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What NOT To Put In Your Voiceover Demo

Updated: Mar 25, 2021

Everyone wants that perfect demo. Something captivating and grabby. But what you DON'T want your demo to do, is gross out the listener! Avoid a complete demo disaster with these helpful tips from voiceover coach, Gabrielle Nistico!

What Not to Put in Your Voiceover Demo – 6:23

Hey, guys. It’s Gabby. Thanks for joining me for another episode of “The Gift of Gab." So I want to talk today about a new trend to that I'm seeing in voiceover demos and something that's been happening actually for a really long time, but as of late I feel like it’s happening more and more and more. It’s pretty important. Please, whatever you do, when you’re making a demo, no matter what the demo is for, commercial, narration, e-learning, doesn't really matter, don't gross out your audience. Don't do it! Don't pick really controversial topics and subjects that are gonna weird people out. Why? Why would you do that? Don't do that!

Sometimes what happens is people think “oh, if I pick this offbeat, wacky, kind of weird, kind of memorable thing, and I put it in my demo, people are gonna remember me, and they’re gonna remember my demo, and it’s gonna stand out!” OK. Yes, it does stand out. It stands out a whole bunch, but it doesn't make you memorable. They don't remember you. All they remember is the really weird, creepy person whose demo totally freaked them out. They remember the icky feeling that you gave them. Do you want to be that person? Do you want to be the one to make everyone remember ewww with your demo? No! Who wants to be that person? So let's talk about the whole list of things that you should avoid and topics that should never, ever, ever appear in script form or otherwise on your demo. Ready, here we go.

Guns. Freaking duh, man. For the state that our country is in right now, don't talk about it. Don't. Just don't do it. I don't care where you sit on the political fence. Don't talk about guns. Bad, very bad. Tobacco. Hello! We’re voiceover people. We make a living with our voices. Promoting or having anything to do with a tobacco product or a tobacco manufacturer or a cigarette company on your demos is a really freaking bad idea.

Here's my personal favorite. Ladies, are you listening? You, I'm talking to you. Hi. Do not talk about feminine hygiene products. No! No! Bad! We’re modern women, and men get it. We have periods. I understand that. Nobody wants it on a demo. Hey, I got a joke for you. What can bleed for seven days and live? Oo, here's another one. While we’re on the subject of naughty bits, condoms! No, just stay -- no. The number of guys that I've heard over the years try to be the Trojan Man, no, just stop! Just stop it! Nobody wants that in the demo.

Here's a fun one. For those of you with medical and pharmaceutical aspirations. Hmm you know what, if it’s a medication for an STD or an STI, please don't. Herpes, gonorrhea, syphilis – you know another great one, ED. Do you really want to be that guy? Do you want to be the erectile dysfunction voice actor? Hmmm. And again, while we’re talking about nether bits, sex toys. Yup, I've heard this too, very recently as a matter of fact. I've heard people put sex toys in everything from narrations and e-learning to commercial pieces. Oh my God! Just stop it. I mean, come on. Look, if you have aspirations to read erotica in audio-books, hey, good for you. There's a market for that. There's also a really specific demo for that. It doesn't need to be mixed in with everything else.

Likewise, politics. OK? Political demos are their own thing. And yes, you can absolutely have a political demo, but please don't put strong held political beliefs or ideology inside of one of your primary demos that has nothing to do with political advertising.

And lastly the topic of death often gets brought up in various types of voice jobs. Funeral homes and cremation services, those topics kind of just give people the willies, and nobody really wants to think about it or talk about it. So again, putting it on a demo does the exact opposite of what you’re hoping for. It doesn't make you come across as this compassionate, wonderful person. It just kind of makes people go ooo, and they stop listening. The only thing they remember about that demo is that you creeped them out in the worst way possible.

Yeah, I know some of you might be sitting here going, “but Gabby, these things don't seem that bad.” Guys, think about the source for a minute. Think about who's giving you this information. Me, Gabby. Come on! If I'm telling you to stay away from these things, and if I'm telling you that there's too much of an ick factor, then for [beep]'s sake, listen to me.

Thanks for watching. I hope you enjoyed this video, and I hope it gives you some insights into some of the things that you shouldn't be doing in your voiceover career. If you want more tips like this, then a great thing to do is work with me on your demo production. I've been doing demo production for voice actors for many, many years. We have examples of some of that production on my website, and we can talk about how we can take the ick out of your current demo, whatever that means, whether it’s a bad performance or just a really misguided piece, and we’ll go ahead and talk plans to construct something fabulous that's going to help brand and market you to the right audience and book you tons of work. Go to my website to see more,

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Gabrielle Nistico, Gabby Nistico, The Voiceover Vixen, The Business First VO Coach, #VoiceoverVixen #VoiceOnFire #BusinessFirstVOCoach Voiceover, Charlotte, North Carolina, Demo, Voiceover Demo, Demo Mistakes, Voiceover Coaching Advice, What Not To Do, Working Actors, Los Angeles, New York, Working Actors, Demo Prep

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