My Voiceover Work
One thing people always ask when they find out I make my living as a professional voice talent: “Where have I heard you?” Well, there are MANY possible answers…but here are some of the main kinds of work I do:
Broadcast Commercial Voiceovers
This is the work that reaches the largest number of people. From Mother’s Day spots delivered “barely above a whisper” to hard-driving car dealer spots…my work can be heard almost anywhere for clients large and small. Some go on for many years…like the commercials for the Tecumseh Outdoor Drama…which have been heard by countless folks in the Central Ohio area alone over the past 10 years. And I’ve heard from a lot of friends traveling all over the U.S., and even in other countries…who’ve heard some commercial I voiced playing on their hotel room TV set. Of course, they’re usually groaning that they can’t get away from me no matter how hard they try…but that’s another story!
Political Spot Voice Overs
Also, every couple years, things get extremely busy for me around September and October. The reason? I do a lot of work for political campaigns and political media creators. I have done spots for everything from local school board elections to U.S. Presidential races, with straight reads, inspirational delivery, tongue-in-cheek tone and punchy “tough-on-crime” content…from radio and TV commercials and narration for long-form image pieces to live-on-tape candidate introductions for fundraisers and personal appearances and even outbound call messages for autodialers. All this means a lot of late nights and quick turnarounds. Campaigns start early to carefully craft their image, but as the election approaches, they often find themselves forced to quickly counter the punches of the opposing campaigns with their advertising efforts. (Columbus Dispatch article)
Corporate Image Voiceovers
Every company has an image, and the wise ones (especially as they grow larger) spend a fair amount of time crafting that image. Whether it’s their voice mail system, marketing videos, broadcast commercials or web audio, the image-crafters for a company (often an outside advertising agency) understand that audio is a big component. I’ve done a lot of this work for home-based businesses with a staff of one, all the way up to large companies such as American Electric Power and Sequent.
Long-Form Corporate Sales & Training Voiceover
Companies have a product or service to sell. They create media materials in support of such sales for trade shows, sales calls, and sometimes even for broadcast. They build their case by stating the problem first, and then demonstrating how their product or service comes to the rescue. In the same way, long-form video can be used to train clients on how to use a company’s products. Some of the clients for whom I’ve provided the voiceover support for such efforts include Ohio Willow Wood, Telesis Marking Systems, Wayne-Dalton Garage Doors, Liquibox, Frigidaire, Eagle Crusher Company and The Grote Company.
Whether training their own in-house staff, training their customers to use their products, or as part of an educational curriculum…more and more companies are finding that it’s more cost-effective to create dynamic training materials for use on the web, via PowerPoint narration or using other Computer-Based Training (CBT) technologies. Some of my voiceover clients in this area include: staff training for Wendy’s International, phone switch technician training for Alcatel-Lucent, first responder training for a number of emergency-preparedness agencies in various states, teaching customers how to operate their water softener for Hague Quality Water, helping Riverside Methodist Hospital patients who are facing hip replacement surgery to prepare physically and emotionally for the procedure and online training coursework for many software applications thru Mindleaders (now Skillsoft).
On-Hold & Voice Mail Voiceovers
With the recent surge in outsourcing and home-based businesses, once of most significant challenges for companies with just a handful of employees is to “sound like the big boys”. A professional voice mail message or on-hold message can work wonders in this regard. And, of course, the “big boys” themselves need a quality voice for their systems as well. Additionally, most companies have learned to take advantage of the “dead time” while their clients wait on-hold to educate them about their products and services. Some of my phone voiceover clients have included: Vineyard Church of Columbus, Waste Management and The Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association.
Web Audio & Podcast Intros
Whether it’s a quick single-word title for navigation rollovers, reading a large page of text, an Ebay auction audio product description designed to enhance its legitimacy and appeal or a narration underneath a Flash presentation…web audio has really caught fire as broadband internet connections are becoming predominant in the market (McKelor Technologies). One of the most exciting developments online in recent years has been the spread of podcasting (also referred to as netcasts or micro-broadcasting). Podcasts are effectively closed-circuit radio stations targeted to niche audiences. Some are extremely popular, while others have smaller audiences who are nonetheless fiercely loyal listeners. I have been the past voice of the popular interview podcast BlogcastFM (now Unmistakeable Creative), and Late Night Internet Marketing (with Mark Mason), and am currently the voice of the very popular The Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Show (with Jimmy Moore).
Audio Book Narration
We’re a mobile society…but we still love our stories. So, for stories on cassette or CD (or MP3 download), I provide voices for book narration. Additionally, I’ve had a great deal of experiencing narrating textbooks to tape, which educational publishers provide as part of their compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (and for those who learn best auditorily). I’ve done a lot of this work for Glencoe Publishing. You can also download some free MP3 audiobooks I’ve narrated for children at LightUpYourBrain.com. I’ve also narrated 3 full audio books for adult audiences: The Keystone Kid, by Mike Furches, Luminescence, by Will Addison and The Almighty, by Irving Wallace.
Animated characters are no longer exclusively for children…as anyone who uses Microsoft Word can attest (remember the little paper clip Help Wizard?) Characters help “humanize” difficult concepts and make them more memorable. And kids ARE definitely drawn to characters as well. Some of the characters I’ve done include: “Nubby the Pencil” for Glencoe/McGraw-Hill Publishing, “Stumpy the Tree” for Santa’s Village…as well as bringing many Bible characters to life for Group Publishing. Also lots of fun: Roary the Lion and Mac Tonight, characters who provided musical entertainment at some Long Island-area McDonald’s, created by Mannetron….and the voice of The Borgia Knight (school mascot at Borgia High School in Missouri).
Event Intros and Narration
Whether it’s speaker intros for awards ceremonies or national conferences, or looped narration to cover attraction installations, I’ve been doing this kind of work for at least two decades now. From banks, grocery chains and networking marketing conferences to the annual Butter Cow and Calf Sculpture at the Ohio State Fair, I provide the quick turnaround and steady, unassisted hand that brings these productions off without a hitch from my end.
Radio Station Imaging
Radio and TV stations use “imaging” voices to help drive home their brand identity in your head. “You’re listening to the Greatest Hits of the 70s, 80s & 90s 24 hours a day, 7 days a week…on 3WJ, 103.3”. While it’s not something I do a ton of, my voice has been used over the years for imaging on fine stations like Pax 51 (WSFJ), The Light (WLRY) and the Ohio News Network.