Walk around any major city in this time period and you'll find soothing female voiceovers all over the place. When choosing between a male or a female voice over, the decision clearly isn't arbitrary, as men dominate political ads but women ring through train stations. There's a purpose to the choice behind what type of voice to use depending on the situation.
Here are five things to consider when choosing between a male and a female voiceover actor for your next project.
Before you decide on the gender of your voice over, you need to consider who your market is. When you're selling a product or service that's targeted to a certain market, you need to consider what your buyers want. The type of voice they want to hear is the voice you need to give to them when they come into contact with your voiceover.
If your target market is men, do they want to hear from a woman? Would a feminine voice lead them to trust your products and services more or less?
If you're aiming to sell a product that answers issues related to the needs of women, a masculine voice sometimes works. Other times, it shows that you're profoundly disconnected from what your audience needs.
Your voiceover voice has authority over the types of products you sell. Be sure you choose a voice that resonates with the audience you're looking for.
While most of us like to assume that we're free of the kind of archaic gender biases that plagued generations before us, so much of it is still hardwired. While it's definitely nurturing and not nature, our biases toward hearing a certain gender selling us on a product or telling us about one are persistent.
A masculine, deep voice has an authority that some high pitched voices can't conjure for us. If we're getting information about a political campaign, it's still masculine voices that prevail. However, there are some cases where the gender bias flips.
When we're being asked to calmly consider our surroundings, feminine voices track better. For train directions or voices that come to us in stressful places, female voiceovers are the preferred type.
Studies show that female voices are more pleasing than male voices generally. When people need to hear information about where to go, what to do, or how long a wait is going to be, female voices keep audiences calm. While they don't carry the authority of masculine voices, they work to calm and soothe us in stressful situations and during security-related matters.
Technology is frustrating, which is why so many voices of computer systems are female. They feel more human when we hear a female voice.
If you're working on a video or an instructional project, consider the emotion that you're going for. If your emotion is high-energy, aggressive, and powerful, go for a voice that matches that kind of tone. A strong, deep, masculine voice is right when you're looking to project power, strength, and aggression.
However, in most cases, you don't need to be very aggressive. A soft and soothing voice goes a long way in most situations. That's why you can't go wrong with a female voiceover.
If you're not sure the emotion you're going for, record a few different versions. Since recording a voiceover isn't a very expensive enterprise, having options when you're in the cutting room means that last minute changes become possible.
The same visuals with different emotions allow you to sell to different markets. An upbeat female voice projects youth and energy. A slower and more measured reading gives you access to a mature and adult audience.
Depending on what you're going for, a mix of both may fit perfectly.
If you're torn between a masculine and a feminine voice, consider the voice over that you're going for. A mix of two voices works for several types of projects. They give the sense of a conversation, enlivening an otherwise boring voiceover.
When you create a longer piece, whether video, radio, or instructional, your mix of voices play off one another. Your listeners get the opportunity to tune into what each voice is saying in a different way.
Rather than having to marry your audience to one voice, a mix of voices approaches both masculine and feminine audiences. With the interplay of voices, ears perk up and listeners feel more in tune with what's going on.
When you're working on a project that requires a voiceover, consider what your team thinks of what you're doing. Since they're the ones that have worked on your project for the longest time, they know what kind of voice works for that product.
Your team has spent their blood, sweat, and tears developing the perfect product or service. When you ask them how it needs to be sold, listen carefully. They developed the product with an ideal audience in mind, sold to them in a specific way.
Think about who created the product when deciding the type of voice you need to sell your product. No matter the gender of your product developer, their approach may tell you everything you need to know when deciding whether or not to use a female voiceover.
When choosing between male and female voice over talent, the choice usually sits with the female voice. That's because of the many ways that female voices calm, soothe, and persuade people to make decisions.
If you're wondering whether or not to hire professional talent, check out our guide to why you need to choose a professional.
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