The Traditional Voiceover
Traditionally voiceovers have been provided by really smooth, deep-voiced (for male voiceover talents) voice actors, who really try to emphasize each word.
Think movie trailer voiceover.
I don’t think there is anything wrong with this kind of voiceover. In fact, it can be extremely effective. Especially in TV commercials and movie trailers where there is a very small amount of available time in which to get a message across and make an impact. In this type of situation, having a voice that sounds ¨like a voiceover guy¨ can help to achieve the desired result.
But a change is underway.
The movie guy voice is not as popular as before.
A voiceover talent doesn´t necessarily need to have that kind of smooth, deep, voiceover guy voice.
In fact, they might sound completely “normal”.
Enter the guy-next-door or girl-next-door voice.
The Guy Next Door – Girl Next Door Voiceover Talent
While the movie trailer voice certainly has its place, it can sometimes be seen as a bit over-produced and overly-salesy. The symptom of a seller trying to use every trick in the book to convince the potential buyer to buy.
But in today’s information-freely-available marketplace, people don’t like to be sold to.
They like to make the decision themselves. An informed decision. Based on facts
And some of those savvy consumers don´t like the old-school movie style voice.
They like to listen to something a bit more relaxed and easy-going. They want someone to explain something to them in the way that a friend might explain something to them over a coffee.
This is where the guy-next-door / girl-next-door voiceover comes in. It refers to someone who has a natural-sounding voice and can explain things in a straightforward, easy-talking, relatively relaxed manner.
This type of voice has really gained popularity in recent years because of the reasons mentioned above—essentially based around the idea that consumers don’t like to be sold to.
This kind of voiceover can therefore be really effective. The relaxed, straightforward style lends itself to explainer videos, but it can also be fantastic in corporate videos, e-learning, narrations etc.
The length of the audio or video is also a key consideration here. While a movie trailer voice might work perfectly for a TV ad or radio spot (or a movie trailer, obviously!), it might not work so well for longer audios and videos. The reason for this is that the movie trailer voice is pretty intense, it is designed to inspire and captivate the viewer or listener, and this intensity is difficult to maintain for a piece of content that lasts more than a couple of minutes.
For longer pieces therefore, a more relaxed (guy-next-door / girl-next-door) voice is probably going to be more effective. And sure, there are going to be parts in any voiceover where a change in tone (such as more energy / faster pace) is going to be important. But the majority can be recorded in a more relaxed, easy-going style.
What is the Right Voice for Your Voiceover Project?
This is the key consideration here. And there is no right answer.
It will depend on your personal preference.
Based on your content, what kind of voice do you think would work?
Male or Female?
What kind of age range?
Whom are you selling to?
It’s up to you! Listen to some samples and take your decision.
All the best!