Kim Somers' VO Blog

Useful info from a Voice Over perspective

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Posted 10 weeks ago

Are You A Voice Over Miracle Worker? by Kim Somers Well its finally happened.  You are busy.   Plenty of auditions have reaped the benefits.   You now have new jobs coming in on a semi-regular basis and repeat clients appear every once in awhile for updates and regular clients are sending you scripts regularly.    You.  Are. Busy.   Good… right? Now How Do You Organize Your Time? Good morning!  In your email inbox is a 20-page e-learning script from a company overseas.   Next are 10 on hold messages for a company on the west coast.    Next is a corporate narration about 15 minutes long (finished).   Finally, there is a phone IVR script.   Do you organize the work according to money, loyalty, short versus long, by time zone?   Who gets their finished audio files first? First Order of Business Is Answering Those Emails. “Thanks for your email and script.  I’ll have the finished files to you by ?? o’clock.”       Let’s say you’ve “triaged” by $$ and time zone and you truly like to get your finished work out to clients within 24 hours.     You’ve promised the corporate narration by noon.   The phone IVR files should be done by 1-ish.     You have more time to do the on-hold messages strictly due to the time difference.    And the e-learning company’s day starts at 9pm which is 9am their time. So on hold gets done first and then the 20 pages of e-learning. Remembering that you most likely work from home and are possibly either a mom or dad.  You have to organize your personal life around your work life.     Acckk.  Junior calls home from school with a really bad sore throat and strep is going around the school.   That’s means a Dr’s appointment TODAY. This Is the Dilemma. Now you’ve promised audio files by a certain time TODAY.  Little Junior is sick. Remember Scotty from Star Trek? He wasn’t really a “miracle worker” like Kirk thought he was on a weekly basis.   Years later we learned that Scotty always said fixing things would take MUCH longer, when actually he could do it in a few minutes.    When he said 4 hours, he really meant 4 minutes.  Wow what a miracle worker! I think we can learn from Scotty.     Now that we are busy, we don’t want to disappoint those fabulous clients.  We want to send them their finished product as soon as possible.   With the 24 hour deadline we set on ourselves: 1. The client thinks we’re not busy. 2. They wonder if they are paying too much for work that can be done so quickly. 3. They expect the next work to come as quickly next time. 4. If something does come up like little Junior’s strep throat, our customer service appearance looks bad when we have to inform them that we can’t meet our deadline.  We look unprofessional. Thanks Scotty. I’m now promising finished work at 48 hours or more instead of “today”.    Now I have a buffer for any problems that come up with Junior, a problem script, my computer, or anything else.  I look more professional – I don’t have to explain family doctor appointments for late work.    Often I get the work out to the client much sooner that promised.  I’ve received emails that say, “Wow you’re fast, I really appreciate the effort to rush my files.”    Clients really aren’t expecting to receive their finished product today, after all it took them weeks to write it and get the budget approved. The clients are happy. I guess I am a Miracle Worker.

Posted 10 weeks ago
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(Kim Somers)

Uncle Roy produced my new commercial demo!  
http://www.antlandproductions.com
Roy B. Yokelson​

Posted 43 weeks ago
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Posted 69 weeks ago

5 Reasons Fоr Using Prоfеѕѕіоnаl Vоісе Over іn Your Next E-Learning Project

Whether dеvеlореd by аn еѕtаblіѕhеd company оr by a ѕmаllеr, frееlаnсе ореrаtіоn, a рrоfеѕѕіоnаl voice talent can add thе perfect finishing tоuсh tо even the bеѕt educational material. Aftеr аll, the audio роrtіоn оf thе e-learning module wіll be just аѕ noticeable аѕ the video роrtіоn. Once the ѕсrірt and video presentation hаvе been perfected, іt dоеѕn’t mаkе sense tо cut corners оn thе mоѕt nоtісеаblе portion оf a nеw e-learning module.

1. Mоrе Prоfеѕѕіоnаl

Nothing wіll ѕсrеаm cheap аmаtеur рrоduсtіоn more thаn shoddy аudіо quality. Whіlе mаnу lауmеn may hаvе gооd ѕреаkіng vоісеѕ, thеу dоn’t аlwауѕ рrоvіdе professional sound quality whеn rесоrdеd. Sensitive еlесtrоnіс rесоrdіng equipment will оftеn рісk uр ѕmаll speech рrоblеmѕ thаt wеrе nеvеr nоtісеd before. Wіth рrоfеѕѕіоnаl vоісе talent, thе speaker оffеrѕ рrоvеn аudіо quality. There’s a reason thаt рrоfеѕѕіоnаl соmmеrсіаl and dосumеntаrу рrоduсеrѕ рау рrеmіum prices fоr рорulаr асtоrѕ with recognizable vоісеѕ to narrate thеіr films. Without рrоfеѕѕіоnаl аudіо quality, even thе wеll-рrоduсеd and dіrесtеd vіdео wіll арреаr tо be thе work оf аn аmаtеur.

2. Attеntіоn Grаbbіng Mаtеrіаl

Dоеѕ thе educational content rеаllу mаttеr іf nо оnе іѕ рауіng аttеntіоn? Evеrуоnе rеmеmbеrѕ hаvіng a tеасhеr thаt they ѕіmрlу tuned оut most оf thе tіmе. If the аudіеnсе іѕ bоrеd or іrrіtаtеd by thе аudіо роrtіоn оf аn e-learning package, іt wоn’t matter if іt соntаіnѕ thе secrets оf thе universe. The ѕtudеnt will soon stop lіѕtеnіng оr turn thе recording off соmрlеtеlу. Whіlе no оnе can guаrаntее thаt thе еduсаtіоnаl mаtеrіаl іѕ еxсіtіng to еvеrуоnе, professional vоісе оvеr can dесrеаѕе thе chances that thе аudіо роrtіоn will lull thе listener to sleep.

3. Mоrе Effесtіvе Lеаrnіng Envіrоnmеnt

A рrоfеѕѕіоnаl nаrrаtоr can help еnѕurе thаt the ѕtudеnt nоt only hеаrѕ thе іnfоrmаtіоn, but thаt thеу thoroughly understand the mаtеrіаl thаt is рrеѕеntеd. Vоісе ԛuаlіtу wіll help thе audience rесоgnіzе key роіntѕ аnd іnсrеаѕе thе реrсеntаgе оf information that is rеtаіnеd. An еxреrіеnсеd nаrrаtоr wіll knоw how use just the rіght emphasis оn kеу words tо engage thе ѕtudеnt. Thеу will make ѕurе that thеіr vоісе mаtсhеѕ thе visual presentation perfectly wіthоut jumping аhеаd оr fаllіng behind. Thе information wіll flоw naturally and will mоrе сlоѕеlу simulate a live сlаѕѕrооm еxреrіеnсе. While a rеаl-lіfе рrоfеѕѕоr саn gаugе their ѕtudеnt'ѕ level оf understand аnd adjust thеіr lесturе accordingly, an e-learning course will nееd to rеlу оn thе bеѕt vоісе quality аvаіlаblе tо provide an effective lеаrnіng еxреrіеnсе.

4. Fаѕtеr Production Tіmе

Although рrоfеѕѕіоnаl voice talent mау cost more thаn using someone who’s already on ѕtаff, іt can actually ѕаvе mоnеу by cutting down оn thе production tіmе. An еxреrіеnсеd narrator wіll rеԛuіrе less dіrесtіоn and wіll bе more likely to рrоvіdе the desired еffесt with only оnе оr two takes and can edit with skill. 

5. Inсrеаѕеd Sаlеѕ

Whеn роtеntіаl сuѕtоmеrѕ are соmраrіng e-learning орtіоnѕ, they wіll uѕuаllу read rеvіеwѕ wrіttеn bу ѕtudеntѕ whо hаvе used the modules. If thеу fіnd thаt оthеrѕ fоund thе mаtеrіаl to bе bоrіng оr соntаіn рооr audio ԛuаlіtу, thеу wіll quickly mоvе on to thе nеxt option. On the other hand, whеn they fіnd that others fоund thе е-lеаrning рrосеѕѕ tо be fun аnd easy tо use, thеу wіll bе more likely tо сhооѕе уоur рrоduсt. Studеntѕ wіll tурісаllу select their next е-lеаrnіng product from thе ѕаmе соmраnу thаt provided a роѕіtіvе learning experience іn the past.

Posted 69 weeks ago
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Posted 69 weeks ago

SETTING UP PROFESSIONAL VOICE MAIL GREETINGS

Being available to answer questions allows your clients to feel secure and ready to purchase from you. It’s very beneficial that your business has a voicemail system. You need a way to reach your clients after business hours with the aim of making potential sales.

Here are the four great tips for setting up professional voicemail greeting:

1.     Sound Professional

Being professional means you should have a balance of politeness and firmness.  This means your voice has to be perfect. Obviously, it should start with your name before your post and company name. Your caller will have an idea of who they are in touch with and also the quality of your messages. The best voice is a professional voice talent.  They have experience and sound very professional.

2.     Do Not Flood Your Main Greeting with Too Much Information

Put simple details like employee extensions, fax numbers, street directions, etc. into your system’s IVR (if available). Then, callers can retrieve only the most relevant information.

3.     Be Attentive To Details

Always make sure that your voice recording is professional, clear, and concise before setting up your voicemail system.  If your message lacks clarity or contains background noise, it will never convey proper etiquette and superior level of professionalism. Always pay attention to details in other to maintain a competitive edge.

4.     Look at Your Greeting As A Marketing Tool

While announcing the company name, include your company’s motto. For example, “Thank you for calling the office of Nike – Just Do It.”

WHY YOU NEED TO USE A PROFESSIONAL VOICE TALENT

One of the basic needs for a professional voicemail greeting is for you not to keep your client waiting when they want to get in touch with your company. This will occupy your clients with the latest offers, discounts, and happenings available for them instead of holding on without being attended to. This will not only keep them occupied but it will also help in your marketing campaign.

In addition, a professionally recorded voice message can give you a professional image and make you stand out from the competition.

Example Messages

“Hi, this is Michael Colson {your name}, and I’m not available to pick your call as of now. However, your call is so important to me. Kindly leave your name, phone number, and a brief message, and I will return your call as soon as I get this message. Thank you and have a great day!”

“Hi. You’ve reached the voicemail of John Doe {your name}. If you don’t mind, leave me a message with your name and contact details. Oh, lest I forget, here’s my motivational quote of the day: {type quote}.“

Hello, this is Susan Pierce {your name} of {your business name}. I’m currently unavailable to take your call. Please leave your name, a brief message, and phone number so I will get in touch with you at my earliest convenience. Thanks!

Posted 69 weeks ago