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Knowing Who You're Really Talking To

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

October 6, 2010

Comments (1)

Happy young couple smilingWhen you are recording a voice over for an advertisement, do you know who you are really talking to?

At Voices of Vision, Debbie Munro shared an interesting piece of information with all present, revealing that sometimes the audience you think you are speaking to is really just part of the picture with the rest of the equation waiting in the wings.

Learn more about this and add your comments to join the conversation.

Do You Know Who Your Audience Is?

When you are recording a voice over, you are always told to picture the audience and reach out to them on a personal level to gain their trust and present them with something that you feel will genuinely help them.

Some tools we have to work with include demographics, market research and consumer profiles pertaining to that target audience. This knowledge give you an idea of their needs and a feel for how you could communicate and appeal to the listener... but what you may not realize at the time is that there are other factors, and other ears, subject to your message that hold the buying power who need attention as well.

Women, Lend Me Your Ears

When you're speaking to an audience of the opposite gender and trying to persuade, sell or communicate something to them, it helps to remember that the target audience is subject to the feelings, decisions and so on of their significant other.

For instance, if you are a female voice talent selling to a male audience, you need to be aware of how you present your read and the motivation behind it. While the man is the target for the product or service so to speak, always picture their wife or girlfriend in the background listening along.

Deb Munro cites that when she records for a male audience and the read calls for a little sultriness, she tones it down to a degree so as not to upset the woman in that man's life. After all, the objective of the advertisement, whether it is to buy a car or get life insurance, is for the man to take a positive action and do as the ad encourages him to do.

If the woman in that man's life feels threatened in any way, it will likely colour her view of the product or service and affect the decision making process.

But Wait, There's More...

Aside from the factor we just spoke about, why does the woman's good opinion matter so much?

While men typically make more money than their female counterparts, women hold more purchasing power and make 80% of buying decisions in the home.

Businessweek.com states, "Who's the apple of marketers' eye? It's not free-spending teens or men 25-50. It's women, thanks to their one-two punch of purchasing power and decision-making authority. Working women ages of 24-54 -- of whom the U.S. has some 55 million -- have emerged as a potent force in the marketplace, changing the way companies design, position, and sell their products."

While their purchasing decisions aren't based upon commercial advertisements alone, women certainly see and hear them and form a definite impression of the company based upon how they as prospects are being communicated to.

This also applies for when you are trying to sell children's items. Are you targeting the kids? Not necessarily... it's their parents who make the money and choose how to spend it. Although some kids, teenagers mainly, have an expendable income, the relative "big ticket" items usually involve mom or dad.

How Do You Identify Who You're Speaking To?

I'm interested to hear about the ways you analyze the script to learn more about who you are speaking to. What kind of choices do you make when interpreting and delivering copy in instances that call for selling to not just one person but one of their family members as well?

Best wishes,


©iStockphoto.com/Kevin Russ

Related Topics: Apple, Businessweek, child, commercials, copy, Deb Munro, delivery, how to, interpretation, SAG, script, teenager, voice acting



    An absolutely fascinating idea, thinking about the "other" listener, the partner of the person you are talking to. I'm going to have to give that thought and give it a try, too. Thank you!

    Jill Goldman

    Posted by:

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