Nothing gets a group of Voice Actors More Excited…
It happens! Your brimming with joy! The very thing you’ve been waiting for has arrived: your sparkly new voice over demo. In a lot of ways its up there in excitement with new jewelry and a new car. For professional voice talents, our voice over demos are our calling cards, and nothing gets us going like a new demo to fuss over. In my small inner circle, it happened just yesterday! One of my VO besties got a new commercial demo back from a well-known demo producer. She was so excited to share the demo with our group, and with good reason! The demo was clever. It did all that will be discussed below, and it was a joy to listen to. She sounded amazing, and we were really excited to ohhh and ahhh over it. So, what is it that makes a voice over demo stand out?
Voice Over Demos Are Aspirational
This is a voiceover actor’s chance to showcase your dream array of clients. Whether you are a newbie or an established professional, in a demo (vs. a reel of booked work), this is a voice talent’s chance to say “Hey, look what I can do for your brand.” It’s also your opportunity to show how versatile your voice is in terms of how many industries you can work in. Regardless of whether you choose current, hot, very new products, like the latest mobile app, or a trusted household stand-by that has been around for generations, this is your moment to show them what you’ve got. Particularly with commercial demos, but with other genres like narration too, your demo is the perfect place to lay the ground work for what you are working to build.
A Good Voice Over Demo Shows a Range
Those of us who have done multiple demos go from conversational to relatable to sympathetic to humorous all at the snap of a finger. These changes occur in a matter of seconds. We bring a read to life, flesh out the nuances, and just as the reader is connecting and feeling their heard strings or grinning a relatable grin, the spot is over and the next one is starting. Why is this important? Every second is precious. In a demo, we have very little time to convince the listener that we stand out from the crowd, and that they should work with us and not the last demo they listened to. Our ability to convey a range of emotion, tone, style, and pace in a short period of time is essential and a good demo does this.
Ideally Demos Are Short: 50-90 Seconds At Most
If you are lucky enough to have someone listen past your first 2 or 3 spots, just how long will they listen? You don’t know, but they do not want a two to three minute demo. Ideally your demo will be 50 to 60 seconds for a commercial demo. You want to create a demo that is so hot they want to listen over and over. You do NOT want to create something that is long and clunky so the listener never gets to the end. The vogue at the moment is that shorter is better. The only exception to this is in eLearning. Those videos are much longer because each excerpt is longer.
Video Demos Present Like Booked Work
Without doubt, video demos give voice over actors an advantage to others with audio only demos. Whether you are new or an established talent, this holds true. If you are new, a video demo gives you an instant body of work to market. If you are an established talent, a video demo both helps to draw your prospect in and enhances your existing body of work. Who among us, even those of us who have been working for years, does not still have dream clients? The video demo offers this aspirational piece to enhance your body of booked work.
Most Importantly, They Allow You to Market Yourself
At the end of the day, a solid demo is a marketing tool. It becomes another reason to connect. It is another great way to promote yourself. The voice over industry is more competitive than ever. The best way to make yourself stand out, is with a solid demo. Have you ever wondered why you can’t get onto certain rosters? Perhaps you have been trying to get an agent? Maybe you do lots of pay to play auditions, and never get anywhere? If any of this sounds familiar, the answer might be more basic than you think. Have all of these platforms/folks heard your demo? Going back to my VO group, one of my other VO besties says that a good commercial demo has the “bitch slap” factor. You listen and you are just blown away, it’s so awesome you want everyone to hear it. If you’re demo is not like that, you need a new demo!!