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Industrial and Corporate Videos – Part Two: How to make yourself more interesting.

Edge Studio

NOTE: This is the second post in a two-part article. To read part one, click here.

Last week, we began listing some tips for voicing corporate and industrial videos. Most of them were functional. This week’s tip is a bit more subtle, but just as important:

Don’t bore the viewer!

Use emotion.

Why is that so important in Industrial and Corporate? This genre is a challenging mix of documentary narration on the one hand, and e-learning or commercials on the other. That is, a person might assume that the viewer has chosen to watch a TV program about sea turtles, and in a sea turtle documentary the video provides drama. So the narrator should be relatively subdued and refrain from over-acting. In contrast, who knows if a student wants to watch an e-learning video about economics? Hopefully the e-learning program has been well designed to capture the student’s interest, and its narrator can work with that. And at the low-interest extreme, there are most commercials — we all know how disinterested people are in most of them. So sometimes in a commercial you’re even supposed to go over the top!

Industrial sits somewhere between these other genres; you might have a captive audience who is required to watch, but not necessarily all that interested. So it’s up to you (and the director) to thread the narrow channel between too much emotion or overacting, and too little emotional involvement and vocal interest. Suffice it to say that the better you understand your viewer and the nature of the video, the better you’ll be able to make the necessary performance choices.

But, to return to the original point, use emotion, however subtly. After all, you are expressing meaningful thoughts, and each thought is different from all the others. So the emotion to be expressed with each thought will change from sentence to sentence. It may not be easily discerned by the casual listener — that might mean you are overacting. But it will be heard as “variety,” one of key factors in maintaining interest. If you think in terms of emotional progression, it actually becomes difficult to boringly read every sentence the same way.

A smile often helps, as well.

Smiling will also help when it becomes apparent that Industrial and Corporate won’t make you rich overnight. Many production budgets are very respectable and will show you the financial respect you and your skills deserve. But some company budgets are downright miniscule. (Which is another reason so many of them rely on the boss talking straight in to the camera for minutes on-end.)

Yet, if you can show a profit, the good news is that there is often more where that came from. Once you’ve established a relationship with your client, there are often additional videos, or revisions to be made, over time. As with many voice over genres, the secret to success isn’t about landing spotlight work at spectacular pay, it’s in building a stable of clients who give you profitable steady work.

Your next door neighbor may never hear you at your job. But once a company has heard the difference that you can make, you — having done an excellent job and already having learned about the company and their needs — will be the one they call.


To learn more about the Corporate Industrial genre or to schedule with one of our voice over coaches, call our studio at 888-321-3343 or email [email protected].