You know the second you hear a bad voice over but how often do you notice a good voice over? Voice over is a subtle sometimes subliminal connection between your message and the audience. Choosing the “right” voice over – right for the brand, right for the message, right for the client and right for the audience – is the tricky bit. One voice has to tick all these boxes and ultimately it’s the end-user’s interpretation of the key qualities embodied by the voice that determines whether or not your choice was correct.

It’s safe to say that voice over choices remain a good social barometer as they still reflect social norms. Over the last decade, commercial work has achieved a much improved gender balance across varied content. Rightly or wrongly however, in other more corporate communications we still associate a male voice with authority, reassurance and wisdom, and achieving goals. Female voices are usually chosen for softer, warmer reads, and communications which are more people-orientated. These are often connected to healthcare or customer-facing voice work.

Choosing the right voice also involves considering whether to introduce an accent. Regional accents have branched out and RP (or contemporary RP) is no now longer the mainstay of AV media. This is particularly evident on-screen, where for example up until a few years ago, the Welsh accent was virtually extinct, in media terms, apart from good old Huw Edwards. As for other accents, in the case of Newcastle, Cheryl Cole’s rise to stardom briefly kept Marcus Bentley’s Big Brother company, while most recently, Stephen Merchant’s Barclays campaigns have further endeared people to the gentle South-West accent.

Casting can be a daunting task, especially if after a time you almost become “voice-deaf” – hitting overload with reel after reel. The Voiceover Gallery can help choose appropriate voices that match your project brief. We also have a free auditioning option, so our artists can submit a bespoke demo to you to help you make the final decision that little bit easier.