Which voice over should you use for your video?

by Michaela Walsh on 27 April 2015


When you make the decision to create a video production for your business there are many elements to consider. You've no doubt thought about what message you want to give, the style of animation or filming you want used and the story you want shown. But, there is another element that can often get forgotten about until the last minute, which is choosing the right voice over, when in fact this should be something you consider a lot earlier. It's important because it's the part of your video that will be conveying your message and tying the overall story together.

So, what should you be looking for when picking your voice over? Well, there are a few points to think about from your own perspective but also you need to have an understanding of what the voice over artist is able to offer. We will explore both of those things here.


Male or Female?


This is the area that has the most discussion surrounding it and although it's important there is much more to selecting your voice over than this, but since it's come up let's look at it first.

Choosing male or female will depend a lot on the product or service your promoting. For numerous reasons you're more likely to choose a female if you're selling a lipstick, and similarly if your selling tools you'll almost 99.9% guaranteed to select a male voice. That is unless you're a company that specialises in tools for woman and lipstick for men...

Studies that have looked into the male/female voice over debate tend to be as you'd expect. Male voices are thought to be forceful (48%) whereas females are classed as the more soothing and caring (46%). In terms of being more persuasive, the results weren't much different to one another with 19% saying female and 18% saying male.

Part of choosing a male or female voice over will be influenced by your audience demographic. In actual fact everything to do with your voice over will be down to your audience demographic.




Due to there being a large number of different aspects making up audience demographic, it is important to know which ones will influence someone's point of view more. Therefore, when you're creating a video production choosing the right voice over is quite an integral part.

Think about it, when someone speaks you hear so much more than what words they're saying because of the way they say it and even due to the accent they have. This is because we make connections and connotations to what we hear. For example, when you hear an English accent that has Received Pronunciation (The Queen's English) you will right or wrongly associate this with being well off and better educated.

Similarly, in the US the southern twang is often associated with being dimwitted compared to those from the northern part of America, although they are also considered more friendly. As result, your more likely to hear a voice over with either Received Pronunciation or a more northern American accent when advertising high end, luxurious products rather than for an advert for the latest DIY tool.




It's important point to consider how you want your company to be represented. The voice over you choose will ultimately become the representative of this idea, therefore, note down words that you believe describe your company; then use these for a basis for selecting the right voice over. If you're an insurance company you'd probably use the words like fair, reliable and honest to describe your business so it makes sense that the voice over would be able to convey these qualities.

Delivery is so important, imagine a voiceover artist reading an advert for a will-writing or funeral service, and the same artist reading an advert for a bouncy castle rental company for kids birthday parties? Completely different businesses that would require completely different approaches from the point of view of the voice over but imagine if they got the tone mixed up! Massively, inappropriate and confusing!

Bearing this in mind, it would be advisable to have any notes on how the script should be delivered so the voiceover artist knows if it's fun, serious, formal, corporate, silly, light-hearted, solemn, etc. It makes such a big difference to the overall feel of the finished product.




In those notes, another important aspect of a great voice over to include is how quickly they read your script. You don't want them to speed through it but equally you don't want it read at snail pace.

Usually you would avoid having the script read quickly, although, there are exceptions to the rule. For example, the amusing videos from the guys at Mashable, where they try to explain the long, and sometimes, complicated plots of your favourite films and TV shows. Our particular favourite is the Game of Thrones in less than three minutes, because let's face what's more complicated than the plot of Game of Thrones, fast paced voice over required!

We advise the best pace for a voice over to be approx. 140 words a minute, just to give you an idea when planning out the timing of your overall video.

Closing Thoughts


Ultimately, a video production will become an extension of your company and the story you want to tell. As a result it needs to reflect whatever values and ideas you represent as a business and a big part of that, as we've explored here, is the voice over.

Remember it's all about your audiences demographic, so use this as your starting point and identify what it is they'll relate to.

If you'd like to chat more about how to choose the best voice over for your video production get in touch!



Video Marketing

Michaela Walsh

Written by Michaela Walsh

Hey! Michaela here, a copywriter for Wyzowl, I hope you enjoyed the blog. Apart from my love of writing, I enjoy a good book, a great film and the occasional trip to the theatre. I also love all the cheese!