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Decoding Voiceover Demo Opinions

Updated: Sep 13, 2019

So you get a new voiceover demo made and you send it off to 5 trusted colleagues for their opinion.  Then you post your new demo to an online forum and you received 15 responses additional opinions.   5 friends in different areas of the voice industry + 15 random voiceover talent you don’t know = 20 completely different opinions.

This can be very confusing for any voice actor who just shelled out good money to have a voiceover demo made. If the feedback from the demo comes back positive then everyone is happy. BUT if the feedback is negative – the talent usually take up the issue with the studio or person responsible for directing and producing the new demo. 

There’s nothing wrong with heading back to your voiceover demo producer and saying that changes need to be made. But it’s not the producer’s job to wade through and decipher the feedback you’ve been given. That’s your job. But how do you get valuable, constructive criticism that can actually be put into action to improve your voiceover demo?

This industry is subjective, voices are subjective, EVERYTHING we do is subjective. . . so people’s responses to voiceover demos will be too.  Those listening to your demo to consider hiring you for voiceover work go through the same process. Some will like what they here, others won’t.

Problems emerge when a voiceover talent with a new demo is seeking advice and the folks doling it out give their 2 cents for free, but fail to include the 8 cents that YOU need to succeed.

I often hear talent say that a small, microcosmic listener advisory board yielded wildly different opinions. If 4 out of 5 people did not like your new demo then the first question you need to ask is why?  If folks aren’t giving you a straight answer then ask specific questions. Was the nature of the problem performance or production?  Was it script selection or interpretation?

Before you go tromping off to your producer – telling them that the demo sucks, or the scripts selected were inappropriate, find out the real reason behind the criticism you are receiving.  One technique might be to create an evaluation form for your demo. Send the demo to your trusted partners and ask them to critique the demo based on: performance, script selection, production value, industry effectiveness and anything else you can think of. Give them a rating chart, with 1 being the lowest score and 5 being the highest. Also, provide a not-applicable option as someone, for instance, outside of TV Promo should not be offering advice on the effectiveness of a TV Promo voiceover demo.

By using a method like this you give people the opportunity to be honest and impartial. On your evaluation form, ask your trusted experts HOW they would improve anything that received a score lower than three. Ask what they recommend to make it better. That info that will help you determine what, if anything, your demo producer can do to make changes. Discuss those findings with your producer and the resulting changes can make for a demo that more than meets your expectations. 

Too many cooks can ruin a pot - - they can also ruin a voiceover demo. In the end it’s your demo. You should be satisfied with your demo’s results and its ability to represent your voiceover capability. A great demo is about your satisfaction and meeting the needs of industry the demo is tailored to – it’s not about pleasing the Voiceover Peanut Gallery.

Gabrielle Nistico, Gabby Nistico, The Voiceover Vixen, The Business First VO Coach, #VoiceoverVixen #VoiceOnFire #BusinessFirstVOCoach Voiceover, Success, Entrepreneur, Marketing Strategies, Income, Home Studio, Recording, Microphone, Professional, Coaching, Voiceover Coaching, VO Coaching, Voiceover Coaches, Working Actors, Los Angeles, New York, VO Demo, Voiceover Demo, Demo Producer, Opinions

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