They’re there when you’re driving your car, when you’re at the movies, when you’re watching your favorite TV show, or when you need to call your insurance company. It can be anything from radio commercials and eLearning videos to film trailers and product videos, where a nice voice is conveying a message that you’ll remember, feel and can relate to. Maybe you don’t know it, but you’ve been listening to what we call a voiceover.
Confused about what a voiceover is? Or whether it is a speak that you need to use in your project? Or if it even makes sense to use speak? Then you have come to the right place. In this post, we will cover everything you need to know about voiceovers and their effect on a target audience so that your projects can stand stronger and become more effective and successful.
What is a voiceover?
A voiceover, also known as ‘voice over’ or ‘voice-over’, is a professional narration for film, television, theater, games, videos, or presentations recorded in a professional sound studio or home setup. The person who speaks can both be in the video or off-screen, and if the person who does the voice is professional, they are called voice artists or a voice actor.
There are generally two types of voiceovers:
The narrative voiceover: The voice describes the action on the video and tells a story based on what is happening.
The non-narrative voiceover: The voice is informative, instructive, and educational about what was shown on the screen.
It is important to understand that the work a voice artist does is not far from what an actor does when they have to say a line in a movie. A voiceover must essentially be delivered as a line, but unlike in film, you cannot use your body or face to sell the line. You only have your voice, which can make it significantly more challenging for the voice artist to convince their listeners.
What is the difference between voiceover, speak, and narrator?
Voiceover, speak, narrators – we have many names for the ones we love. Or do we really?
In Denmark, ‘voiceovers’ and ‘speak’ are often used interchangeably, as they cover the same thing. Narrator or narration, on the other hand, is not so widespread in the Danish language, as it is the English translation of the word used for a genuine narrator in films and books.
Voiceover and speak are closely related, yet have a notable difference, as speak is a broader term than voiceover. A speak is a professional speech in which no sound comes over anything else.
An example could be your answering machine (voice response system), which consists of pure speech, unless there is music underneath. For example, in the case of a voiceover for a documentary film or e-learning video, it is sound over images, and therefore it is a voiceover, as the voiceover is in relation to what is shown on the screen.
In VoiceArchive, we are not so fussy about whether we call one thing the other, but we primarily use voiceover, and we call our professional narrators voice artists.