Great Voice Overs Take More than a Great Voice
To paraphrase the old expression, “What’s in a name?” It’s also fair to ask, “What’s in a voice over?” Well, you’re looking at it. Words. Not just random bundles of letters and syllables. Writing for voice overs takes the same style and approach as writing for broadcast. Think about it; a voice over is not like a newspaper. If you didn’t get it or understand what was said, you can’t turn back to the last page and read it again. The ear needs to get it the first time.
Voice overs work best when they don’t make the ear work. Here’s an example in the passive voice: The tree was hit by the truck.
When a voice overexpresses this way, the mind has to hopscotch to picture what happened. In other words, it has to work to understand what occurred. But what if you heard the voice over this way: The truck hit the tree.
It’s direct. It’s Short–Simple—and Declarative. You hear it. You know it right away. No delay in sending the tow truck!
And the magic secret that makes voice overs snap, crackle and pop: drop the adjectives—Go Verb! Verbs animate. verbs energize; verbs reveal, sharpen and liberate—get the point?
Writing voice overs for anything—from broadcast to power point presentations—can be exhilarating and fun. Write to be clear; write to be understood. Voice overs can motivate, empower and inform. Let verbs drive your voice overs—you’ll hear the difference.