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 Voices.com, 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.

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Have you ever been told that you have an amazing voice? Have teachers or colleagues remarked on how well you read aloud? Have you ever wondered 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.

Possibilities

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.

Let’s look at just one of these examples, the audio book narrator. The Audio Publishers Association has a wonderful site that explains how to become a narrator and offers a variety of resources for this niche. Almost all of the types of careers previously mentioned have similar associations and websites filled with information. If there are specific types of projects you are interested in, these types of resources are invaluable.

Getting Started

Now that the possibilities have been reviewed, it’s time to 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 a few 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.

Network

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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About John Zimmer

International speaker, presentation skills expert, lawyer, improv performer
This entry was posted in Guest Posts and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to You Have a Great Voice, Now What?

  1. James Neely says:

    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?

    Like

    • John Zimmer says:

      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!

      Like

  2. 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.

    Like

    • John Zimmer says:

      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!

      Like

  3. jude1972 says:

    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……

    Like

    • John Zimmer says:

      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.

      Like

  4. Robert says:

    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.

    Like

    • John Zimmer says:

      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.

      Like

  5. Jason Jones says:

    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?

    Like

    • John Zimmer says:

      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!

      Like

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