Choosing the Right Voiceover for your Videos

Mark Harvard

Any parent knows that different voices mean different things.  My 4 year old knows when I am joking, happy, sad or annoyed. He also knows when I am angry (because my “dad voice” is pretty epic).  Vocal tone and presentation can convey just as much about the message as the words that are being said.  The way that sentences are given can shape the conversation from that point on. 

That is why it is so important to consider these four things when adding a VoiceOver to your church video.

The first thing you have to consider is what kind of mode you want your audience to walk away from the video with.  Do you want them energized?  Pensive?  Introspective?  Your VoiceOver should reflect that.  For something that is high energy, you’ll want to get a younger sound with lots of emphasis on important phrases. 

For a more somber or emotional video, you’ll want to have something with a little more gravity.  An older voice can convey wisdom or nostalgia.  A lower register (bass or alto) also helps to really cement the tone much better than a male tenor or female soprano voice.

Once you have the voice picked, you need to figure out how to get the best read out of them.  One attribute to guide will be their inflection.  This is the way that the artist presents the message.  Things like speed and pitch are very important to how the VoiceOver is heard.  Something fast paced will be considered exciting and a slower read sounds more serious. 

How much does your VoiceOver artist really sell the script?  Do they do voices or add sounds like a chuckle or growl to really get all of the mood out of it?  For a voiceover to not sound too corny or fake, an artist really has to commit and go all in on the concept.  They have to look at it not so much as reading out loud, but as an acting project that only uses their voice.

Overall, you’ll know when the VoiceOver matches your project perfectly because you will feel it.  A good VoiceOver can help a project hit all the right buttons with your audience and get the most use out of your mini movie, web video, sermon bumper or children’s feature.


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About Mark Harvard

Director of Communications, Clearbranch UMC & Host of the Mark Harvard Podcast

Mark is a multi-decade radio veteran that is now following his calling and using his talents to help grow God’s kingdom.