You’re all set to go. You’ve got a fantastic concept that you’re ready to share with the world. The script is tight, the visuals are coming together nicely and the message is extremely important.
Play your cards right, and your 20 second masterpiece could indeed go viral, sharing the dizzy heights of fame currently enjoyed by piano playing cats and finger biting babies who are now well into their teens.
But how does it sound? The responsibility of the voice over artist is not merely to bring the words to life, although clearly that is the most important job; it’s also to ensure that they sound good acoustically.
Just yesterday I watched an online instructional video from an incredibly well known organisation. Now I won’t say who they are but suffice to say that if you haven’t heard of them then you’re not reading this blog either. You don’t even own a computer, mobile phone or access to electricity and running water – you get the idea, they’re huge.
Except their video sounded awful. It was clearly recorded by a member of the IT or marketing team on a USB microphone in a room which wouldn’t know acoustic treatment if it friended them on Facebook, got their address, came round to their house and ate all of the cheese out of the fridge. So again – awful.
This blew my mind. One of, if not THE biggest brand in the world is cutting corners on voice overs? Well it might be alright for them, but it’s not alright for you, because the only way a video like that is going to go viral is when lots of people share just how bad it sounds – not good PR.
But back to your script. How many people have heard it read out loud and told you that the message is both clear and effective, or even just downright awesome? A little tip here – your parents’ opinion doesn’t count – they’ll love you no matter what you do and their ‘constructive criticism‘ is really anything but.
Have your script read by a professional. Many voice artists will read it for free by way of an audition. Obviously, if the text is very short then they won’t be in a position to read you just an excerpt, so expect the recording to be either watermarked or saved at a bit rate which you won’t want to use for the final project.
Does the speed match up with the visuals? Do the punchlines work? Most importantly, does the voice ‘fit’?
Now in the spirit of true self promotion, which let’s face it, is the reason I am here, I am delighted to have been the voice of a new viral campaign on behalf of MacMillan Cancer Support. These Wimbledon videos were very cleverly edited together, and whilst the subject matter is delicate, the production team put together a very clever and effective script.
These videos WILL save someone’s life, so please share them. They’re at https://www.facebook.com/macmillancancer?fref=ts