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Does Gender Matter When Casting a Voice Over?

By Lin Parkin

July 8, 2014

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Couple.jpgIn the past, voice-overs were recorded predominantly by men with the occasional female voice being present. Those were the days of "Father knows best", the stereotypical announcer, and the "Voice of God".

There was work available for women but their voices were almost exclusively used for telephone recordings and character roles in commercials and animation productions.

While some areas of voice-over still favour the male voice, particularly for movie trailers, radio station imaging, and sports announcing, many doors have been opened to women in those same areas.

Join VOX Daily as we explore how to decide which gender may be best suited to represent your brand.

Does gender matter in an audio recording?

As well represented in Lake Bell's indie-movie "In a World...," one major misconception is that only the male voice can succeed in the realm of authority.

This perspective is changing. More companies are realizing that it all comes down to the individual voice actor's ability to convey a message clearly, with purpose and charisma. Additionally, the voice needs to possess the vocal qualities that your audience innately expects to hear delivering the message.

Now that the voice-over workforce is on a more level playing field (with a few exceptions), there are more choices now than ever before when looking at who to cast for your voice-over project.

When Gender Matters in an Audio Recording

Gender stereotypes aside, there are times that gender does matter in an audio recording.

There are some products and services that are very much geared toward a specific gender; as such it would sound absurd to have the opposite gender supply the voice-over in the commercial.

Here are five questions to consider when deciding whether to cast a male or female voice-over artist for your project.

5 Questions to Help Determine Which Gender Should Provide the Voice Over

Deciding on the voice for your project depends heavily on the audience you are targeting. You'll need to ask yourself:

1. Who is the intended audience?
2. What are you selling?
3. What is the message?
4. What are your expectations?
5. And who does your audience want to hear from?

Answering these questions will help you set the stage for your audition. If your script was being targeted at you, which gender would you expect to hear delivering the message?

Going with your instinct works in some cases but asking questions and doing a bit of market research helps a great deal.

If you're still unsure at the outset, you can post a job at Voices.com and receive responses from both male and female voice talent and let your ears do the deciding for you.

All the best,
Lin

© iStockphoto.com/Ridofranz

Related Topics: Casting, Casting a Voice Over, Female Voice, Gender, Male Voice


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