Creating Your Voice Over Demo

Like all careers, a career in voice acting has to start somewhere. The biggest tool to finding work as a voice actor is the voice over demo. A voice over demo is submitted to potential employers and serves as your first step in the auditioning process. A successful demo will boost your chances at finding work in voice over.

In creating your voice over demo, there’s quite a bit to consider. Needless to say, your demo should be comprised of your best voices, and should focus on one specific discipline within voice over, such as narration. If you’d like to try your hand at multiple disciplines, you’ll need multiple demos. Regardless, every voice over demo requires the same, and we’ll cover these components below.

If you'd like learn more information with regards to voice over, or sign up for classes, check out the pages below:

Start With A Plan

A voice over demo needs to be targeted. There are many different types of work in voice over and your demo needs to cater to the auditions you want to get. A voice demo can be used to get jobs in narration, commercials, announcements, corporate, education and more. Keep in mind, you've got to fit all of this within about 60 seconds. With this, it’s important to plan out your demo and make it appeal to the type of work you want to get. Here are a few steps to creating the perfect demo for your dream job:

What Kind of Work do I Want to Attract?

The first step is to determine what type of work you want to get with your demo. A voice over demo for education is going to be completely different for a demo targeted to audiobooks or commercial VO. For whatever market or industry you plan on lending your voice to, it is important to research what sound they are looking for.

While voice actors can benefit from unique voices and talents, often, talent scouts are looking for something familiar. Getting to know the voices typically chosen for commercials will allow you to develop a demo that can showcase your ability to advertise through your voice. Certain brands are looking for a voice that can convey their product in the proper sound and tone.

Work on voices that fit the image a job is looking for. For animation, you can get a feel for a network and the characters they like to have in their programs. You can then create a demo that showcases characters that fit their mold. Knowing this information will allow you to develop the right script for your demo.

Develop Scripts That Show Off Your Voice

A voice demo needs a script that will showcase your voice and give the hiring manager a good idea of your abilities. The script is also your opportunity to do voices that fit the brand and personality of your potential jobs. A demo for animation work will consist of characters and stories in genres you are looking for work. A demo for commercials will consist of voices advertising products. The script needs to fit the work you are looking for.

Record Your Demo

Hiring a professional to record your demo will be the best way to get a demo that presents your voice in the highest quality. It is less time consuming than producing your own work, and you will have access equipment that will capture your voice with the highest quality. A professional will also be able to direct you to efficiently create a solid recording complete with voice and music. They will add background tracks that will highlight the tone of the script and capture the voice jobs are looking for. You can then take the finished product and edit out the weaker clips. Of course, if you have the right equipment, or at least a solid microphone, you can take a crack at it yourself. 

Standard Demo Structure

As mentioned above, a typical voice over demo is about 60 seconds, so everything needs to be precise and planned out. Within this short amount of time, it's advised you squeeze in five spots, but you also have to incorporate a quick intro and closing statement. Considering all of this, your demo should be structured closely to the outline below:

  • A 5-second intro stating your name and type of voice demo (commercial VO).
  • 5 spots, ranging from 5 to 15 seconds. The first couple spots should be your very best (15 seconds).
  • A 5-second closeout with contact info.
  • If you have time, you can also add a quick jingle to finish it off.

Get Feedback and Edit

It can be difficult listening to your own demo with a objective ear. Be sure to show your demo to people you trust for opinions on how to improve the demo. A demo goes by quick with most falling between 1 to 2 minutes. If any point in that time the demo begins to lag, it can ruin the entire flow of the demo.

Be sure to cut your demo so it catches the listener’s interest and holds their attention throughout the entire track. It is easy to cut down your recordings and only keep the best clips. Make sure to showcase your strongest voice work and give the strongest impression with your voice over demo.

Make Your Voice Over Demo With The Voice Shop

If you’re interested in voice over and seek a career as a voice actor, the Voice Shop offers classes and professional voice coaches to help you improve your craft and produce voice over demos. Plus, we offer resources designed for all levels of voice acting—not just for those only getting started. If you want to start recording your own voice over demo, give us a call at 212-213-9487 or contact us here!


Phone: 212-213-9487