Voice narrator: how to become one and what they do

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    If you want to make a tutorial, presentation, or video production, a narrator can take it to the next level. Learn more.

    Voice narrator: how to become one and what they do

    Adding voice over narration to a presentation, tutorial, or video production will take it to the next level. Now, all you need is the perfect voice to narrate the text in your video. In this article, we’ll talk about professional voice over narration, how it works, and how to find the best-sounding voices for your videos.

    What does a narrator do?

    Voice over narrating is also called off-screen narration and it refers to reading from a pre-written script for a specific video. Not everyone has a narration voice, which is why professional voice over narrators are hired for this type of job.

    Voice over narration is used in presentations, commercials, radio programs, webinars, podcasts, explainer videos, and social media apps like TikTok. Voice over narration can also be used for educational purposes and e-learning. In addition, there’s a special type of narration called audiobook narration, typically used for narrating audiobooks.

    Depending on the content of the video, narrators can describe, explain, highlight, or provide the audience with additional information. There are two main types of voice-overs: human voice-over artists and text to speech (TTS) narration.

    Skills required for voice narration

    Becoming a professional voice narrator requires a range of skills. First and foremost, you need exceptional oral communication skills. Clear diction, proper pronunciation, and effective delivery are crucial for engaging listeners. A well-modulated voice with the ability to convey emotions convincingly is also essential. This is where having the best voice can set you apart.

    Furthermore, developing your acting skills is pivotal in becoming a top-notch voice narrator. The ability to create distinct character voices, evoke emotions, and maintain consistent energy throughout the narration will set you apart from the competition. Voice narrators are like actors behind the microphone, using their voice as a tool to bring the story to life. It’s about capturing the voice of the narrator in every tale.

    Additionally, having a good understanding of pacing, timing, and the ability to interpret and understand different types of scripts is essential for delivering captivating voiceover performances. Each script requires a unique approach, whether it’s a fast-paced action scene or a heartfelt monologue. This is where understanding the nuances of narrator voices becomes crucial.

    Moreover, being adaptable and versatile is crucial in the voice narration industry. Voice narrators often work across various genres and mediums, from audiobooks to video games. The ability to adapt your voice and style to suit different projects will make you a sought-after professional in the field. This adaptability can lead to numerous voice narrator jobs in diverse sectors.

    Mastering different narration styles

    As a professional voice narrator, versatility is key. Let’s explore the different narration styles you may encounter.

    When it comes to audiobook narration, it’s not just about reading the words on the page. It’s about bringing characters and stories to life purely through your voice. Each character should have a distinct voice and personality, enabling listeners to differentiate between them.

    Whether it’s a gruff and rugged detective or a sweet and innocent child, your ability to embody these characters is what makes the story come alive. And it’s not just about the voices, it’s also about the emotions. Mastering this style requires the ability to maintain consistency throughout long recording sessions and effectively convey the emotions of the story, whether it’s joy, sadness, or suspense.

    Documentary narration, on the other hand, is a different ballgame. It involves conveying factual information in an engaging and authoritative manner. You are the voice that guides viewers through the journey of discovery, providing them with valuable insights and knowledge.

    The key is to strike a balance between being informative and captivating, ensuring that viewers stay engaged throughout the documentary. It’s not just about reciting facts, but about adding your own personal touch to make the information come alive. Your voice should have a sense of authority and credibility, making viewers trust in what you’re saying.

    Commercial narration is all about selling a product or service. It requires the ability to persuade and captivate listeners in a short span of time. In this genre, every word counts. Voice narrators must adopt a tone that suits the message they are conveying and effectively communicate the benefits and features of a product or service.

    Whether it’s a high-energy and enthusiastic tone for a sports car commercial or a soothing and comforting tone for a relaxation app, your voice should be able to grab the attention of the audience and make them believe in what you’re selling. It’s about creating a connection with the listeners and making them feel like they need what you’re offering.

    Getting great narration – where to look

    You might consider adding narration if you’ve created a video or a presentation. Here are a few different ways you can add narration to your video:

    Record your own voice

    If you feel you have voice talent, you can be your own narrator. Content creators on YouTube and TikTok usually record their own voices for their videos. However, if you want to use your voice for the narration, you will need to know how to record, edit, and upload it. Not to mention that you need to have a high-quality microphone and audio software.

    The right equipment and voice are more important than you think. If you don’t have the right voice-over or if the sound is low-quality, it will impact your views and engagement.

    Hire a professional voice actor

    Not everyone has a good voice for narration and that’s okay. That’s why professional voice actors are for hire. If you’re prepared to make this step, ensure to hire a voice actor with experience.

    There are many voice-over narrators to choose from, but you’ll need to find one with a voice that matches your content. It’s best to look for a professional voice actor with a wide vocal range.

    Voice actors are usually hired for larger projects like audiobook adaptations or important videos that will reach a wider audience. There’s no need to take this step for school projects, presentations, and similar video productions.

    Use text to speech software

    Another option is to use text to speech software and voice apps. Many prefer this option instead of hiring voice actors because it’s less expensive and more convenient. This method also saves you a lot of time you would have to set aside for recording your own voice or hiring a voice-over narrator.

    Text to speech software works by reading aloud the text you put in the program. You’ve probably already seen how TTS works. For example, if you wanted to know how a word sounds in another language on Google Translate, you would click on the speaker icon. The computer-generated voice will read aloud the word you typed in.

    The best text to speech software has natural-sounding voices almost indistinguishable from automatized voices. There are many TTS programs and apps to choose from and one of the best is Speechify.

    Speechify – Access tons of voices for video narration

    Speechify is a text to speech tool that can convert text into spoken language. If you’re interested in voice-over narration, you can use Speechify to extract the recordings as audio files, which you can use for your videos and presentations.

    What makes Speechify stand out from other text to speech platforms is that it offers a wide selection of natural-sounding voices. Not only can you choose the voice of your choice, but you can also select the speed of the voice-over. Aside from English, Speechify offers voice-overs in other languages.

    You can use Speechify to convert any written format, including PDF files and Microsoft Word documents. You can download it onto your computer as a desktop app or a web browser extension or install Speechify on your mobile device.

    If you want to see how this text to speech tool works, try Speechify for free today.

    FAQ

    What is a voiceover narrator?

    A voice-over narrator is a person who reads text from a script, which is recorded for a video.

    How much does a voice narrator make?

    It’s challenging to discuss voice narration pricing because it depends on the type of narration. How much narrators make also depends on the project and how the recording will be used. For example, audiobook narrators can earn $200 to $300 per hour.

    How do you become a narrator voice?

    The most important part of being a narrator is having the right voice that entices people to listen. You should also be able to use different accents and dialects. Having experience is always a plus, so you can start by volunteering or creating a website where you can showcase your narrator’s voice.

    Is narrating the same as voice acting?

    Narrating and voice acting are two very similar concepts, but they’re not the same. Narrating is for commercial use, while voice acting is for entertainment.

    What is the difference between a voice actor and a voice narrator?

    Voice actors usually narrate the action in the video at that exact moment. That’s why you’ll find voice over artists in animated films and cartoons, and other forms of entertainment videos. On the other hand, voice narrators are hired for educational, informational, and instructional videos.

    How does a voice narrator get paid?

    Not all voice narrators get paid in the same manner. Depending on the type of narration, you can get paid per hour, while others get paid per project.

    What are some examples of a voice narrator?

    If you have watched an explainer video and listened to a voice talking in the background, that’s a voice narrator. You’ll also hear voice narrators in tutorials and video presentations.

    How do you become a voice actor?

    Becoming a voice actor is more challenging than becoming a narrator because you usually need to have some acting experience. If you have a recorded demo, you can send it to producers, and you’ll need to audition and put yourself out there.

    What are the benefits of voice narration?

    Voice narration can make the video come to life. Most people prefer listening to instructions in a video rather than reading it, so your videos can have better results with voice narration.

    Cliff Weitzman

    Cliff Weitzman

    Cliff Weitzman is a dyslexia advocate and the CEO and founder of Speechify, the #1 text-to-speech app in the world, totaling over 100,000 5-star reviews and ranking first place in the App Store for the News & Magazines category. In 2017, Weitzman was named to the Forbes 30 under 30 list for his work making the internet more accessible to people with learning disabilities. Cliff Weitzman has been featured in EdSurge, Inc., PC Mag, Entrepreneur, Mashable, among other leading outlets.

    Dyslexia & Accessibility Advocate, CEO/Founder of Speechify Dyslexia & Accessibility Advocate, CEO/Founder of Speechify

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