The Oxford Dictionary describes narration as “something narrated, an account, story, or narrative” What many artists find fascinating is the element of telling a story and many narration voice over talents define themselves as storytellers.
However, when narrating the behaviors of microscopic fiber tissues in a viral gene, it may not feel very story-like. The dictionary is right to reference a narrative and an account and not just the story. Narration voice over can be broken down into three parts:
- Telling a story or narrative
- Narrating an account
- Information narration
Telling a Story or Narrative
Alan has 20 years of experience and one of the most challenging narration tasks he has performed was the editing of an audiobook. It was long and grueling for sure. The close second was the actual recording of the audiobook. It requires such a focus. Sight-reading, quick reactions, character, and amazing editing are all vital skills needed for this style of narration. At one point Alan began losing his love for this wonderful part of voice over and then he discovered something AMAZING!
He attended a workshop with Ahab, a company that helps voiceover artists find work in narration. He was introduced to kids’ audiobooks, and this was a concept he simply fell in love with. Having presented on Kids TV Shows along with a history of T.I.E. he found the idea of narrating kids audiobooks thrilling! It invited the larger range of characters you would typically expect in animation while staying true to the story structure with a beginning, middle, and end.
Narration Voice Over for Audiobooks
Adult audiobooks are fascinating pieces of narration (or storytelling). The actor needs to be able to deliver each character and tell the story with clarity. The changes in each persona are often subtle to ensure the audience stays engaged with one voice. Without those subtle changes, the narration would be confusing as the listener struggles to differentiate between each voice. Kids audiobooks invite a bit more freedom and the narrator can expand the differentiation between characters. Not every personality is complex. For example, mum and dad might be fairly naturalistic, however, the talking platypus with magical powers bent on taking over the world requires a delivery that is a bit more surreal.
The Natural Read
Recently Alan was pleased to narrate an educational piece surrounding the dangers of gambling. It looked at the historic timeline which uses a style of storytelling between audiobooks and the crystal-clear voice of a narrative. Throughout the piece, it was important that everything was engaging and relatable. The natural read was so important here.
Let’s take the description of a roulette table as an example. The Roulette table has 36 numbers, 18 black and 18 reds making the split 50/50 right? However, the house adds a 37th number which rests in favor of the house, ensuring that the odds are always for the house. This is why crystal clear engaging delivery is important, but it also needs to be relatable so the audience really understands what the message is you are trying to get across. Imagine you had an awful experience at a restaurant and you were warning a friend when they plan to go to this same restaurant. It’s a casual conversation but naturally, you adopt a tone of concern on the delivery. The narrative is explored at the beginning, middle and end, but in a conversational manner, to the point, engaging and clear. Narration requires a lot of skill, understanding, and talent, that much is for sure!
Informative Narration Voice Over
When narrating the behaviors of microscopic fiber tissues of a viral gene, it helps to understand the material but it is not critical. A narrator is an actor, and we often have to play the part of someone who is delivering hardcore text which may not make sense to us. If something is hindering the performance, of course, ask the director or check the word out in the dictionary. But the important thing with this style of narration is identifying ‘what does the client want?’ and ‘who is the audience?’. The people who will hear this type of narration will understand it if the crystal-clear clarity and engagement of delivery is achieved.
One professional voice talent can review the literature of a religious text while another shares an in-depth medical narration. The information can be vastly different, but when you can hear and understand every single word in the right context you will get something crystal clear, informative, and interesting.
For Alan, narration voice over has been the foundational core of his career and brought him stability, confidence, and fun! This genre can cover a wide variety of projects from medical to fiction. Commercial voice over pays well and animation is fun, but ultimately, narration is available in bulk because it covers so much! Contact Alan and get started on your project today!