In hopes of being hired for a job, many voice actors and musicians started out by giving live performances to give prospective customers a taste of what they can do. A pre-recorded demo serves as that taste, and in order to get voice-over work, you require a voice-over demo.
Your demo needs to be your best work to show prospective clients and potential agents what you can do. Furthermore, your recording must also be something you feel comfortable assigning your name to and marketing to the public, as your prospective clients can listen to it and evaluate your services firsthand. A voice-over demo is like your business card and resume all wrapped into one; it gives listeners an appreciation for what you’re able to do vocally and also provides a glimpse into how you can sound as the voice of their job.
Thanks to modern technology, you can submit your demo to prospective clients, and they can access it to listen to without you having to be present. You can listen to professional voice-over demos online at http://www.voices.com to get an idea for what actors are using to promote themselves online to get work.
Having at least one voice-over demo is essential to promoting yourself as a voice actor. How will people know if they want to work with you unless they can hear your voice? As well, if one is good, more is better; creating a variety of voice-over demos rounds out your portfolio, showcasing the styles of voice acting that you can perform.
Even though a client may have a certain need and is looking for something specific to cast a voice for his project, having a few different types of voice-over demos online are there to represent the type of work you can do. Remember that just because the client is picky, it doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t interested in you or don’t appreciate a good selection for future reference.
Having a variety of demos for prospective clients to hear is beneficial to you in many ways, not the least of which is that your voice-overs can appear in more searches when those clients are seeking a very specific sound or kind of voice sample when working on an online marketplace site, such as www.elance.com or www.voices.com.
If you post your demos on a voice-acting marketplace site, you can attract customers to your demo through the search results by using as many accurate, descriptive words as possible in your text to explain what your voice-over demo is about. As well, we suggest you start with three or four demos that best highlight your skills. You can add more as you go along.
As a beginner, you may only have tried a couple different styles of voice acting and may be most comfortable making a few short sample-reads of material you found in the public domain or wrote yourself. Do not be afraid to create your portfolio of demos using such material- everyone starts somewhere! As well, remember, if you post on your own website, you still need to make sure you include a detailed description.
Recording demos helps you to discover your unique abilities and leverage opportunities for your voice to shine. The voice is a flexible instrument that lends itself to many purposes and applications. Being able to release yourself from preconceived notions or pigeonholes can only be good for you and your brand.
About The Authors
Stephanie Ciccarelli and David Ciccarelli are the founders of Voices.com, the largest global web hub for voice actors. Over the past nine years, Stephanie, David, and their team have grown Voices.com from the ground up to become the leader in the industry. This article was originally published in Voice Acting For Dummies and has been republished with permission from John Wiley and Sons, Inc.