excellent narrator and story teller to be able to hold the interest of the listeners. It is also important that before recording your demo, research the topic to have a better understanding of the script and learn the correct pronunciation of vocabularies used.
Television & Radio
Radio or television imaging is the station’s signature sound that enables the listeners to easily identify the station amongst its competitors. These are varied sounds (and images for television) that identify, brand and market a particular radio or television station like, sweepers, intros & outros, bumpers, IDs, stingers and drops. Your voice should reflect the station’s image or brand. Create a demo that can make you easily identifiable with the target audience – on gender, personality, attitude, energy, sound, tone, mood, diction, etc.
There are other types of voiceover work that are slowly gaining ground in terms of the number of work produced. But projects can still be had from these types of work by just using the demos above.
- Live Announcer
Voiceover actors are not created the same. Each has a distinctive voice. Voiceovers may pursue the same niche but they create their own mold. It is not necessary then for talents to record in every demo categories, as there are only about 10% to 15% chance that talents get to work in all categories. The more successful ones are those who focus on the types of voiceover work they perform best. However, presenting at least a commercial and narration demo allows you to showcase your different skills and can give you opportunities to improve further in your chosen niche or discover a new one.