You have a great voice, now what?

When we think about public speaking, images of standing on stage in front of an audience usually come to mind. But there are many forms of public speaking. With the right voice, you could be a voice actor and even make a living at it.

Today’s post is from Sarah Stockton. Sarah is an Outreach Coordinator for, a site that connects businesses with professional voice talents. She enjoys helping people find their start in the voice industry. In her post, Sarah provides a wealth of insight and resources for those interested in this “nontraditional” form of public speaking.


Have you ever been told that you have an amazing voice? Have teachers or colleagues remarked on how well you read aloud? Do you wonder if it’s possible to make money with that unique and wonderful voice? If these questions sound familiar and you would like to capitalize on your vocal capabilities, you’re in luck. There’s an entire industry built around vocal talents just like yours and it is more accessible than you might have imagined.


Microphone as a symbol for using your voice

If you have only had a vague interest in turning your vocal abilities into a profitable career, you might not know where to start or what types of careers are available. It’s possible you don’t even know exactly what a voice actor does. Most people never think about all the voice actors they hear on a daily basis.

But the people narrating commercials, reading the books on your e-reader, bringing your favorite animated characters or video game heroes to life, and even telling you which number to push when you call you bank are all voice actors. Considering how frequently we hear vocal talents it is amazing they are not more well-known.

Almost all of the types of careers previously mentioned have similar associations and websites filled with information. If you are interested in specific types of projects, these types of resources are invaluable.

Getting Started

Let’s talk about training. Many vocal actors have a background in theater or music. Both of these disciplines are great for learning how to maximize vocal abilities. There are also academic courses designed specifically for those interested in this type of career. However, while many vocal talents do pursue formal training it is not strictly necessary.

There are several ways to learn more about the industry that do not involve academic programs. Voice Over Times is an industry publication which offers news about the field and valuable tips and information for novices and experienced vocal actors. This is an inexpensive and interesting way to get the heartbeat of the industry.

There are many authoritative sources available online that can teach interested individuals about the audio recording technology utilized in the industry. Resources such as blogs, podcasts, technical articles, and tutorials are easily accessible and can help steer a motivated person in the right direction.


It is amazing how much networking can help virtually every type of career. It has almost become necessary to have an online presence, including profiles on a variety of networking sites. Fortunately the most popular are easy to use and free. Online networking levels the playing field for those new to the industry in ways that would have been unimaginable even five years ago.

In a world where celebrities often respond directly to Tweets from their fans, it shouldn’t be surprising that experts and celebrities within specific vocal niches would be willing to respond to a polite and inquisitive industry novice. Take advantage of the manufactured intimacy of the internet to network with those whom you respect in the field.

So, now that you have a better idea of what you can do with your amazing voice, what do you want to do?

Photo courtesy of Jackson Carson / jaxxon on Flickr

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  1. Have heard my whole life that I have a great voice, I love making people laugh, and keeping people in tuned to what im saying, with that being said I have no real experience as a voice but have always been interested, any advice for me?

    1. Hi Jason. Why not try giving a speech in your local community? Or maybe see if there is a way to get on local radio for an interview. Have people listen and give you feedback. Good luck!

  2. I’ve been told, even accused at times of working on the radio. I’ve spoke to or around people and years upon years later they have approched me saying, ” I knew it was you, I heard you talking” and I didn’t know them then much less remember them. It’s really strange. Obviously, I wouldn’t mind making a living with my voice, but I really don’t know where to begin. Where I live is famous for what your last name is or who you know, like pretty much everywhere nowadays. It’s much worse here for some reason. Long story, any direction or somewhere I can focus on / to ? Thanks, I enjoyed your article.

    1. Hi Robert. I have found that local radio stations are always looking for people to interview about local events. If you are involved in any such events, try pitching the idea to a station near you. It should not be too difficult to get 5-10 minutes of air time. You could also think about starting a podcast on a topic of interest. Nowadays, it is easier than ever and there are lots of online resources to guide you.

      Good luck and thanks for the comment.

  3. i once did a recording for my friend who works in a school in Russia, and her colleague said to me i had a voice that sounded like it would be good for cartoons…… i have no acting experience, please can you advise me what steps i can take……

    1. Great that you have such a versatile voice! Unfortunately, I don’t have any experience in the field. However, there is some interesting advice in the links in my post that could be helpful. Have a look and best of luck to you.

  4. Hi. I am glad to know this knowledge about voice acting for animation. I am new visitor to your article. I also want to be a voice over actor. Can you help me to becoming a actor? I shall be thankful to you for this.

    1. Thanks for the comment, Andrew. I am glad that you enjoyed the post. Unfortunately, I have neither the time nor the expertise to help you with your career goals. I suggest that you contact the organizations to which I have linked in the post and seek their assistance. Best of luck with it!

  5. I’ve been told I have a pleasant voice by a school teacher,i totally believe her now,I want to presue a career in my voice, but I’m not sure exactly what fits me in the industry?

    1. Hi James. Have a look again at the post as there are some ideas in there. See also my answers to some of the other comments where the same question was asked. Good luck!

  6. Hi John,

    I’m so glad to have stumbled upon the Manner of Speaking website. It’s really informative and makes the voice industry feel far less exclusive than many other sites portray.

    I’ve been told over the years I have a good voice and after doing a speech at my brother’s wedding a few people commented that I should think about public speaking. But actually, what I’d really like to get involved in is commentary and narration, if not for audio books, then maybe dialogue for informative audio guides etc. I will look into the links you’ve suggested but any other advice would be welcome 🙂

    1. Hi Sally. Thanks for the comment and Happy New Year.

      You might want to have a look at this link that indicates what evaluators of interpretive readings should look for.

      I hope this is helpful. Let me know if you have other questions and good luck!

  7. Through out my walk of life, many have complimented my voice and eloquence. Your site has opened a door to more endearing opportunities to which I’m warmed with the thought of new friendships.
    Thanks much,
    TL Page

  8. I really appreciate your article. it is informative, and clearly tailored to giving an expository awareness of the huge potentials that lies in the “voicing” industry which for now fewer people are aware of.

    I have been told by many people that i have a unique baritone voice. Even though i am not a singer i want to utilize this gift for some finacial returns and i wish to be connected to some of the industries who need this services. Thanks for your article onec again.


  9. I have a Utube video where you should hear my voice. I was an instructional insurance broker for 30 years and was always told I had a great voice. Can I send it.

  10. I work in a call center environment and have been told I have a great voice since high school. I also do rap music. I have a background in theater and acting and currently have a vocal coach for singing. I would like to get into doing voice overs for animated cartoons.

    1. It sounds like you have all the experience and vocal tools. I wish you much success with your passion.

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John delivered a keynote address about the importance of public speaking to 80 senior members of Gore’s Medical Device Europe team at an important sales event. He was informative, engaging and inspirational. Everyone was motivated to improve their public speaking skills. Following his keynote, John has led public speaking workshops for Gore in Barcelona and Munich. He is an outstanding speaker who thinks carefully about the needs of his audience well before he steps on stage.

Karsta Goetze

TA Leader, Gore and Associates

I first got in touch with John while preparing to speak at TED Global about my work on ProtonMail. John helped me to sharpen the presentation and get on point faster, making the talk more focused and impactful. My speech was very well received, has since reached almost 1.8 million people and was successful in explaining a complex subject (email encryption) to a general audience.

Andy Yen

CEO, Proton Technologies

John gave the opening keynote on the second day of our unit’s recent offsite in Geneva, addressing an audience of 100+ attendees with a wealth of tips and techniques to deliver powerful, memorable presentations. I applied some of these techniques the very next week in an internal presentation, and I’ve been asked to give that presentation again to senior management, which has NEVER happened before. John is one of the greatest speakers I know and I can recommend his services without reservation.

David Lindelöf

Senior Data Scientist, Expedia Group

After a morning of team building activities using improvisation as the conduit, John came on stage to close the staff event which was organised in Chamonix, France. His energy and presence were immediately felt by all the members of staff. The work put into the preparation of his speech was evident and by sharing some his own stories, he was able to conduct a closing inspirational speech which was relevant, powerful and impactful for all at IRU. The whole team left feeling engaged and motivated to tackle the 2019 objectives ahead. Thank you, John.

Umberto de Pretto

Secretary General, World Road Transport Organization

I was expecting a few speaking tips and tricks and a few fun exercises, but you went above and beyond – and sideways. You taught me to stand tall. You taught me to anchor myself. You taught me to breathe. You taught me to open up. You taught me to look people in the eye. You taught me to tell the truth. You taught me to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. I got more than I bargained for in the best possible way.

Thuy Khoc-Bilon

World Cancer Day Campaign Manager, Union for International Cancer Control

John gave a brilliant presentation on public speaking during the UN EMERGE programme in Geneva (a two days workshop on leadership development for a group of female staff members working in the UN organizations in Geneva). His talk was inspirational and practical, thanks to the many techniques and tips he shared with the audience. His teaching can dramatically change our public speaking performance and enable us as presenters to have a real and powerful impact. Thank you, John, for your great contribution!

Sara Canna

HR Specialist, World Health Organization

John is a genuine communication innovator. His seminars on gamification of public speaking learning and his interactive Rhetoric game at our conference set the tone for change and improvement in our organisation. The quality of his input, the impact he made with his audience and his effortlessly engaging style made it easy to get on board with his core messages and won over some delegates who were extremely skeptical as to the efficacy of games for learning. I simply cannot recommend him highly enough.

Thomas Scott

National Education Director, Association of Speakers Clubs UK

John joined our Global Sales Meeting in Segovia, Spain and we all participated in his "Improv(e) your Work!" session. I say “all” because it really was all interactive, participatory, learning and enjoyable. The session surprised everybody and was a fresh-air activity that brought a lot of self-reflection and insights to improve trust and confidence in each other inside our team. It´s all about communication and a good manner of speaking!"

Jon Lopez

General Manager Europe, Hayward Industries

Thank you very much for the excellent presentation skills session. The feedback I received was very positive. Everyone enjoyed the good mix of listening to your speech, co-developing a concrete take-away and the personal learning experience. We all feel more devoted to the task ahead, more able to succeed and an elevated team spirit. Delivering this in a short time, both in session and in preparation, is outstanding!

Henning Dehler

CFO European Dairy Supply Chain & Operations, Danone

Thanks to John’s excellent workshop, I have learned many important tips and techniques to become an effective public speaker. John is a fantastic speaker and teacher, with extensive knowledge of the field. His workshop was a great experience and has proven extremely useful for me in my professional and personal life.

Eric Thuillard

Senior Sales Manager, Sunrise Communications

John’s presentation skills training was a terrific investment of my time. I increased my skills in this important area and feel more comfortable when speaking to an audience. John provided the right mix between theory and practice.

Diego Brait

Director of the Jura Region, BKW Energie AG

Be BOLD. Those two words got stuck in my head and in the heads of all those ADP leaders and associates that had the privilege to see John on stage. He was our keynote speaker at our annual convention in Barcelona, and his message still remains! John puts his heart in every word. Few speakers are so credible, humble and yet super strong with large audiences!

Guadalupe Garcia

Senior Director and Talent Partner, ADP International