What is VO: A Definitive Guide to Voiceovers

Where does the human voice find its stage? The answer is the voiceover (VO) industry. 

Voiceovers are instrumental in delivering words into meaningful stories and messages. 

From animated movies to commercial videos, voiceovers infuse these mediums with life, inflection, and depth.

However, voiceover contributions are often overshadowed by the visual elements they complement. 

Many are still unaware of the potential of this dynamic industry, making it a hidden gem within the realms of storytelling, branding, and communication.

This article will walk you through the voiceover industry in an in-depth mode. 

Whether you’re eager to become a voiceover artist or a business looking for talent, our definitive guide below can help you navigate every facet of this field.

What Are Voiceovers?

Have you ever watched animated videos? Have you ever thought about the voices behind the characters or the narrators? 

How about the captivating commentary that makes these videos come to life? That’s where voiceover (VO) comes into play. 

In a nutshell, a voiceover (VO) is a recorded narrative or dialogue by actors or talents to enhance the auditory dimension of a video. 

This audio aid can be incorporated into various forms of media, including movies, documentaries, or animated commercials.

Actors and agencies are instrumental components in the industry when discussing voiceovers. Voiceover talents are individuals who breathe life into scripts.

Meanwhile, voiceover agencies act as the bridge between these talents and clients seeking their services.

Voiceover Talents

At the heart of every captivating voice narrative lies a skillful artist capable of delivering messages with finesse and precision. 

Voiceover actors are individuals with a unique talent for using their voices to provide various stories.

They can breathe life into scripts, infusing them with a precise tone, emotions, and a depth of energy that conveys the video message. 

They also ensure the message resonates effectively with the intended audience.

Voiceover Agencies

Voiceover agencies serve as the vital link connecting clients seeking voice talent with professional voice talents. 

These organizations maintain a roster of voice actors with diverse skills and expertise.

Companies that need a voiceover for their project can turn to a voiceover agency to find the perfect voice actor. 

Moreover, voiceover agencies streamline the process further by managing administrative tasks such as contract negotiations, payments, and scheduling.

Applications of VO in Various Industries 

Voiceovers (VO) have diverse applications across various industries. 

For example, brands can use voiceovers for their social media videos, adding persuasive voices to engage audiences. 

Moreover, voiceovers can also cater to various purposes. Here are some possible applications of VO in different industries.

Advertising and Marketing

Today, video marketing and advertising remain one of the lasting trends among businesses. 

We can see dubbed commercials on television, radio, and social media where voiceovers are essential for delivering the intended messages. 

Skilled voice actors must provide a voice that aligns with the brand’s image and message. 

Their voices must convey emotions, authority, excitement, or sincerity, adding depth and character to the content and making marketing campaigns memorable.

Entertainment and Media

In the entertainment and media industry, voiceover is fundamental to building various characters. 

For instance, in animated videos or movies, voice actors give life to characters, providing distinct voices that define each character’s personality.

Meanwhile, in documentaries and audiobooks, voice actors deliver content, evoke emotions, and enhance the storytelling experience with their vocal presence. 

They engage, inform, and entertain audiences across various media forms.

E-Learning and Education

In e-learning and education, voiceover is a key component for online courses, educational videos, and tutorials to deliver instructional content. 

A clear and articulate voice can effectively explain complex topics and concepts.

Moreover, voiceover humanizes digital learning, making it more engaging and accessible by adding a personal touch to the content. 

It is a powerful instrument for creating dynamic and interactive educational content that enhances the learning experience.

IVR Systems

Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems are prerecorded voice prompts that guide callers through a series of options. 

You may also hear IVR providing information about a product and helping callers make decisions.

Many businesses use a clear and pleasant voiceover to ensure customers can navigate the system quickly. 

Moreover, you may find voiceover in voicemail greetings, on-hold messages, and call center services.

Effective voiceover in telecommunications and IVR systems is essential for delivering a seamless and user-friendly communication experience for clients and customers. 

It also helps businesses build a professional and friendly image for the company.

Gaming and Virtual Reality

Voiceovers are also fundamental in online games and virtual reality (VR) products. 

Voice actors contribute to immersive and interactive experiences by bringing characters to life by providing their voices and personalities. 

In many cases, voice actors narrate the storyline and provide crucial context for the game. 

In other cases, recorded voiceover offers instructions and commentary to provide realistic and interactive communication to players.

Mastering Voiceovers

Every individual has the potential to become a voiceover artist. However, mastering the skill set and preparing essential equipment are necessary to navigate the industry. 

Besides, years of experience are needed to build an online presence and attract potential clients.

We’ve compiled some crucial factors to master the voiceover industry, from setting up a home-based studio to creating a portfolio. Let’s explore them in detail.

Studio Setup and Equipment

For beginners, starting a journey as a voiceover can start by building a home-based studio

The rule of thumb for a clear recording is a soundproofing studio. So, ensure your studio is quite an isolated space to eliminate noise.

Use soundproofing materials like acoustic foam, bass traps, and diffusers to improve your studio further. 

These materials help create a controlled acoustic environment and ensure the highest audio quality. 

Other necessary equipment includes a microphone, headphones, computer and recording software, audio interface, and acoustic treatment. 

Investing in top-tier equipment can go a long way if you want to make voiceover your primary career. Here are things you must consider:

Microphone: Many professional voice talents consider condenser microphones the standard in the industry. Condenser microphones produce lively and clear-sounding middle and upper frequencies.

Headphones: High-quality headphones allow you to hear your vocals and potential issues. Closed-back headphones are typically used for monitoring during recording to prevent sound leakage.

Computer and Recording Software: Ensure your computer has Pro Tools, Adobe Audition, or Audacity to record, edit, and process audio files into high-quality outputs.

Audio Interface: The main job of this device is to connect your microphone to your computer. It also converts analog signals into digital data. Choose an interface with top-tier preamps for the best sound.

Acoustic Treatment: To further enhance sound quality, you may use diffusers and bass traps to control reflections and resonance in your recording space.

Developing Your Voice

Versatility is vital for professional voice talents. They must undergo vocal training to enhance their skills to perform various tones and styles. 

Taking voice classes or working with a vocal coach can be helpful to refine your voice, improve articulation, and develop vocal range.

Voice talents also need to practice interpreting and delivering scripts with varying emotions. 

Clear diction and proper pronunciation are essential to becoming a professional voiceover talent. Work on mastering different accents or dialects if necessary.

Another critical factor when developing voice skills is breathing techniques. 

Voiceover talents must control and use breath effectively to maintain consistent voice quality and stamina during long recording sessions.

Microphone Technique

A voiceover talent must master the art of microphone techniques

These techniques include positioning the microphone at the correct distance, typically 6-12 inches from the mouth, to achieve a balanced sound.

Individuals may need different distances according to their voice power and microphone type. 

Experimenting with microphone angles and positions is necessary to find the best space. Also, avoid excessive head movements as they cause fluctuations in a recording.

On top of that, the role of a pop filter and de-esser are also vital to producing a clear sound.

A pop filter reduces plosive sounds (p, b, t, etc.), while a de-esser helps control s and sh sounds. 

These techniques maintain a consistent volume level and even audio recordings.

Pacing and Timing

Imagine delivering passages without proper pacing and timing. 

The narration can be very flat, and audiences may fail to engage in the overall storyline. 

Mastering script analysis can help voiceover actors understand the context and message of the script. 

Whether it’s a fast-paced commercial or a leisurely audiobook narration, matching the script’s intended tempo is necessary.

Moreover, practicing clear articulation and proper pausing are no less important. 

Pro-voice actors must find the right rhythm in delivering a script to convey the message effectively and maintain the audience’s engagement.

Other essential practices are breath control and emotional timing. 

While breathing techniques allow for seamless and consistent delivery, expressive timing emphasizes moments of tension and other nuances.


Clear pronunciation ensures message clarity. It’s vital for the audience’s understanding. 

Moreover, depending on the project, reducing or eliminating regional accents may be necessary to ensure a neutral delivery.

However, mastering multiple accents and dialects can also be a plus point for voiceover artists. 

They have a better opportunity to expand their career and work diversity. 

Building Portfolio

A strong voiceover portfolio is the calling card in the industry. 

Showcasing well-recorded and professionally edited samples helps talents attract clients and get projects faster.

On top of that, sharing your portfolio on digital platforms like websites, social media, or other digital platforms can help you find the best talents for your project or campaign.

Navigating the Voiceover Industry

Navigating the voiceover industry can be challenging for both talents and clients. 

Marketing voiceover is a continuous job, requiring constant updates and pitches to potential business partners. 

Meanwhile, clients need to explore many portfolios to find the perfect fit for their projects.

The solution lies in discovering the ideal platforms for marketing and hiring talents. 

Voiceover agencies and freelance portals play a crucial role in bridging this gap. 

They act as centralized hubs, connecting talented artists with clients seeking the perfect voice for their projects.

Voiceover Companies or Agencies

These are companies or organizations that represent and manage voiceover talents. 

They act as intermediaries between talents and clients, helping talents secure projects and aiding clients in finding the right voices.

Businesses can use their service to find the voice they’re looking for. 

Voiceover agencies will select the most suitable talents based on the given requirements. 

This way, brands can save countless hours finding the best voiceover talent for their projects.   

Voiceover Talent Platforms

These online platforms allow voiceover artists to create profiles showcasing voiceover skills, previous work, and range. 

Clients can browse through these platforms to find suitable talents for their projects.

Simultaneously, freelance talents can find available projects. 

They can pitch requests by submitting proposals or auditioning directly through these platforms. 

This two-way interaction allows talents to seek opportunities that align with their abilities and interests.

AI Voice Generators

AI voice generators are a newer addition to the industry. These systems use artificial intelligence (AI) to synthesize human-like speech. 

They offer an alternative to hiring human voiceover artists and can generate speech based on text inputs.

Most AI voice generators operate as paid services, providing varying degrees of quality and naturalness in their generated speech. 

While some free platforms are available, they may lack the natural intonation and nuances in human speech.

Finding the Right Fit

Exploring between agencies, freelancers, or AI-generated voices demands careful consideration. 

Each option brings unique advantages and considerations, from talent quality to pricing options. 

Large-scale projects with diverse needs may benefit from an agency’s vast talent pool and project management expertise. 

Meanwhile, smaller, specialized projects seeking a personal touch might find freelancers more suitable. 

AI-generated voice can be a quick and budget-friendly solution. 

It’s suitable for projects requiring basic narration or where natural intonation and emotions take a backseat.


Voiceovers are part of the creative industry. Their demand remains high, from commercials and animations to audiobooks and podcasts. 

They add depth, character, and emotion to content, often defining how a message is received.

Whether you’re exploring as a beginner voiceover artist or seeking the ideal talent for your marketing project, finding the right platforms is crucial. 

Voissee is a reliable platform for talents and clients, offering a global reach for projects and talents alike. 

Joining Voissee can be your starting point to grow your career as a voiceover artist. 

This platform is also resourceful for business or creative workers looking for skillful talents with various styles and expertise.
Need help finding a talent? Or looking to venture into the world of voiceovers? Contact us here