How do I make my voiceover script brilliant?
There are of course many answers to this and there is no universal template for voiceover scripts, so some might ask why I am writing this.
I am a UK based Voiceover working for a provider of elearning and blended learning courses; I voice scripts for these every week. I have slowly but surely developed our team to be able to write me a script that I can voice in a take or two, shows our creativity and actually has a point.
Here are my top tips:
- Don’t use brackets if you want me to read it. They should only be used to give me guidance or phonetic spellings e.g. “James (jaymz)”
- Punctuate where you want me to pause. Unlike academic writing you must go back to basics to add the pauses and breathes in the right place.
- Keep it short and sweet. As Cathy Moore discusses here research shows that learners switch off with a constant voice in their ears. We find using them in animations and for quick explainers really aid the learning process.
- Read your script out loud. At least twice, you will probably find words may need changing and punctuation added in.
- Explain what you want me to do with italics. Do you want a change in tone or pitch? Many voiceover artists will do sessions via ISDN, Phone or Skype so you can discuss and do multiple takes
- Use audience appropriate vocabulary (translation: speak like they do)
- Not happy? Send it back. As long as you have scripted correctly, mistakes can normally be rectified and a new take added.
I would be really interested to know about your voiceover experiences.
Any other top tips? Voiceover nightmares?