Ways to Improve Your Voiceover Copy

By Arlene Rakes

Your voiceover copy will either spell out success or failure of your radio commercials or podcasts. Your copy should be convincing enough to gain credibility with your listeners. Be warned though that writing voiceover copies are very different from writing print ads.

Peter Drew, a veteran voiceover artist who is involved in Internet and radio productions, emphasizes the idea of 'writing for the ear, not the eye.' This idea requires one to write brief and straight to the point messages, the kind that we use in conversations. This style may seem very strange for anyone who has written ad copies but developing this style will allow one to create effective and convincing voiceovers.

What we ultimately want is to have persuasive and believable voiceovers. Below are some advice on how to modify your voiceover copy and some recording tactics for a flawless narration.

1. Make sure everything is in the active voice. Voiceovers need to take place in the present time, as if they were a real conversation. Make sure the whole script is written in the active voice so that the audience can identify with the messages easily.

2. Use a windscreen to protect the mic. If your voiceover script contains a lot of words that begin with the letters 'P', 'B' and 'T', the talent may have difficulty reading the sentence without distorting it. A windscreen can help eliminate this problem and help them deliver a more smooth-sounding sentence.

3. Highlight inflections or nuances in your copy. Marking up significant words or phrases in your script will help an artist understand and convey the subtleties of your message. You need to read out aloud the script first then identify significant words or phrases that needs to be stressed. Then you can either underline, italicize, or mark those important words and phrases in your script.

4. Spell out phone numbers. Don't be lazy in spelling out numbers in your copy. Practicing this will reveal any obstructions to the flow of your copy. Read out loud each digit to see any out of placed words and edit your script.

5. Get the listener's attention in the first line. Make sure your headline is an attention-grabbing intro to your voiceover script. Ideally, this introduction is under 10 words in length and contains at least one unique statement or key point.

It is the job of the scriptwriter to ensure that the script or copy will match the talent of the voiceover artist. Each voiceover artist can project a certain personality and this has to fit with the script. Once an artist has been selected, the script can then be altered to match the artist. What's important here is that the artist voice, personality and quirks should match your message. Also give time for the artist to practice delivering the message. Be sure to apply all of these techniques to create a solid and compelling script. - 30538

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