Voiceover projects require a high degree of skill and organization in order to be successful.
Aside from the work that is required to produce a script that accurately reflects the brand’s message in a chosen language, companies also have to make sure they find the right talent.
For example, if you are targeting a country that has a number of dialects, choosing the right one is essential, as it could be the difference between developing trust and leaving people feeling alienated.
That’s why it’s important to draw up a checklist, as this way both the firm and the localization provider know exactly where they stand and what is expected of them.
Know your targets
While the language being used is obvious, you have to consider requirements around accent, region or dialect, such as Spanish (European), French (Canadian) and Portuguese (Brazilian). Also, who is your target audience? This will affect how the script is created, as brands looking to relate to a younger audience may not necessarily use the same language as those seeking to attract older people.
It is important scripts are in ‘spoken language’ and not ‘written language’, while they should be grammatically sound and devoid of incorrect, inappropriate or missing words. They should also be clear, well organized and suitable for voiceover purposes. Scripts also have to be provided in a suitable format, with clear guidelines on which parts require voiceover services. If the script has not been completed at kick-off, a rough word count should be given.
The last thing you want to happen is for a company’s name or product to be mispronounced, as this will undermine the integrity of everyone involved. This is why pronunciation guidelines are so important, especially when it comes to technical terms, product names, acronyms, foreign words/languages and jargon. Voiceover artists will obviously be native speakers of target languages, but guidance is required for unfamiliar words. If nothing is provided, they will consult with a language monitor to decide upon the most appropriate pronunciation. A style guide can also be included to ensure the appropriate voice delivery style is used.
If a company has specific requirements around voiceover artists, they must be communicated. These include gender, age, style and tone and ensure localizations providers such as EQHO can choose the most suitable people for a voiceover project. Scripts need to be given to voiceover artists at least 24 hours before recording so they have time to familiarize themselves with the content.
There is a range of technical information that should be provided at the start of the project to ensure it runs smoothly. These include details of any restrictions or limitations on the lengths of recording lines of script, clarifying if the final version has to split into smaller audio files and how much silence should be inserted before and after the audio. Guidance should also be given on what the final deliverable format should be, such as WAV, 16 bit, 48.0 kHz, mono OR MP3 or 128 kbps.
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