What is an authentic sounding voice over and why is it the style most requested of voice over artists?

It’s not that long ago when many voice overs were of a style that is sometimes referred to as classic ‘broadcast radio’ voice. The definitive shock jock radio announcer’s voice of twenty years ago is a good example. It’s a voice over that is a little bit over the top, embellished, forced, and with a ‘hand over the ear’. It’s more speaking ‘at’ rather than speaking ‘with’, and in an era of personalization, perhaps why this style of voice over has gone out of fashion.

The ‘authentic’ voice over

The authentic voice over now the trend – and for good reason. Consumers connect with content that sounds authentic. We prefer ads, videos, podcasts and eLearning that sounds more like a normal conversation.

You might not be a voice over artist, but you can try the two styles yourself to see – and hear – the difference. Read the below example from a corporate video voice over script, and use an exaggerated, overblown tone, a bit like a shock jock radio announcer. Speak as clearly and forcefully as possible and enunciate every word in an exaggerated fashion. 

Then read the same text in a way that’s similar to how you would have a conversation with a friend.

Example voice over

When it comes to cybersecurity, the smallest decisions or actions at an individual level can open the floodgates for attackers.

So, when you hear stories of an organisation’s systems grinding to a halt, operations being disrupted, entire networks shutdown and critical data being stolen or lost, do you ever wonder how this happens?

The best voice over won’t be perfect – and in fact it shouldn’t be. It’s the ‘imperfection’ that you’re looking for. The words shouldn’t be over-pronounced, and there should be a natural flow and cadence to the read. Colour, light and shade is crucial.

Why is authenticity so important?

A voice over artist that sounds authentic doesn’t over-pronounce or exaggerate the words. This helps to build engagement and connection between the voice over artist and the listener, as they can relate to the voice over artist.

Why is this important? Put simply, if the listener feels engaged with the voice over, they’re more likely to engage with your production. Whether you’re producing a TV or radio commercial, an eLearning content, a corporate video, an on-hold message or other production, engagement is key and that’s why having an authentic sounding voice over artist is so important.

Choosing the right voice over artist

How do you choose a voice over artist that sounds authentic?

It’s important to point out that a professional voice over artist is exactly that – a professional. They will be good and what they do and should understand your target audience and what you’re trying to achieve. If your production calls for it, they should be able to deliver your words with tremendous authenticity, helping to engage your audience with your product and brand.

However, not all professional voice over artists can deliver an authentic read. An authentic, natural read is actually the hardest to deliver, because the voice needs to read a script without sounding like they’re reading. 

Have you ever seen a B-grade movie? Often it’s the over-exaggerated way the actors deliver their lines that makes it seem cheesy and inauthentic, and it’s the same with voice over talent. Put simply, if they can’t read your script while sounding authentic then they’re they’re not right for your production. Cast carefully – and listen to their demo reels!


Get help finding an authentic sounding voice over artist

Finding the best voice over artist for your production is what we do, so when you’re looking for an authentic-sounding voice, contact us.

Find an Authentic Voice

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