Besides being a prominent radio personality, TV presenter and author, Carol Ofori is also one of the most prolific voice over artists in South Africa today. She is the voice behind many of your favourite radio and television adverts as well as behind one of the largest radio stations in the country.
As someone who has made an impressive career as a voice over artist, Carol admits that when she started out, she had to figure everything out as she went along. However, with the advancement of technology and equipment that helps her record her voice from the comfort of her home studio, Carol understands why interest in becoming a voice over artist is growing. So, she shares five handy tips you need to know before pressing that record button.
1. Start with training
We’re incredibly lucky that the internet is at our fingertips and there are plenty of courses that are both free and helpful that one could take when embarking on their voice acting journey. Having a professional hold your hand and help you find your strength in voice is also key. Just like anything, it’s not an overnight success situation. You need to put in the work, give your best in recordings and keep practising so you get better with every take.
2. Be open to criticism
This is important. You may not like everything you hear but it’s important to take the feedback and listen back to yourself as often as possible. You should get to a point where you smile when you hear a recording of yourself back. That’s when you know you are getting better and better. Criticism may, at times, feel harsh and mean but it is necessary for growth and to get better at what you do.
3. Don’t be shy – it’s acting after all
Being shy has never gotten anyone anywhere. Stand out and be bold with your voice and don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things in the booth. Practice and try to emulate other voices you like – but remain original in finding your own voice. Remember, no one on earth sounds like you so own it.
4. Research – these days it’s free and everywhere
Before taking on any role or job, always research everything you can about it so you are well versed in what your expectations will be. Today, you have so many resources with the internet literally being at your fingertips. So, as much as you need to research your client, you can also use these tools to learn about the artistry that is voice overs and the different delivery styles and language used by directors so that you walk into a booth well prepared.
5. Your clients are your best teachers
Your clients will explain in detail everything they want from you for their recordings. I learned some of my signature sounds and techniques from following the direction of my clients because they are very clear about what they want. Yes, sometimes they can get rude in trying to explain the execution of what they want, but do not take anything personal – take the feedback and keep it moving.