The Conversational Voiceover : the natural read
How do you want your voiceover script to sound? What sort of style of read are you looking for? Do you know what words to brief your voiceover artist with, so they understand the result you’re after?
The voiceover style you require will largely be dependent on what the voiceover is for, and the audience it is directed at.
A popular style of read today is often called the conversational voiceover or natural read. Keep it real. But what does that actually mean? And how ‘real’ do you really want it?
Your copywriter is really the first step in executing this natural style effectively. Take a look at the script, is it written in a way that sounds conversational? How formal is the writing? The writing needs to relax a little if its to sound authentic. For example, are you using contractions? Contractions like:
“I’m” instead of “I am”
“It’ll” instead of “it will”
“I’d” instead of “I would/should/had”
Conversational is usually referring to a conversational style between friends or family ,not a conversational style of a courtroom – keep it looser, less formal so it is able to be spoken in a more relaxed manner.
Is it appropriate for my script?
The natural read doesn’t have to be restricted to commercials and advertising. It isn’t just appropriate for the “I’m telling my best friend how fantastic this product is” delivery.
With this area in mind, I wanted to take a typical instructional script and show you a couple of different ways we can do the conversational/natural voiceover read. If you hear a particular version you like, don’t forget to reference it when you next make your voiceover booking.
Hear a real-life example of different Voiceover Styles
So this is the script:
You will be allowed 1 hour to complete all 3 sections of this test.
There are 40 questions in this practice test. Each question carries one point.
If you prefer to work offline, download this practice test by clicking the link below.
Voiceover Example One: This is the straightforward, more corporate sound. You may prefer this read if your audience would appreciate a no-nonsense , not over-familiar type of read. Its even-paced, clear and gets the information over with little fuss. Take a listen:
Voiceover Example Two: This is a more relaxed read. The pacing varies a little so its sounds more like everyday speech, but still retains its clarity. The tone is more friendly and casual…
Voiceover Example Three: As well as using contractions in this version I’ve also added some ‘filler’ words that you’d hear in everyday conversation. Hopefully you’ll agree that this can make the script less stiff and allow a little more personality to shine through…
With this type of voiceover, we can’t really go too far in the ‘natural’ read. Its primary purpose is to instruct and be clearly understood by its audience. But by providing a more conversational delivery, you may find this engages with your viewers/listeners more than a traditional corporate narration. By not talking ‘down’ to your audience, the voiceover can more successfully deliver the information and assist in increased knowledge retention.
If you can’t decide which style you should choose for your project, I’m happy to provide a couple of voiceover samples from your script in the different styles outlined above. Get in touch today to discuss your project and which voiceover style you think could be most appropriate.