Working with external voiceover / narrator talent

Here are a few tips to facilitate the process of working with external voiceover/narrator providers:

  •  Be sure that your scripts are as final as possible.  Correct any errors.  Keep in mind that the narrator will assume that you want the script read verbatim, and will read it as is (unless the error is very obviously an error).
  • Take the time to read the script out loud, prior to finalizing.  This will help you to identify phrases that do not work, overly long sentences, etc.
  • Spell out any specialized language or acronyms phonetically.  It is usually a great idea to send links to audio files containing the correct pronunciations – you can often locate english pronunciations at http://www.merriam-webster.com/ that you can include via links within your scripts.
  • As you finalize your script, pay attention to punctuation – it provides critical guidance to the narrator for how to read a specific passage.  For example, commas indicate pauses, use of  quotes or italic indicates titles, phrases or names that require special treatment, and bolding can be used to indicate special emphasis.  Also include performance suggestions that will guide the reading in the desired direction.  “With enthusiasm” can help guide the narrator to punch up segments with a specific emphasis, or use “serious” to indicate that a section should be read with greater gravity, etc.
  • Send your script as a final edit that has all changes accepted and all comments hidden. I have received scripts that included many levels of review comments that were distracting.  I was always a bit worried that the script was not final.

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