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  1. british voice

    As an experienced female voice over talent, I have spent many wonderful years working alongside many creative and magical clients, colleagues and peers in the voice over community, so I know that when it comes to finding a voiceover, there’s quite a pool of fellow creatives out there to choose from. But, being a sound engineer and an audio director—as well as being a voiceover—I know how very important it is to choose the right talent for the job.

    Voice talents give your company it’s sound. The right voice engages your audience and creates a long-lasting, positive link between your customers and your brand. That’s why it’s essential you use the most appropriate voice over talent right from the off.

    Here are a few tips on how to find the right British female voice over talent for your projects

    1. Match your voice over with your brand
    Think about the company’s brand and the social impact your products/services have on the audience. For example, if you are creating a training video for medical equipment or software then you’ll want to project an image of confidence, efficiency and compassion. However, if you are creating an advertisement for a household cleaning product then you’ll probably want to portray energy, positivity and friendliness. Before your search begins, think about how you want the voice of your company to come across.

    2. Listen to voice reels or examples of previous work
    An experienced VO should be able to send you example reels. It can be good to see if their previous work matches with your target demographic- that way you know you’re on the right lines and the voice could work well with your brand.

    voice-reels

    3. Ask for a demo and test with your target audience
    Once you have made a pre-selection and have the demo reels, it can be a good idea to see how the voice resonates with your audience. If your target market is females aged 25-50 then a voice that fits this description is likely to have the most credibility.

    4. Think about longevity

    When you’re making your selection think about choosing a voice over who can represent your brand in the long run. Chopping and changing the voice over for each new video makes your brand incoherent, so perhaps choose a VO talent that is versatile to suit your future projects.

    My process of helping clients find and create fantastic audio

    As a British female voice over talent, sound engineer and audio director, I have worked with many local, regional, national and international clients, producing great audio content for a range of productions covering corporate videos, adverts, IVR messages and just about everything in-between.

    Check out my latest Corporate video voice-over created for SEEQA and their travel app:

    seeqa

    Here’s how I work with clients to understand their needs and produce magical audio content.

    1. To begin with, I offer a free consultation to understand the clients’ needs, which includes;
                i) ensuring my voice is an appropriate match to the client’s brand or service.
                ii) reviewing content and providing basic pointers—After spending my formative    years writing copy for L’Oreal, and now working as an audio director, I have many      year’s experience creating and editing interesting, engaging content.
                iii) I will provide basic demos to help the client with their selection process
                iv) and give advice and direction where needed

    2. Once my clients are happy with their final decision, 2-3 draft versions will be recorded and sent to the client for review.

    3. After the drafts are confirmed, a final version is recorded, edited and sent over in a preferred format.

  2. At a time when gender balance is a topic thoroughly in the spotlight throughout the media, I felt I would delve into the history of women in advertising and showcase the true power of the female voice.

    Advertising is a key part of our popular culture and having spent years writing and narrating copy for the likes of L'Oreal and YSL it make me reflect on just how far has the female voice come in this industry. Here I take a brief look back at the evolution of the female voice in advertising and note some of the reasons why a female Voice Over (VO) may be more suitable for your media campaigns.

    A history of women’s voice in advertising 

    female-ads

    Gender roles in our society have changed dramatically since the 1950s, and so too have our adverts. The progress that has been made in media concerning the portrayal of women and gender equality, mirrors how society has developed over the past 60 years. 

    In 1972, English author John Berger famously summed up the roles of men and women in media by stating, “Men act and women appear.”  It was often the case that women were simply in the frame to sell a product, but not to speak. This was supported by Jean Kilbourne’s 1979 documentary film series “Killing Us Softly” which shed further light on to gender bias in advertising.  Having produced periodic, in-depth research Killbourne noted that in most cases female actors were just used for their appearance to showcase the product and they were never given a voice, or at best only played a supporting role to the male lead. And when they did have a speaking part, either as a voice over actor (VOA) or even a leading on-screen role, it was only to sell products that were specifically targeted to women, such as skin-care and beauty products, or cleaning supplies.

    Where once men dominated 91% of voiceovers in the mid 70s, by 1998 that number had dropped to 80%, illustrating a growing, albeit steady, step toward gender parity. This was at a time when as women’s voices became louder off-screen, so too were their voices louder on-screen. Big name companies such as Apple and Nike were making big strides to closing the gender gap, and their attempts showed in their campaigns. Gender roles had changed from what they were in the 50’s and this was beginning to be reflected in the advertisements of this time.

    In the adverts of today, when you consider the voice over industry, gender awareness is now coming to the forefront. The way audiences consume media, and the audiences themselves, has changed significantly, and this has placed more scrutiny on the images and voices that represent, or fail to represent, them. Now female voice over artists are specifically hired to cover a wide range of gender-neutral products and services that were once exclusively covered by men, including the likes of cars, banks, airlines and technology.

    Since the time that TV and radio advertisements began, it’s long been held that a man’s voice somehow “cuts through” to the audience better than a woman’s, but now more than ever before, big industries are turning to the power of the female voice over to sell their products, and it’s proof that many of the adages no longer apply.

    Benefits of using a Female Voice Over?

    A Female Voice can Target a Wider Audience

    A study in the Journal of Advertising looking at the effects of male and female voices in ads, found that although the voice over gender didn’t matter for male-oriented or neutral products, the gender did matter for female oriented products. That means, that a female voice can be effective for male-associated products, but a male voice is rarely suitable for those targeting a female audience.

    The Trust Factor

    A feeling of trust can happen within an instant, even after just a single word is spoken in fact. Psychologist Phil McAleer produced a study with the University of Glasgow and found that female voices were considered the most trustworthy.  Because females tend to be the more nurturing gender by nature, their voices are generally softer, sound more compassionate, understanding, and overall less aggressive.  This is often why there’s now a very current trend for female voice overs to produce content for the likes of life or car insurance, banking and even car advertisements.

    The Unexpected can Generate a Response

    Historically, male voices have been chosen for male-dominated audiences and female voices for those containing more women. But, as I noted above, the trend for gender norms is changing for today’s society. By using a female voice in a typically male-dominated setting (and vice versa), this can give the audience an unexpected surprise and generate a greater response to the advertisement. 

    lorraine

    Having spent over 15 years working as a marketing, comms and PR writer as well as professional female voice over artist for various large companies and organisations, I have witnessed first-hand the rise of the female voice in TV and radio ads. I have written copy for adverts and press releases over the years and although there are great benefits for choosing a female voice for your campaigns, the bottom line is not always down to the gender of your VOA, but rather that you have a professional, experienced actor who reaches your target audience—this lends the ad more credibility, and therefore more persuasion. 

    Be persuasive with every element you have, visual and aural.