1. Preparation: Give your voice the script and a link to any visuals well before the recording session. The best voice actors will want to sound as if they know your product inside and out and this gives them the opportunity to prepare thoroughly.
2. Communication: The talent will be looking to the sound engineer to make them sound good – but they want you to direct them to deliver exactly what the client is expecting. Decide beforehand who on your team will lead the session. The best sessions only have one voice director.
3. Audience: It’s vital the voice actor knows who their audience will be and how that audience is going to interact with the script they are voicing. Your audience more than any other factor determines the speed, style and tone of the voice actor’s delivery.
4. Warm up: If time allows ask your voice actor read through the whole script before a single word is recorded. Now they’re ready to work and producer and voice actor have had a chance to flag specifics in the script that might have been overlooked.
5. Organising your recording: Record in blocks that allow for natural sounding breaks. Try and avoid recording single sentences. I like to ask the voice actor to read each block twice then discuss those takes before reading a third take. Make sure your talent identifies each take!
6. Playback: Where time allows ask the engineer (or voice actor engineering at home) to pull out the chosen takes and listen back to the whole recording together.
7. Finish with the first sentence again: The voice actor should be in their sweet spot by the end of the session, so I often ask that the first block be re-recorded with that same ease of delivery.
8. Feedback should always be constructive. The best recording sessions are based on respect and each person having the time and opportunity to make their contribution. That makes for a relaxed session and the most positive outcome.