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“Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain,” the Wizard told Dorothy and her friends. And for good reason. Once they saw the Wizard, the magic was gone. In voice-over, the talent is the man behind the curtain. And the star? It’s the cartoon character to which they give life, the story they’re telling, the message they’re portraying, the lesson they’re teaching, the reassurance they’re giving, the product they’re selling, and so on. That’s why the voice itself is not only relatively insignificant in voice-over, it can actually get in the way.
“I’ve always been told I’ve got a great voice and I should do voice-overs,” newbies often say. They were misled to believe that they’d be “discovered” once someone heard their “great voice”.
And most likely, the person recommending a voice-over career actually knows nothing about the industry!
It’s easier now than ever for business owners, even solopreneurs, and very small businesses, to hire voice-over talent to magnify their message.
From voicemail greetings to online messaging, the introductions to podcasts, using a voice-over professional can really elevate the quality of your product. But the key is, you have to hire the right one.
The bottom line for hiring a voice-over talent isn’t whether he or she has a great voice. But do they keep the spotlight on the star?
They should never let their voice mask the message. This is easier said than done, of course. But it is essential. If the listener is distracted by a great voice, or an insincere delivery, they look to the man behind the curtain. And they can’t see your message if the spotlight is on the man behind the curtain!
Like with the Wizard, once focus is on the star and not the man behind the curtain, magic happens! Of course, the process is not an easy one. Most voice-over artists cannot, or do not do it. But when you find that rare voice-over artist who focuses the spotlight on the star — they deliver a stellar performance!