Voice Over Education Blog

October 2012

Voice Over Client Pet Peeves


Knowing what NOT to do (and not doing it) can increase your chance of being the star. We polled many of the top creative teams, and asked what pet-peeves they had with voice over artists.

  • The most common pet peeve was about voice over artists who try to do jobs other than their own. For example, they tell the producer how the script should be read, they tell the scriptwriter that the script has grammatical errors, etc.
  • Many creative teams were bothered by voice over artists who did not invoice their services correctly. For example, they took too long to send an invoice, social security or business IDs were not on the invoice, invoices were handwritten, etc.
  • Another common pet peeve was that the voice over artist does not see the ―big picture‖ and therefore does not read accordingly. For example, if the script is for a documentary, the voice over artist may read too quickly, forgetting that the final product will be accompanied by a visual and therefore should be read slower, so that the viewer can assimilate the video and the audio.
  • Often, producers complained about voice over artists not giving it their all, and losing energy and concentration throughout the recording process.
  • Many creative teams also noted having problems with voice over artists not following direction or just taking too long to ―get it.‖
  • Producers often noted disliking when they need to tell the voice over artist how to do their job. For instance, the voice over artist would not know what to do if they had ―dry mouth‖, or they would not know how to emphasize a word correctly, etc.
  • Finally, a large complaint was voice over artists who think they know everything.

Voice Over Client Pet Peeves


Knowing what NOT to do (and not doing it) can increase your chance of being the star. We polled many of the top creative teams, and asked what pet-peeves they had with voice over artists.

  • The most common pet peeve was about voice over artists who try to do jobs other than their own. For example, they tell the producer how the script should be read, they tell the scriptwriter that the script has grammatical errors, etc.
  • Many creative teams were bothered by voice over artists who did not invoice their services correctly. For example, they took too long to send an invoice, social security or business IDs were not on the invoice, invoices were handwritten, etc.
  • Another common pet peeve was that the voice over artist does not see the ―big picture‖ and therefore does not read accordingly. For example, if the script is for a documentary, the voice over artist may read too quickly, forgetting that the final product will be accompanied by a visual and therefore should be read slower, so that the viewer can assimilate the video and the audio.
  • Often, producers complained about voice over artists not giving it their all, and losing energy and concentration throughout the recording process.
  • Many creative teams also noted having problems with voice over artists not following direction or just taking too long to ―get it.‖
  • Producers often noted disliking when they need to tell the voice over artist how to do their job. For instance, the voice over artist would not know what to do if they had ―dry mouth‖, or they would not know how to emphasize a word correctly, etc.
  • Finally, a large complaint was voice over artists who think they know everything.

A Few Tips on Planning your Voice Over Career


  • It is always important to review the basics. So wherever you stand in your career, please don’t jump ahead here. You may even want to go back. Don’t skip any of these phases in your voice over business development.
  • Define small steps, not big leaps. This way, if you fall behind, you can more easily get back in gear. Otherwise, if you fall behind, it will be more difficult catch up.
  • Be realistic: We’ve found that things take 50% longer than most voice over artists expect. The good news is, that gives you time to maneuver.
  • Don’t try to do all this in your head. Either write it down or type it up. Then review your business plan every quarter. Adjust it as necessary, still as a plan. Not on a whim.
  • One plan does not fit all. Once you have pulled your thoughts together and “formalized” them, you’ll have a course of action that is ideally suited to you and your goals. A way to maximize your potential, enjoy life more, and make more money.

Would you record a voice-over for a Product, Service, or Candidate that you didn't believe in?


Recapping our TalkTime! phone conversation of June 24, 2012.

As a professional voice actor, you sometimes encounter jobs you would rather not do for personal or ethical reasons. But if you turn them down, you will lose income and you might miss out on future work from that client. Should you accept these assignments?

That’s the question we asked new and pro voice actors, in our TalkTime! tele-conversation.

Hypothetical case-in-point: Suppose a computer tech-help company wants you to record a phone tree system. Sounds like a great job, until they tell you to read the script extra slowly because they charge callers -- by the minute.

Almost everyone has a personal boundary at some point.

Would you do it?

Given the example above, let's assume the client tells you this when they offer you the voice over job. There's time for you to reject it once you receive their questionable direction. Yet what if they spring it on you after you've accepted and stepped into the booth?

Here are some of the thought processes that arose during the discussion:

NOTE: Comments have been edited to make them succinct or clarified.

Yes, I'd do it.

Would you record a voice-over for a Product, Service, or Candidate that you didn't believe in?


Recapping our TalkTime! phone conversation of June 24, 2012.

As a professional voice actor, you sometimes encounter jobs you would rather not do for personal or ethical reasons. But if you turn them down, you will lose income and you might miss out on future work from that client. Should you accept these assignments?

That’s the question we asked new and pro voice actors, in our TalkTime! tele-conversation.

Hypothetical case-in-point: Suppose a computer tech-help company wants you to record a phone tree system. Sounds like a great job, until they tell you to read the script extra slowly because they charge callers -- by the minute.

Almost everyone has a personal boundary at some point.

Would you do it?

Given the example above, let's assume the client tells you this when they offer you the voice over job. There's time for you to reject it once you receive their questionable direction. Yet what if they spring it on you after you've accepted and stepped into the booth?

Here are some of the thought processes that arose during the discussion:

NOTE: Comments have been edited to make them succinct or clarified.

Yes, I'd do it.

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