How to Format a Script for your Voice Recording Project Voice Crafters
Sep 17, 2020
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How to Format a Script for a Voice Over

Let’s face it, time is a valuable resource you can’t afford to waste.

When we get requests to record a voice over script, the deadline is usually “two days ago”, “a few hours from now”, or “as soon as humanly possible”.

You get the point.

Sometimes a copy is short, just a few lines for a 30-second spot.

Other times, a script for a voice over is derived from a 30,000 word PowerPoint Presentation used for developing an e-learning course.

Or maybe your script will be used for a proprietary new product or service for your company.

The point is, you need to have it recorded ASAP and with little to no errors of course. Pickup recordings mean pushing your deadline and we don’t want that.

Given all of the above, we’d like to offer you a quick guide to help you submit scripts that will make the process easy for you and the voice actor you’re working with.

(spoiler: downloadable templates below).

Following these steps carefully will help minimize errors, stress and unnecessary back-and-forth recordings.

Here goes!

 

1. Found a voice actor yet?

If you already someone you’re working with, great! You can skip to section 2.

Otherwise, take a listen to our voice actors. Simply filter results using the parameters on the left pane and click play to hear voice demos.

You can also drill down further and go into individual voice actor pages to listen to demos in all categories.

Demos typically contain snippets of various styles in each category.

Once you find a talent you like, be sure reference a section in their voice demo (For example – let them know that the read between 00:35 – 00-50 sounds exactly how you’d like it to sound for your project).

For best results, simply post a project, or pick out several voice actors and ask them to record a custom audition.

This way you’ll get the best idea of what YOUR recording will sound like.

 

2. Provide audio or video references

Okay, you’re right. Just like the first section, this one also doesn’t have much to do with formatting the script.

It does however have to do with how you’d like your voice actor to read your text and that can help save you precious time.

Sometimes the style and sensibility of the read you’re after may not be easy to put into words.

The best thing to do in this case is send audio and/or video references to the voice actor so they can “get the vibe” you’re interested in.

We highly recommend you include references when requesting auditions because they will provide a great guide for the actor to follow.

And now…let’s talk about your copy!

 

3. Checking your script

When submitting a text to be recorded, you’ll want it to be final. Or as close to final as possible.

Especially for long-form narration scripts (but not only), We highly recommend that you have a professional editor proof-read the text to make sure it’s 100% kosher.

You’ll want to ensure there aren’t any silly grammar or syntax issues and that you’ve phrased everything in a way that is clear, understandable and aligned with your brand’s values.

Voice actors have different revision policies.

Most will happily include a round of revisions after the initial recording (as long as it’s done tastefully), but others may want to charge for pickups.

Always make sure you check what the voice actor’s revision policy is so that your expectations are aligned with theirs.

 

4. Submitting your script

The format in which you want to submit your script depends on the type of production.

Here are some examples to get you going:

Voice over scripts for video projects

Time Code (Optional)*Voice Over ScriptComments
00:05 – 00:15MED Auto Group – Your perfect car shopping experience starts here!“MED” to be read as an abbreviation (“M-E-D”).

Please emphasize the word “perfect”

00:20 – 00:55Established in 1975, with an inventory of over 17,000 cars and unsurpassed customer service, MED Auto Group is one of CA’s largest car dealers. We’re also the state’s number one Jeep dealership.CA’s – California’s

Add a 5-second pause before “We’re also the state’s…”

00:56 – 01:25At MED Auto Group, we have our very own financial center, so you can buy your dream car at low monthly installments. Starting at just $1,199 p/m, you can even lease your very own luxury car.“$1,199” should be read as “eleven ninety-nine”.

“p/m” should be read as “per month”.

Time codes are used for aligning (or synching) the voice over audio to the video’s visuals during or after the recording.

Time codes, along with the video’s visuals can also help the voice talent understand the pace required.

 

Note the comments section – Providing a guide for how to record brand names, proprietary terms, numbers, abbreviations, etc. – anything that may not be 100% clear will help minimize errors and pickup recordings

 

DOWNLOAD A VOICE OVER SCRIPT TEMPLATE FOR VIDEOS

girl-overlooking-voice-over-script-for-e-learning

Voice over scripts for e-learning / IVRs, etc.

Sometimes, your project will require a voice actor or a sound editor to cut the recorded audio into individual files.

File nameVoice Over ScriptComments
Slide-1.wavWelcome to the Enterprise Solution Center module for Gershon Computer corporate leaders.Gershon should be read with an emphasis on the last part of the word (e.g. “Ger-SHON”)
Slide-2.wavBy the end of this tutorial, you will be able to:
1. Understand the corporate structure of Gershon Computer.
2. Apply the managerial principals and corporate culture we strive to inspire in our employees.
Please read the numbers.
Add a 3-second pause between each section.
Slide-3.wav3. Explain the S.M.A.R.T principle to your staff.
4. Understand the SLA.
5. Describe the terms of the SLA to our clients.
“S.M.A.R.T” to be read as “smart”.

“SLA” to be read as “Service License Agreement”

Similar rules apply, but here you’ll want to specify where to cut the audio and how to name each file

DOWNLOAD A VOICE OVER SCRIPT TEMPLATE FOR E-LEARNING

Again, be sure to make full use of the comments section to explain how certain terms should be pronounced.

Additionally, you can record these terms on your phone and send them to the voice actor. That way you’re pretty much guaranteed they will get it right the first time.

We hope this has been helpful and informative.

Have questions? Please let us know in the comments below.

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  • Steve Firland Apr 25, 2017 Reply

    Awesome! Very informative. Thank you for this article!

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