Are You The E-Learning Client’s Go-To
VO Talent For More Work? Three Tips …
By Rick Gordon
Voice Talent & Owner
e-LearningVoices.com & CommercialVoices.com
The e-Learning business keeps humming along, and savvy clients are looking for ways to trim budgets and get the most value possible from VO talents.
And it’s well known that e-learning clients like to re-hire VO talents who they have worked with. They are becoming quite friendly and most are pleasantly surprised about the stretch they can go with their golden voice choices.
Here are three ways you can help them stick with you …
1. LET ‘EM LISTEN AS YOU RECORD
If you can establish direct connections with clients, as talent do at e-LearningVoices.com, you might find the relationships graduate to more than just a buy and sell arrangement.
Clients are increasing asking talents for permission to listen-in while auditions and projects are recorded. They love the phone patch, Skype or other online connection – or just a portable phone planted near the microphone – which lets them add their two bits to the production.
And this is a great problem solver when Instructional Designers (ID) need to bring their clients in to participate in the production.
More and more ID’s are also having problems with their end user clients when hiring voice talents. The real-time connection during auditions can ease problems arising from tone-deaf clients who think they are Producers.
Of course, selecting VO talents by committee is never a good idea, but due to production costs it seems there are more cooks wanting to get into the kitchen even if they can only boil water.
The solution? Listen in and approve the talent and read style at the same time. Brilliant! The onus is now on the end user client. Whew! This is a relief for both the voice talent and the creative e-learning production people.
2. VOICE-ONLY ON DEMOS
One of our larger clients recently slapped me on the knuckles for letting VO talents put music and sfx on their demos. OUCH!
She said, “I ruled out any demos with music or sfx. We do not use these accoutrements in our productions, so why would we need them in a demo?”
After explaining to her that all of our member talents run their own business according to their own protocols (I gotta find a way out of this, right?), I agreed that it might be difficult for some producers (little shot here) to visualize the tone of voice without the music – but yes, it is not necessary.
She added that she found music and sound effects annoying and made it difficult to hear the real voices, tonal qualities etc.
3. PLUG YOUR MULTI-VOICES
As I said, clients are becoming clever and creative in their use of VO talents. And some are asking talents to voice scripts as two or more different people. (See my earlier article on this, Do You Do Character Voices? We’re Not Just Talkin’ Cartoons.)
The main reason for this is that the second and/or third voice in a script may only have a few words, or two lines at the most.
The Instructional Designers want to cut down on the time to search for additional talent, so they throw out this request just to see if they can get a bite. It’s a great idea. The more character lines you can record, the more moola for your stash!
When you can make direct contact with a client, take advantage of the many opportunities that might be available. For instance, you might say,
“The script for my character is great. I am looking forward to giving it my all, but tell me – do you have any small bit parts that are only a few words or a sentence or two that I might audition for? How about titles or introductions? Any of those required? Would you consider me to play more than one character in this production?”
Establishing an “I want to help” relationship with your client can never hurt. Just by offering to assist in the production, you will be a more memorable professional and you might even give the ID some ideas for the next project he is working on.
And the point? You are the go-to guy/girl for that!