Congratulations! If you’re reading this you already know the value of hiring

a professional voice talent, the importance of the technical quality of the

audio, and the impact an excellent performance has when it engages you

and your audience. But, did you know that not all voiceover actors are

adept in all areas of VO? So, how do you choose which person to hire?

Here are 5 Critical Factors to Consider:

Know Your Audience

Who are your listeners and what’s the best way to reach their ears? Do they

want to hear from a man or woman? Someone mature or youthful?

Someone with a regional accent, or if the audience is global, a non-

accented American or British accent? If English is a second language, an

articulate voice will be understandable by most of your listeners.

Side Note:

Did you know there’s a common condition called presbycusis, which

affects older people and prevents them from hearing higher pitch ranges?

This phenomenon would suggest choosing a voiceover artist with a deeper

pitch (male or female) to ensure that your key messages are clearly heard.

2. Know Your Voice Actor

You’ve found a voice actor whose medical demo sounds great, but can they

deliver the same sound for you? How deep is their experience? Do they

have their own broadcast quality studio, or will they record at an outside

studio? Who will bear that expense? Who will edit the audio?

Are they comfortable with long-form narrations or are they better with short

projects (5 minutes or less)? Listen to other samples of their work. Pay

attention to details like pronunciation, articulation, modulation of energy and

tone to create interest and expressiveness— are these qualities present?

Side Note: NDAs- Non-Disclosure Agreements- often prevent voice actors

from posting their projects online, but sometimes they can share a private link.

3. Check References

Ask for references because a VO professional comes prepared to make

your job easier and help your project shine! Ask how well they took

directions? If they met or beat their deadlines. How well they communicated

throughout the project? Did they edit the text if needed and catch errors if

they existed?

4. Preparation is Paramount

How does the voice actor prepare? By its very nature, medical content can

be intellectually challenging, requiring someone who’ll roll up their sleeves

to understand your project. Repeated reviewing and rehearsing of the script

is mandatory, so questions for pronunciations, syntax, or meaning get

addressed in advance and the session (if directed by you and/or your

client), goes smoothly and quickly. Ask the voiceover talent to explain their

workflow process.

5. Longevity

Is the voice actor a full-time, well-established talent or are they

moonlighting? Are they able to turn your project around quickly? Science

and statistics often get updated, and revisions are needed months or years

after the recording session has been completed. Will that person be


In my next article I’ll explain the process of working with a voice talent and

give you some tips on how to direct them when it comes to voicing

technical content—be it medical, legal, corporate, governmental or IT

(information technology).