If you've watched a documentary, a product review video, an unboxing video, or any other type of video, you've most likely heard a voiceover. You're probably wondering how to voice over a video yourself. While it might seem like a daunting task, it's actually not that difficult.
Voiceover is the recorded narration that accompanies a video. It can be used to provide information about the video's content, set the mood, create an emotional connection with the viewer and persuade your audience to take action.
A voiceover imparts validity, authority, and reliability while still explaining on-screen actions in a way that is non-intrusive and easy to follow.
Here are some of the key steps you'll need to take to voice over a video:
Prepare Your Video
This is perhaps the most crucial step in the process.
First, you need to clearly understand what the video is about and what message you're trying to get across. Who is your target audience? What persona are you trying to appeal to? What's the overall tone and feel of the video? What do you want them to do after watching the video? Answering these questions will help you determine the style and approach you need to take with your voiceover.
Once you have a good understanding of the purpose of the video, you can start to put together a storyboard. This will help you visualize the various scenes and transitions and how the voiceover will fit into the overall flow of the video. If you're not sure how to storyboard, there are plenty of online templates and tutorials that can help you get started.
If the video has been outlined, recorded, and edited, you'll need to go through it keenly to understand the context and identify any gaps that need to be filled in with the voiceover. If there is on-screen text or graphics, you'll need to ensure that your narration complements and supplements them, rather than repeating what's already been said.
Write A Voice-Over Script
Now that you understand the video well, it's time to start writing your word-for-word voiceover script. Keep in mind that a voiceover is not a transcript of the video. It should be distinct enough to supplement the visuals.
When writing your script, it's essential to keep your target audience in mind. Use language that is easy for them to understand and avoid using industry jargon. Write in a natural, conversational style.
And finally, be sure to proofread your script for errors before recording. Remember that you can always make minor tweaks to the script while recording, but it's always best to have a solid foundation to work from.
Choose The Right Equipment
Not all voiceovers are created equal. The quality of your recording will directly impact how professional and polished your video sounds. If you're recording at home, find a small, quiet room where you won't be interrupted. Use a good quality microphone and recording software. And if possible, invest in some acoustic treatment to help reduce echoes and background noise.
But if you are just starting and have not invested in any equipment yet, your phone can be a perfectly adequate recording device. You can improvise a noise reduction filter using socks or two layers of clothes over your phone's mic. And be sure to hold it close to your mouth to minimize background noise.
Record Your Voiceover
Once you have your script and recording setup ready, it's time to start recording your voiceover. Take your time and read through the script several times to get a feel for the flow. If you make a mistake, don't worry about it too much. You can always edit it out later.
When you're ready, hit record and start reading through the script. Remember to breathe and take breaks as needed. And if you need to, read through the script more than once to get all the takes you need.
This is the same process to turn a book into audiobook.
Watching the video as you record can help you stay on track and keep your performance in sync with the visuals. But if you find it distracting, you can always record the voiceover first and then watch the video on mute as you record.
One of the main aspects of a successful voiceover is confidence. So, if you're not confident in your own voice, consider hiring a professional voice actor to do the job for you. They will be able to bring the script to life and connect with your audience in a way you may not be able to.
Edit Your Recording
With the video and voiceover recorded, it's time to start editing. But what does editing entail? Well, it's the process of ensuring that your voiceover is properly synced up with the video itself and that any errors or 'flubbed' lines are removed.
Here are some of the main things you'll need to do when editing your voiceover recording:
Sync your voiceover with your video
Syncing ensures your voiceover is correctly timed with the video. This is one of the process's most frustrating but crucial aspects. You'll need to trim, cut, add some silence and move sections around until it sounds natural; otherwise, it will sound jarring and off-putting. This takes patience, so don't get discouraged if it doesn't sound perfect on the first try. Keep checking and editing until your voiceover is just right.
Remove any errors or 'flubbed' lines
We all make mistakes, but thankfully with modern editing software, it's easy to remove any errors from your recording. Simply find the section you want to remove, and hit the 'delete' button.
Ensure the audio levels are consistent throughout
Another important aspect of editing is ensuring that the audio levels are consistent throughout the recording. This can be done by using a tool known as a 'leveler'.
Add in any sound effects:
This is optional, but if you want to add any music or sound effects (such as footsteps or door creaks) to make the voiceover more immersive and engaging, then adding sound effects will do the trick for you.
Remember: always the copyright requirements before using any music or sound effect to avoid legal issues later.
Consider Using AI Text-To-Speech Software
You can consider using AI text-to-speech software if you're not the right voice for your video or simply don't have the time to record a professional voiceover. This type of software takes your written script and 'reads' it out loud using a synthesized AI voice.
While this may not be ideal for all projects, it can be a quick and easy solution for those who just need a basic voiceover. And with the technology improving all the time, the quality of these computerized voices is getting better and better.