Vox Daily The Official Voices.com Blog

Are There Any Men in Telephony Voice Over?

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

January 13, 2011

Comments (13)

Man wearing a headset and answering calls at workUsually the voices you hear on auto attendants, interactive voice response, messaging on hold and voice mail services are female but that doesn't mean that there aren't men recording for telephony.

On my quest to highlight this avenue of work for male voice over talent, I heard from a number of your colleagues who do voices for telephone systems.

Find out how many male voice talent featured on Voices.com are offering these services in today's VOX Daily.

Would The Men in Telephony VO Please Pipe Up?

Recently, I overheard someone say that voice over work in terms of telephony is almost exclusively associated with the female voice. While that may be the perception, male voice talent are in demand and do get work in this area of voice over.

While there isn't a "men need not apply" sign pinned on this niche, I think we do need to acknowledge how telephony voice over work, though dominated by women, still holds the potential for male voices to shine.

If we were to draw comparisons, consider how movie trailer voice over and promo are very much male dominated fields with very few women among their peers. Notice that I said "very much," and not "exclusive to." Although telephony is chiefly comprised of female voice talent, the procurement of male voice talent for this purpose is present and could even start increasing its share of the market given people were more open to a male voice on their phone system.

Why Women Are Front Of Mind in Telephony

Women tend to book a lot of telephony work because their voices, depending on the talent, may be perceived as more soothing, friendlier and helpful. That being said, you're more likely to hear a female voice on the other end of the line than not. Part of this may also have to do with how automated voice messaging systems have replaced secretaries to a degree; secretarial work being a traditionally female occupation.

The female voice has different attributes that lend themselves well to telephony... but that isn't to say that men are incapable of sounding warm, friendly and polished.

In fact, there are some companies that tend to work with more male voice talent than female for telephony voice over work.

Case In Point

Female voice over professional Kristi Stewart shared some insight that I think the gentlemen reading this article will appreciate and be encouraged by.

Kristi added, "I beg to differ. I've been doing voicemail / telephony voiceovers for over a decade and there are plenty of men in the business. As a matter of fact, one of my clients employs several male announcers, and oftentimes, I'm given a voiceover script that is divided half male/half female---so, there you go!"

Part of Voices.com's history in corporate branding also supports Kristi's statement. The very first professionally produced voice over recording we had made for our phone system was recorded by male voice talent, Brian Bascle.

Testosterone in Telephony

When I did a search on Voices.com in our directory in the Telephone category a few minutes ago and then narrowed the search down by gender (male), I found that there were 1223 male voice talent who had telephone voiceover demos.

That's quite a few!

Now for the shocker... at the time of this typing, there were only 1214 women with telephone voice over demos... hmmm... I'm not a mathematician, but the men outnumber the women in terms of promoting themselves in this field.

Rachel Ogilvy, the current voice of British Telecom, mentioned that there are many male telephony voices in the United Kingdom who record mostly mobile phone networks. Something interesting to think about.

A number of men came forward to let me know that they do telephone voice over work including George Washington III, Ralph Hass, and Erick Abraham to name just a few. I also heard from Neil Herrmann, the former voice of IKEA North America's telephone IVR systems for 9 years (up until last year). If you called any USA IKEA store or the catalog's 800 line, Neil's voice guided you through the menu system.

I know there are more of you!

Are You Out There?

If you're a man and do telephone voice over work, be sure to add a comment! I'd love to hear from you. If possible, list the companies you've done telephony work for in your comment.

Best wishes,

Stephanie

©iStockphoto.com/Neustockimages

Related Topics: auto attendant, IVRs, male voice talent, phone, reading, SAG, talent, telephony, union, voice overs, voicemail


Comments


    I have done telephony for about 12 years now and I am on the mic 4 or 5 times per week voicing for Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Citibank, eBay and other assorted companies. It isn't the most glamorous voiceover work out there but it is incredibly steady and reliable.

    Posted by:

      WE ARE HERE & accounted for! I can understand where one might think females get the majority of telephony work – it sorta seems that way. However, when I'm on hold with Time Warner Cable, the promos they play for movie packages etc. is done by a guy. Sweetwater.com, a company I buy most of my studio gear from, has a guy doing some of their telephony work as well.

      Personally, I can testify that there is "testosterone in telephony". I've been one of the voices providing onhold marketing for a few national banks for the past 3 years and daily I provide voiceover for a chain of 430 plumbing & electrical supply stores. Regarding IVR, I just wrapped up a huge project that includes the nations largest online retailer.

      So, guys are mixed in this genre, but I would say that most of the work is done by ladies. But, I don't believe I've ever given any thought to whether a voice is male or female...it whatever works best for the project.

      Posted by:

        Hello Stephanie,

        I do telephony work for SoundBite Communications out of Massachusetts (USA).

        BP

        Posted by:
        • BP Smyth, Narrator
        • January 14, 2011 9:17 AM

          Hi, Stephanie,

          My full-time career is in sales of telephone systems. So, it only seemed natural for me to include phone system voice prompts, messages on hold, and voice mail greetings to my list of services. My web site address is http://www.whatavoice.us.com/

          Larry

          Posted by:

            I am the voice of a leading pharmaceutical Laboratory, GADOR, here in Buenos Aires Argentina.

            Yours,

            Albert

            Posted by:
            • Albert Canil
            • January 14, 2011 10:29 AM

              Hi Stephanie,Thanks for your interest! There is a sample of my phone work in the "Specialty Demo" within my list of demos.

              http://www.voices.com/demo_detail/46261

              The very first snippet within that track is of telephone work. Thanks!

              Posted by:

                Well hello there Ms. Stephanie....

                I am currently working in Washington, DC doing the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) for The Department of Labor. This is my first official VO job. I am loving it.

                Okay, a little background information. An employee heard my demo and asked how to get in touch with me to bid on the job and after going through that process I was hired. I agree that it is just not a field or specialty for female voices anymore.

                Best Wishes and Happy New Year!

                Respectfully,

                Linwood Powell
                Voiceover Artist

                Posted by:
                • Linwood Powell
                • January 14, 2011 2:42 PM

                  Interesting topic. Yes, I've auditioned for several telephony jobs over the years and rarely been selected. [Bet it went to one of the ladies :) ]
                  HOWEVER, I do all of the telephone voice work for Athabasca University, and I'm happy to say that they're one of my largest returning clients every year. It's not thrilling, but I enjoy getting the steady bits of work all year long. And happily, they found me on Voices.com.
                  Thanks for that!
                  Joe Guay VO

                  Posted by:

                    I have done both telephone prompts and message-on-hold recordings. I've personally never had an issue with being a testosterone carrier! LOL!!!

                    Posted by:

                      Greetings. I have been blessed with a few local clients mainly in the automotive field (repair, sales/service, etc) for which I have created Info on Hold projects. Seems to be an industry that lends itself well to a male voice, for (perhaps) obvious reasons.
                      I guess you could say I "created" these opportunities, somewhat by happenstance. While on hold waiting for the technicians, I noticed "dead air" and mentioned that they could benefit from my services. Voila!!

                      --Yours in Voice Over,
                      Mark E. Robertson!!

                      Posted by:
                      • Mark E. Robertson
                      • January 14, 2011 11:46 PM

                        Hi Stephanie,

                        Can't say I've really pondered the gender balance in telephony voices before, but the more I think about it, most of the IVR voices I listen to as a consumer (my insurance company, my mobile phone company etc) are female....

                        Having said that however, a good portion of my regular VO work is in the telephony domain, but I have to admit I've never really considered adding a Telephony demo to my Voices.com profile.....In this space, LG Electronics is probably the most recognizable brand I've voiced for...I'm the voice of their promotional hotline in Australia :-)

                        Cheers,
                        Con

                        Posted by:
                        • Con Dolmas
                        • January 15, 2011 2:53 AM

                          IKEA's philosophy was to have a confident male voice on the catalog line, where the sales take place; to boost consumer confidence. But calling some of the store lines, they eventually replaced my files with a female voice. Their thinking was, since the store-calls were less-sales related and more customer-service related, then a caring, female voice was there for customer comfort. It was an interesting philosophy; not sure how effective or necessary it was, but that's how they did things.

                          Posted by:
                          • Neil
                          • January 15, 2011 12:28 PM

                            Hello Stephanie ,

                            I've just recently finished doing some telephony recordings for Northern Response Canada, for such products as The Shake Weight , The Total Pillow, The Tower 200, and The Mat Maid... which I have copies of... I just need to blend them into a demo... doing VO work has always been a dream of mine and now it is coming into being.... any suggestions on how to blend these together to get a strong demo? And who would you suggest I send my demos out to? As I want to strike while the iron is hott as they say....

                            thank you for your time

                            MIchael John Ferri

                            Posted by:
                            • MIchael John Ferri
                            • January 28, 2011 2:46 PM

Leave a Comment



Recent Articles

YouTube Hits The 60 fps Gas Pedal

Toy Story 4 Set for June 2017 Release

Where Does Pixar Find Its Animators?

Feast On Disney's New Short

DreamWorks, Marvel Studios Play Release-Date Bingo

Audition Improvements Feature Helps Talent, Raises Project Quality

London Poppy Day 2014: Using Voice To Honour

Big Hero 6 = Big News For Animation

SpeechMasterPro Helps Pros Speak Better

When Famous Actors Voice Video Games

   

Animation Solution Center

Radio Advertising Solution Centre

Learn why video animation is more important than ever, how you can use it to gain competitive advantage and what tools are out there to help you make it happen.

Animation Solution Center

Subscribe by Email

About Vox Daily

Vox Daily offers a daily dose of voice acting news, articles, tutorials, interviews, intelligent conversation and business ideas for voice talent and voice actors.


Follow Us

   

Our feed & social options update you with special offers and news as it happens.

New YouTube Video

Watch videos on YouTube