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Developing as a voiceover artist

Voicereel production company owner Guy Michaels gives us his take

Guy MichaelsGuy Michaels is the owner of Round Island Voicereels producing voicereels for professional voice artists every week of the year. We asked him if he had a view on developing as a voiceover artist – and he kindly obliged with some great tips on upping your game.

Don’t Get Left Behind
The voiceover world is unrecognisable even from five years ago.  With the massive expansion in areas such as audio books, the newer fields such as Explainer Videos and E-Learning and the increased ease, accessibility and affordability of recording at home there’s much to be excited about. (Try that sentence on one breath!). It is also perhaps a little bit scary, the pace of change and the sense that every actor with a microphone is now a Voiceover Artist. Are you keeping up?  What can you do to avoid being left behind?

Developing as a Voiceover Artist
Are you developing as a voiceover artist? To answer this question we should first consider the three clear skill areas that every VO needs.


At some point in your VO career you may have written yourself some goals or gone the whole hog and created a fully-fledged business plan.  The three skills areas are interdependent.  You know this but are you approaching your voiceover business in this way?  Perhaps you are giving some focus to improving your technical skills in terms of editing or improving your recording environment.  Perhaps you are attending voice, acting or impro classes to shake it up and improve your flexibility at the microphone.  Or maybe you are dedicating hours per day in social media, updating your website and following up on leads.


Take a careful step back and consider how you are distributing your energy throughout the working week.  Is there an imbalance in one area that would benefit from a shift in focus?

Pro tip: Are you a member of VoicesUS? If so, you automatically qualify for an exclusive discount on Guy’s voicereel services… login to grab the code!”
A weakness in one area undermines the other two.  Strength in all three can propel your voiceover career to the next level year on year.  I have seen this with my clients who set goals, have a flexible plan and give attention to developing all of the skills.

When I first started out producing VO demos most of my clients were actors adding Voiceover to their list of skills.  Today it is a very healthy balance ranging from highly experienced dedicated VOs to actors fresh out of drama school who feel they need a demo to go with their headshot and video showreel.  I can almost split the roster of clients down the middle in terms of success and honestly feel that I can identify those who are hungry to succeed within minutes of the first consultation or meeting.  Those who are hungry and focused understand the need for Continuing Professional Development.

Voiceover+Demo+CompanyContinuing Professional Development
So what is on your list this year?  It is all very well waking up on Jan 1st and setting goals (again) but do you have the steps in place?  If your business is ticking over nicely, with regular work from steady and reliable clients, set aside time to work ON your business.  Working ON your business is very different from working IN your business.  Like a conventional business (with a marketing team, delivery team, sales team etc) set dates in your diary to take another look at your goals and plans and see where you need to flex.

In a decade of running two businesses probably the most important thing I’ve learnt is that sometimes there comes a time to rip up the plan and start all over. You may not need to do that, but do make sure that you continue to develop in all three skill areas: VOCAL, TECHNICAL and BUSINESS.

Pro tip: Are you a member of VoicesUS? If so, you automatically qualify for an exclusive $45 discount on Guy’s voicereel services… login to grab the code! Your voiceover career is a click away!

Guy Michaels is owner of Round Island Voicereels. Sign-up for the next Voiceover Kickstart at voice-reel.com. His first book The Influence Workout (Pearson Publishing) launches in May 2015.

Welcome to the VoicesUS blog. Here we explore all facets of the amazing world that is the voiceover industry. We feature guest authors on topics such as how to get started, what equipment is best for your recordings, how to find clients and how to best show off your skills on VoicesUS. To join our family of North American voiceover artists please click here. Post a free casting call to find the perfect voice for your project, click herewe’re ready to help!

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