By Stephanie Ciccarelli
March 3, 2010
Are you keeping up with the Joneses?
Missing out on opportunities because of something as basic as a software upgrade?
Prospective customers are valuable and it would be foolish to pass up opportunities... but if this is true, why do so many people do it?
Find out how being proactive now could benefit you in the future in today's VOX Daily.
Have you ever come across a request from a client that you are incapable of fulfilling simply based upon technical requirements? You may find that although the voice is willing, your technological capabilities are weak!
As we know technologies are constantly evolving. There's always something bigger, faster, more robust or easier to use. This is true in any field and is particularly true with regard to digital products.
Whether it be something minor or major, if at the end of the day you can't deliver, you won't get the gig.
Some clients will deliver scripts in newer file formats or require their audio sent to them in various bit rates and file formats. To meet the needs of today's client, you have to be quick on your technological toes and have the most recent versions of the most popular software packages used in our industry... that, or know a good workaround!
Many software updates are free and those that aren't are comparatively small investments that you can and should make if you want to service people who have already adopted newer technologies.
If the customer is always right, should you question their choice of file format?
Even further down that road, is it appropriate to ask a client to accommodate you for not being able to meet their technological requirements?
Some talent have communicated so much through their written proposals to clients mainly due to the fact that they were unable to open .docx files that accompany some auditions posted at Voices.com.
To provide some perspective the .docx file format was introduced in 2007.
An example of what I'm talking about could include "Hi Client, I can't open your script as a .docx file and hope that you will send it to me in another format so that I can send you my audition."
Not only is that a wasted opportunity (you can only reply once to a given audition), it's an outright declaration that you can't meet their needs!
Why sour a relationship right off the bat by giving the impression that you can't meet their needs? Find a workaround or solution to the issue and then respond.
Not to leave you hanging, here is a published solution from Voices.com's Frequently Asked Question Knowledge Base on how to open a .docx file without needing to have the most recent version of Microsoft Office.
Microsoft introduced the .docx file format in its new Office and Word applications and wants it to replace the commonly used .doc format. Many clients using this new software are uploading scripts in the .docx format.
In order to open the script you will need to install the free Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack. By using the Compatibility Pack for the 2007 Office system, you can open, edit, and save Office Word 2007 documents in previous versions of Word.
To convert .docx documents to .doc format, all you need to do is download the free Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack here:
FireFox users should be able to open the file as is and the conversion software will do all the work.
If you use Internet Explorer and still get a download link for a zip file, try using FireFox instead.
Mac users can open these files with Pages, the Apple word processing software included in iWork. There is no need to download the Microsoft conversion app, and no need to own Microsoft Word. Simply download the file from Voices.com. It will look "like computer garble" and will be unreadable. Do not be alarmed. Save it. Note the file name and the location. Open the save file with Pages. It will appear perfectly intact, formatted etc.
If you are on MAC, you can get the Microsoft Office Open XML File Format Converter for Mac here:
This converts .docx to rtf (rich text format) files which can be viewed in Office for Mac and other Mac word processors.
Scripts having an extension of .docx on Voices.com will need to be opened the following way after you have the compatibility pack installed.
1. Download the script file. It will save as a .zip file to your desktop.
2. Click to open the zip file and click on the folder called Word
3. Click and drag the "document" to your desktop
4. Return to your desktop and then right click on the "document" and select Open With....Word
5. Make sure you save the file in your current version of Word as a .doc file.
Note there may be some formatting issues. We suggest using FireFox to avoid all of this.
For Office 2007 users having problems:
When the .docx file is downloaded it comes out as a .zip file. This only occurs for users of Internet Explorer, not FireFox.
1. Once it is downloaded, if I just rename the .zip to .docx it can be opened with Word 2007 with no problems.
2. To have Word show up in the 'Open with'... dialog box as on option .. on a right click, you must have loaded Word and used Open .. list all files types *.* and actually have opened a .zip file a at prior time. Otherwise the option 'Open with Word' does not display as an option it only displays 'Open with Internet Explorer.'
3. Download OpenOffice - Just upload the latest version of OPENOFFICE. Google for the sites. ALL FREE.
* If none of these options work for you please contact your computer manufacturer to be provided with step by step instructions on opening these file types. The issue you are experiencing is a configuration issue that Voices.com cannot assist you with and we apologize. *
If you want the job, it's your responsibility as a professional to find workarounds or acquire the proper solution in order to meet a client's needs. We're doing the best we can to make the job posting process easy for clients who want to hire you... all you need to do is be prepared and meet their expectations!
The solution is simple: do what the client asks and follow their instructions. If you want to book the job but need to find a workaround, find one! This is all within your control.
Just as you continue to study voice acting techniques and styles to further develop your talent, your business needs to be on top of basic technologies that are being used to serve customers in our industry.
Do you have any software or technical workarounds that you'd like to share that are pertinent to voice overs?
Looking forward to hearing from you!
P.S. If you found the .docx workaround to be helpful, you can thank Laurynda!
Growth is the new business imperative, and that means seeking new markets wherever they may be. Before you cross the border, you'll need to prepare. Learn more about translation.
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