Voice-Over Narration: Do It Yourself or Pay for a Pro?

Voice-Over Narration: Do It Yourself or Pay For a Pro?

Your corporation could have one, two or even dozens of video ideas in your lineup, from how-to instructional videos to those providing a description of your company or a rundown on specific services or products. You may also have an in-house team that typically takes care of all your production needs.

But, is that team using a voice that can really “cut it” when it comes to keeping your viewers fully engaged?

If you’re tempted to tap the smoothest-sounding voice from your staff to narrate your corporate videos, you may think you’re saving time, money and the hassle of searching out a full-time voice-over pro to hire for the job. But you could instead end up wasting time, money and creating an even bigger hassle when the smoothest-sounding voice doesn’t necessarily produce the smoothest final result.

As a longtime professional voice-over actor, I often get contacted by clients who have already completed their narration with someone that just didn’t work for them. The companies have already shelled out money as well as enormous amounts of time and effort – only to be saddled with a video they couldn’t use – due to shoddy and substandard narration.

The shoddiness may have come from any number or combination of problems. These are problems you simply won’t face if you hire an experienced full-time voice-over pro.

5 Reasons to Hire a Pro to Narrate Your Business or Corporate Videos

Reasons to Hire a Narration Voice-Over Pro - We've got the pleasant sounding voice down pat

1. We’ve got the pleasant voice down pat.

Just because a voice is smooth or distinctive doesn’t necessarily mean it’s pleasant for the listener. And a grating or irritating narration can make people turn off your video within the first few sentences.

Human beings get annoyed by a variety of things they experience through their senses, as this article explains: “You Bug Me, Now Science Explains Why.” When you are competing for your audience’s full attention, you cannot afford to have anything that could be seen or heard as annoying.

Full-time pro voice-over actors generally have years of training and experience that allows them to produce the pleasant voice listeners enjoy and trust. Listeners want someone who sounds knowledgeable on a topic without sounding arrogant. They need fluidity in the presentation of the material so it’s easily understood.

They want someone they can relate to, similar to a coworker or immediate supervisor. Voice-over pros can deliver all of the above, which is especially important in longer e-learning or instructional videos where viewers are tuning in for an extended period.

Here’s an example of a pleasant sounding voice-over narration for a corporate video:

And, here’s a type of voice that could turn off a few people:

While the brilliant Gilda Radner’s character, Roseanne Roseannadanna is an obvious exaggeration, the truth is that even a slightly annoying voice can quickly turn viewers off while watching your corporate videos.

In general, people are very picky today. They have short attention spans but no shortage of distractions (both worthwhile and time-wasting) constantly pulling on their attention to focus elsewhere. It is imperative that you do everything possible to ensure that your video has a narration that is pleasant and engaging all the way through to the end.

For a very interesting article about the current and future “abundance of content” which is driving the need for better and better quality of business videos, check out “The Age of Abundance: How the Content Explosion Will Invert the Media Industry.” Thanks to CourVO for bringing that one to my attention!

Reason #2:

Voice-Over Narration: We Get Your Style

2. We get your style.

Full-time voice-over actors typically come equipped with an arsenal of different vocal styles they can produce, along with the capabilities to adapt them as needed to suit your own company’s vibe. Your corporate video narration may beg for an exciting, vibrant style; a serious, professional and responsible style; or a style that gives off a sophisticated and intelligent air.

Pros can serve up a variety of different styles, with many able to automatically produce what you’re looking for by simply reading the script or getting a bit of background on your company. Our voices are an effective tool for helping to position your company with the status you want. And once we know the audience you want to target, we can shape our voice to hit the bull’s eye.

Here are a few style examples from my Portfolio . First off, for CareNotify, we needed to create a Friendly, Reassuring and Uplifting feeling for the viewer:

The target style for this next video for the Child Check System was Responsibility and Compassion:

For a more Serious, Concerned read:

Finally, when narrating for technology-related videos, it is often important to convey Sophistication and Intelligence while still sounding very Friendly and Approachable:

You can see dozens more examples on my Narration Voice Overs page, across a wide range of types of narration.

Read Part 2 of this article, “Professional Narration Voiceover Has Many Advantages” to see 3 more reasons to hire a professional voice-over talent for your corporate narration projects.

Please share your comments and questions below. Thanks for reading!

2 comments on “Voice-Over Narration: Do It Yourself or Pay for a Pro?

    • Debbie Grattan on

      Thanks Jessica! You’re so sweet! I can say the same back to you, and your dynamic superhero VO family. So nice to be connected with you still, after all these years.

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