How to work with a voice-over

Obviously, the customer is king and I will try to make it all as easy as possible for you. Don’t see this as a set of rules, but more of a guideline if you’ve never worked with a voice-over before and don’t know what to expect.

Right, so you need a professional voice-over for, say, your Powerpoint presentation. How to proceed? Here’s how it tends to go:

You have written your text and it’s about 250 words. Could be a bit more once you get it back from your boss, but he wants you to get a price anyway. You use the convenient calculator on this website, enter 250 words and get an estimate. You gasp. Surely that can’t be right? You hired a voice-over last year and that guy charged you three times as much! You send me an email with your text, asking me to confirm my quote. It was indeed correct. You make a mental note to firembomb the studio of that thief you used last time.

I ask if this is the final version and what your deadline is. You reply: “Well, I’m sorry but my boss will get back to me Thursday and he expects it done on a Monday. It may be a bit longer. Plus, he wants a demo.”

No problem. I record 1 or 2 minutes of this text and send it to you as an MP3-file. You and your boss spend a few minutes listening to my dulcet baritone expertly bringing your prose to life. He looks at you approvingly. “Wow, where did you FIND this guy? What, Amsterdam?! He doesn’t sound like he’s from Amsterdam, he sounds like he gives elocution lessons to the freakin’ Queen! Amsterdam, eh? Do you think he could send us some…you know…”

“No he won’t, I already asked…” you say. “But he will send us this file on a Monday if we get it to him by Saturday.”

And that’s what happens. Your boss adds a few lines of bullshit to your text, just to make the point that he actually knows more than you. I tell you that I won’t recalculate the price just for those couple of lines, which is nice of me isn’t it? You send out the Word-document and deal with the Paypal-request I sent you along with the demo. Then you spend the weekend surfing with your beautiful family. They’ve never seen you so relaxed. “It’s because of this Dutch guy who’s working on my text now,” you explain. They look at you funny.

Monday there’s an email waiting for you, containing a link to a website where the file is waiting. As you download it, your boss comes running into your office. “I found an error in our text! Our Tokyo Office isn’t in China, it’s in Japan! Call that guy, have him fix it now! DO IT!”

As you look at that pointyhaired idiot, you smile serenely.

“He noticed that whilst recording and fixed it. Also, there’s no extra charge even though you added two paragraphs to it. And he says he’ll do a retake if we want it done a bit calmer.”

You add the audiotrack to your Powerpoint presentation, which you give a few days later. Management is so pleased with your work and the way it was brough to life you are promoted over your former boss. You tell all your friends about and die in your 90’s while receiving oral sex in your private jet (*).

The end.

(* This is neither a guarantee nor a promise and certainly not an offer. Don’t even ask. I’ll get very upset.)