A successful voice-over (VO) project relies on effective communication between the client and the voice-over artist. One of the most critical aspects of this communication is the project brief. A clear, comprehensive brief can significantly impact the outcome of the project, ensuring that the final product meets the client’s expectations and effectively conveys their message.
In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of a clear brief in voice-over projects, and how it contributes to overall project success. We also have a rather detailed sample brief that you can download for free, at the end of the article.
What is a Brief (Voice Over Brief)?
A creative brief (or just ‘brief’ ) is a short document that outlines the objectives, requirements, and expectations for a specific project, providing essential information and guidance to the professionals working on it. A good voice-over brief ensures that the voice-over artist has a clear understanding of the project’s goals, requirements, and expectations.
If you’re in a creative field such as advertising, graphic or web designing, or video production, you’ve probably come across various types of briefs before. There are some common elements to every good brief because in the end every brief is created to ensure the success of the project. However, a voice-over brief has some elements that are unique… We discuss those towards the end of this article.
First though… What are we trying to do by creating a brief?
The Role of a Clear Brief in Voice-Over Projects
- Establishing expectations: A clear brief allows the client to convey their expectations for the project, providing the voice-over artist with a solid understanding of the desired tone, style, and pacing. This ensures that the artist can tailor their performance to meet the client’s needs, contributing to effective communication and better overall project outcomes. It contributes to quicker overall project delivery times, and fewer back-and-forth emails or phone calls.
- Enhancing collaboration: When a voice-over artist receives a detailed brief, they can more effectively collaborate with the client and other stakeholders involved in the project. This fosters a smooth and efficient working relationship, minimizing potential misunderstandings and enabling the artist to deliver the best possible results.
- Saving time and resources: A comprehensive brief reduces the likelihood of revisions, as it enables the voice-over artist to understand the project requirements from the outset. This saves time and resources, allowing the project to be completed more efficiently and within the allocated budget.
- Strengthening brand identity: A clear brief allows the voice-over artist to understand the client’s brand values and messaging, ensuring that their performance aligns with the desired brand identity. This contributes to a cohesive and consistent brand image, which is crucial for building trust and credibility with audiences.
- Supporting storytelling: A well-structured brief provides the voice-over artist with the necessary context and background information to effectively bring the story to life. This enhances the emotional impact of the final product and engages the audience more effectively.
What Makes a Good Brief
Most regular buyers of voice-over services already understand what information a Voice Over artist needs, in order to be able to perform the script well. A script without certain elements will not inform the artist’s performance sufficiently, and as a result, will fail to accomplish the client’s requirement.
Unfortunately, I’ve seen this more times than I would like to, and it results in dissatisfaction on all sides. So, let’s look at what elements are needed in a good brief:
Creating a Clear Brief: Key Components
To develop a clear, informational brief for your voice-over project, you could consider including the following components:
- Project overview: Provide a concise description of the project, its purpose, and the intended audience. The more contextually important detail you can provide (while not writing a thesis on it), the better the VO artist will be able to understand who he’s speaking to, for, or as.
- Tone and style: Describe the desired tone and style for the voice-over, such as formal, conversational, or energetic. Include any specific emotions or moods you want the voice-over artist to convey. If you can’t properly articulate this, look through the VO’s samples or demos and find the closest match. If not, provide a different reference sample, and discuss it with the voice-over artist before confirming the job.
- Pacing: Indicate the preferred pacing for the voice-over, such as slow and deliberate or fast-paced and energetic. While doing so, do take into account the final duration of the project, whether for video, radio, podcast, or other mediums.
- Pronunciations: Include any specific pronunciation requirements, particularly for industry-specific terminology, names, or acronyms. You can simply record it on your phone and include the audio file with the material.
- Reference materials: Provide samples of previous work or other reference materials that can help the VO artist understand the desired outcome.
- Timeline and deadlines: Outline the project timeline, including any milestones and deadlines for deliverables.
- Contact information: Include contact information for the person overseeing the project, as well as any other stakeholders who may need to be consulted. This is optional, and just a good practice.
Get My Free Sample Voice-Over Brief
I’ve come across many brief formats over the years, complex and simple. Here I try to balance the two… Giving the VO artist enough information to work off, but not too much that they’re confused. If you’re a VO artist or a VO buyer, and you have some feedback about this sample, I’d love to hear it. Leave a comment down below to have your opinion heard.
Just reach out to me at susheel (at) indianvoiceartist.com or use the contact form to request the VO brief for free.
So, Why Bother With a VO Brief?
A well-thought-out voice-over brief is an essential tool to ensure the success of any voice-over project. By providing the voice-over artist with a comprehensive understanding of the project’s requirements and expectations, you can pave the way for a smooth collaboration, efficient use of resources, and a final product that effectively communicates your message and engages your target audience.
A clear and thoughtful brief can make all the difference between an average performance by the VO artist, and one that makes an impact on the listener… And that’s what we want… A performance that has an astounding impact.