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About Voice-Overs

Introduction to Voice-Overs: Voice-Overs Demystified

What do you need to know when considering Voice-Overs?

Definition of Voice-Over

Voice-Over: (alternative spellings voiceover and voice over), describes the technique by which any disembodied voice is broadcast live or pre-recorded in animation, fashion shows, industrial shows, live-action films, presentations, radio and television commercials, television programs, theater, training, video games, etc. Simply, it is whenever a voice is recorded or performed over anything.

A Voice-Over actor is also referred to as talent.

Where are Voice-Overs used?

Below is a small list of how Voice-Overs are used. Businesses and private consumers are continually finding new ways to enhance their message effectively with Voice-Overs.

Imagine where you can incorporate Voice-Overs.

Automatic Instructions Auto Attendants
Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
Voice Prompts
Education Computer Based Training (CBT)
Educational Videos
Narration
Web Based Training (WBT)
Entertainment Audio Books
In-flight Entertainment
Video Games
Voice Characterization
Novelty Consumer Outgoing message (OGM)
Marketing Outgoing message (OGM). After Hours Messaging (non-business hours)
Infomercials
In-house Commercials (In-store)
Music-On-Hold
Radio Commercials (Radio Spots)
TV Commercials
Political Campaigning
Presentation Keynote Presentation
Macromedia Flash Presentations
PowerPoint Presentations
Training Audio Manuals
Corporate Training Videos
Software Tutorials
Training Applications
Websites Internet Audio
Podcast

Advantages of using a professional Voice-Over.

What are the benefits of a professional produced Voice-Over for your company?

  1. Using professionally produced Voice-Overs adds an additional dimension to your message delivery. This adds power and effectiveness, increasing retention of your message.

  2. Using professionally produced Voice-Overs demonstrates attention to quality that your customer and employees will subconsciously and consciously respect.

  3. Your target listener can be engaged in other activities while listening to your message. For example, shopping or working.

Why should you or your company use professional Voice-Overs?

  1. It may seem easy to read words into a cassette recorder, but subconsciously your audience is listening not only to the words, but also to the presentation. Ninety-four percent of our communication is nonverbal. It has been shown that if these nonverbal cues are missing in your Voice-Over, your listener can miss as much as seventy-five percent of the meaning.

  2. Listeners will associate an unprofessional Voice-Over with your company’s attention to detail.

  3. A professional talent is experienced in projecting these non-verbal cues.

  4. See if you can tell what the talent is conveying by using non-verbal cues.

    Click here for an example of non-verbal cues.

    Body Tone Multimedia - Example of Non-Verbal Cues

  5. A professional studio records the voice of the Voice-Over talent at the correct frequencies that brings out the talents best sound with no background noise.

Example of a bad Voice-Over.

Body Tone Multimedia - Example of a bad Voice-Over

Advantages of using a professional Voice-Over with print.

What about using Voice-Overs with print?

Data shows that when a customer reads and listens to the message at the same time, they are more likely to understand and retain it. Incorporating both visual and Voice-Over, in your company’s procedures and training, will achieve a higher understanding and retention rate. This equates to less time for training and more time for production.

Try this example.

  1. Print out detailed instructions and have your teenager or spouse read it when they are doing something such as watching TV. (Do this during the commercial break.) Take it away after they read it. Later, after the television show they were watching, ask them to tell you what the directions were.

  2. The next day try by talking. At the commercial break, tell them different instructions. After the television show, they were watching, ask them to tell you what the directions were.

  3. Finally, on another day, during a commercial break, hand each a list of instructions. While they are reading the list, read it to them aloud. After the television show, they were watching, ask them to tell you what the directions were.

  4. What were your results?

Advantages of using a professional Voice-Over in your presentation.

Voice-Overs used in corporate or sales meetings.

Follow the links below to go directly to the page.

Voice-Overs for Your Corporation

Voice-Over for Sales Presentations

Why not have a Voice-Over to accentuate your message?

I have been in many corporate meeting where the presenter (even though he or she was well educated) could not convey the message correctly and lost acceptance of the proposals. The only thing the audience retained was the coffee and doughnuts offered during the meeting.

The benefits to having your presentation accented by a Voice-Over are.
  1. You can play the Voice-Over and point out important items in your presentation, instead of having to remembering your lines.

  2. You can watch your audience. See where they are interested or where they are uncomfortable. You can note these items and address them before closing the meeting.

Advantages of using a professional Voice-Over for your image.

Professional Voice-Overs used in your outgoing message (OGM) at the office and at home.

Voice-Over at the office.

In this day and age, perception is truth. How you are perceived to others is how you must really be. In the corporate arena, how you are perceived is directly related to your salary and the respect you command. No matter what your position is in a company, when people call you from within the company or from outside, your outgoing message (OGM) should always project and aura of professionalism.

How many times have you called a co-worker on his or her company land line or cell phone and heard a nervous, unprofessional outgoing message just stating their name?

Listen to this example of a professional out going message.

Hello,
You have reached the desk of Bob Smith, Body Tone Multimedia’s senior vice president in charge of marketing.
Please leave a your name, phone number, and a detailed message at the prompt.
Bob will return your call within three business days.
Thank you and have a great day.


Advantages of using a professional Voice-Over at home.

Follow the links below to go directly to the Individuals or Private Consumer page.

Voice-Overs for Individuals or Private Consumer

Voice-Over at Home

There are ways a professional Voice-Over can be used on your home phone's outgoing message (OGM). Using professionally produced Voice-Overs adds an additional dimension to your message delivery. This adds power and effectiveness, increasing retention of your message.
  1. You want to project professionalism at home as well as at work.

  2. You are job hunting and want to project a professional attitude incase a potential employers call you for an interview.

  3. A single female can have a strong sounding male voice on her outgoing message. This can help deter any unwanted phone calls from anyone who may think she is vulnerable.

  4. Selling something in the classifieds, use Voice-Overs in your home phone's outgoing message (OGM) to present what you are selling and let your answering machine do the work.

  5. Real Estate, “For Sale by Owner”. Owners that are selling their homes are using professional Voice-Overs and getting results.

  6. The novelty outgoing message is becoming more and more commonplace. When friends and family call, they get a good laugh.


  7. Follow the links below to go directly to the Novelty page.

    Voice-Overs for Novelty

Advantages of using a professional Voice-Over when your customer is on hold or after business hours.

That uncomfortable silence.

No one likes uncomfortable silence, but when your customer calls your business, company, or department, this can be detrimental. There are two times when you customer can be subjected to uncomfortable silence when they call.
  1. When they are put on hold.

  2. When they call after hours (non-business hours).

Advantages of using a professional Voice-Over in Real Estate.

Voice-Overs used in Real Estate

Follow the links below to go directly to the Voice-Overs for Real Estate page.

Voice-Overs for Real Estate

Another time when silence can make or break a sale is in Real Estate. There are three ways agents are enhancing their sales.

  1. A professional Voice-Over linked to a messaging system. The interested party just calls the phone number in the advertisement or posted sign and listens to a professional pre-recorded message telling the potential buyer of all the item the property has to offer.

  2. A professional Voice-Over with music played during the showing of the house.

  3. A professional Voice-Over on the website. While the potential buyer is reading, they are hearing the Voice-Over at the same time.

  4. For Sale by Owner. Owners that are selling their homes themselves are using professional Voice-Overs and getting results.

Union, non-union industry, and Body Tone Multimedia's Rates for Voice-Overs

Union rates for Voice-Overs
There are two unions which govern Voice-Over work: AFTRA (American Federation of TV and Radio Artists) and SAG (the Screen Actors Guild). The client must pay the talent scale and residuals and contribute to a pension and welfare fund on your behalf. Here are the links to the minimum rates from these unions.

AFTRA (American Federation of TV and Radio Artists)
http://www.aftra.com/contract/ctvrates.htm

SAG (Screen Actors Guild)
http://www.sag.org/Content/Public/2005-08TVTheatrRates.pdf.

Industry standard Non-union rates for Voice-Overs.
http://www.voices.com/documents/Voices.com-Voice-Over-Rate-Sheet.pdf

Body Tone Multimedia’s Voice-Over rates

Category Time Cost for Regular: turnaround time option Cost for Hot: turnaround time option Cost for Urgent: turnaround time option
Radio Commercial: Local / Regional :15, :30 or :60 $200 $300 $400
Radio Commercial: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago :15, :30 or :60 $300 $400 $500
Radio Commercial : National Network :15, :30 or :60 $1000 $1200 $1800
Radio Station Promotion / Station Imaging :05, 15 or :30 $200 $300 $400
Public Service Announcement on Radio :15, :30 or :60 $200 $300 $400
Television:  Local / Regional :15, :30 or :60 $300 $400 $500
Television: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago :15, :30 or :60 $500 $600 $700
Television: National Network :15, :30 or :60 $2000 $2200 $2800
Television Station Promotion / Station Imaging :05, 15 or :30 $300 $400 $500
Public Service Announcement on Television :15, :30 or :60 $300 $400 $500
Television Animation 1 hr recording session $300 $400 $500
Per additional studio hour $100 $150 $200
Non-Broadcast Corporate, Industrial and Educational 1 hr recording session $300 $400 $500
Per additional studio hour $100 $150 $200
Interactive Media / Multimedia 1 hr recording session $300 $400 $500
Per finished hour of audio $500 $600 $700
Audiobooks Per page rate 125 225 325
Per finished hour of audio $500 $600 $600
Per word rate scripts over 10,000 words with Word Arial 12pt font 0.10 - 0.25 0.15 - 0.35 0.25 - 0.45
  Or percentage of sales of AudioBook (Negotiable) Or percentage of sales of AudioBook (Negotiable) Or percentage of sales of AudioBook (Negotiable)
Video Games 1 hr recording session $300 $400 $500
Per finished hour of audio $500 $600 $700
  and percentage of game sales and percentage of game sales and percentage of game sales
       
Individual outgoing message (OGM) consumer, business, and corporate. :15, :30 $60 $100 $120
:60 $120 $160 $180
6:00 $125 $200 $260
12:00 $240 $320 $360
Real estate outgoing message (OGM) , webpage. :15, :30 $60 $100 $120
:60 $120 $160 $180
6:00 $125 $200 $260
12:00 $240 $320 $360
Real estate walk though. Six (6) minutes of music and Voice-Over. (See Package Rates) Six (6) minutes $125 $200 $260
       
       
       
Real Estate Package Rates includes (1 Six (6) minutes of music and Voice-Over, 1 :15, :30 Voice-Over OGM, and 1 :15, :30 Voice-Over for your website.) 35% Savings Six (6) minutes $125 $200 $260
:15, :30 $60 $100 $160
:15, :30 $60 $100 $160
Total Discount Price $146 $186 $206
Novelty Individual outgoing message (OGM) :15, :30 $60 $100 $120
       
:60 $120 $160 $180
       

Note:
•  Radio and television rates for unlimited airings in a 13-week cycle.
•  Rates are in US Dollars.
•  Price drops to regular rates if still running on radio and television for unlimited airings in second 13-week cycle and beyond.

Script and Direction

Setting the tone of your Voice-Over.

When deciding on your script for your Voice-Over, you must first decide what tone you want to project.

  1. A serious tone. Straight to the point. (Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How).

  2. A character acting out a skit. More relaxed. It brings the listener into the scene as if they were listening in on a conversation.

  3. A character acting out a funny skit. Comedy helps people remember.

  4. A serious voice tone acting out a funny skit. Everybody like the switch. A serious tone with a punch line at the end.

  5. Dynamics (Intensity). Relaxed or hard (“TUESDAY, TUESDAY, TUESDAY”)

Word Count

A calm, understandable rate of speed for reading your script is 2.5 words per second. That’s approximately 75 words total for 30 seconds. Remember, the pause is just as important to allow the listener to comprehend your message.

Faster is called a, “Hard sell”. The rate of speed for reading your script is 3.5 words per second, but that's pushing it. That’s approximately 105 words total for 30 seconds.

Always read your script aloud before you send it in.

Pronunciation

The most important item is pronunciation. In reviewing your script, be sure that any word that can be mispronounced is clearly notated. There are many names, words, phrases, and dialects (that are not in the dictionary) that may be very familiar to you in your part of the country, but will not be apparent to the talent. For example, Des Moines [duh-MOIN] can easily be incorrectly pronounced. In addition, be sure to include CAP-i-tal letters to denote syllable emphasis.

When in doubt notate.

All questionable pronunciations must have precise instructions of the desired diction. Body Tone Multimedia will not be held responsible for any mispronunciations that have not been specified prior to the recording session.


Script Formatting

Please specify if you want a three second count down, A three second pause at beginning, or the voice over to start right on the beginning. If you do not specify it will start at the beginning.

If music is selected with Voice-Over then a few seconds lead in of music will be played before Voice-Over will start.


Turnaround

Body Tone Multimedia has three turnaround options for your convenience.

  1. Urgent: 24 hours

  2. Hot: 72 hours

  3. Regular: five business days
Please confirm the turnaround time you need when placing your order.

Delivery

We offer two (2) methods of delivery: Email and USPS - Priority Mail

  1. When using email, we compress the file to MP3 or MPEG-4 (AAC). Please consider that most email services do not allow more than 10 Megabytes of data for one letter. This means that an average Voice-Over with music will be approximately 2 minutes long. If you need longer recordings it must burned on a CD and sent via priority mail.

  2. We can also ship your order on CD. Additional shipping cost will be applied to your order.

How to use your Voice-Over.


Once you get your Voice-Over from your email, you will want to play on a CD player at home or at your business.

Follow this link for a free player and converter from Apple Computer, Inc. called iTunes

Please note when using your new Voice-Over for answering machines, voicemail, and cell phones, you may need to turn the bass down or off depending on your equipment.

When recording your outgoing message (OGM) on your cell phone, you may need to use a landline phone to get a better quality message on your service.

Need help writing the script?
Don’t worry Body Tone Multimedia is here to help.
Follow the link below to learn About Body Tone Multimedia Writing Services.
We can help.



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