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What is needed to become a successful voice artist?

Perhaps without you even realising, the work of voice artists can be found everywhere in our day-to-day lives. They’re selling you something on the radio, they’re telling you which platform your train is at, and they’re explaining how to use a new software programme.

Maybe you hear voiceovers and think “I’d love to do that!”, but, like with many skills, it’s not as easy as it seems. Whether they’re bringing a cartoon character to life, or giving instructions for customers calling up a business, every voice actor will have put a lot of hard work and training into perfecting their skill.

So, where should you start? If you think voice acting might be for you, have a read of our top tips and advice on how to get going in the industry.

Recording studio
Voice artist Vera in our recording studio (@matinee_multilingual on Instagram)

First things first, the voice

What better place to start? It goes without saying that, if you’re after a career in voiceover, then you’ll need a top quality voice.

But, despite common misconceptions, a unique and distinctive voice isn’t actually a must-have. Yes, it will help you stand out in a crowded market, giving you your own USP, but it’s important not to forget that a lot of companies and projects will require a more “normal” voice, with neutral tones.

Clear, neutral, and authoritative voices are perfect for things like explainer videos and IVR prompts, whereas charismatic and animated voices are more suited for cartoons and character voices.

So, if you think your voice doesn’t “stand out”, then it doesn’t mean that a voiceover career is off the cards. Despite the importance of having a good voice, there are other aspects that are just as key.

What else is important?

Of course, in an industry like the voiceover one, your voice is of the utmost importance. But, that’s not to say perfecting your voice is where the hard work ends.

No matter how good your voice is, if you’re hard to get hold of or difficult to work with then you may not succeed in the voiceover industry. Ensuring that you efficiently reply to emails and messages with a level of professionalism will help get you on the right track.

When it comes to actually getting in the recording studio, there’s more to think about than just reading from the script in front of you. Of course, reading fluency is essential, which means you must understand the meaning behind what you are reading, applying the appropriate stresses and pitch changes. Remember, it is called voice acting, so simply reading the script won’t be enough.

Good timing is also a must. Reading within specific time frames is especially important when recording STC (strict time constraints) voice over, as you must meet given on-screen cues. This means keeping your reading in time with the visuals, whilst also delivering a high quality performance.

Like with most things, the key to success in this industry is the passion. If you have a passion for what you do, you will be driven to stay motivated and stick it out in the voiceover industry. Being passionate about voice acting will help you stay focused, determined, and (hopefully!) successful.

Voice artist skills
@matinee_multilingual on Instagram

So, where to start?

If you’re just starting out in the voiceover industry, or considering pursuing a career in voice acting, make sure you do your research. Speaking to other voice artists and finding out more about the industry will help you decide what specific style to focus on and how best to market yourself.

Social media can be a great way to connect with agencies and partners, so advertising yourself and your services on these platforms could help get your voice out there (no pun intended). Each social media channel, like Instagram and LinkedIn, has its own uses and benefits, so make sure you’re utilising these correctly, but really you can’t go wrong with being engaging and showcasing some of your work.

Lastly, don’t overlook the importance of a voiceover showreel. This is effectively your CV, and a place to show off all your skills and experience, whilst making a good first impression. No pressure, eh? Getting the attention of the listener and showing them what a good fit for a role you’d be is all possible with a professional showreel.

Luckily, Matinée can help you out with that. We offer two levels of voiceover showreel service: Audition and Pro. Our Audition Service is a lower investment and serves as an introduction to voice-over, whereas our Pro Service gives you a set of professional quality demo-reels in a variety of styles, mastered with music.

Working in voiceover

So, there you have it, our top tips for being successful in the voiceover industry. Whether you’re considering a career in voice artistry, or just looking for a little guidance, hopefully we’ve managed to answer a few questions.

Most importantly, remember to stay motivated, enthusiastic, and individual if you’re really passionate about working in voice over!

Here at Matinée, we’re proud of our impressive roster of voice talent, with speakers covering over 80 languages. We have over 30 years’ experience of recording all sorts of voice over, from audiobooks, to advert narration, to IVR prompts. Whatever it is you’re looking to record, we’ll no doubt be able to help you.

Why not get in touch with us today and find out more about how we can help you?

Call us on +44 (0) 118 958 4934

Or email