How to Do Voice Over for a Documentary

How to Do Voice Over for a Documentary. Avid documentary fans may notice the smooth and authoritative voice that narrates the action. Voice over work is a lucrative and specialized form of acting that doesn't take an actor to execute. Doing voice over work can be as easy as learning how to read.

Begin by watching the documentary all the way through and getting a feel for tone of the documentary. Watch it with the director or producer and get his thoughts on how he would like to have the action narrated.

Watch the documentary a second time with the script in hand. Try to integrate the best tone and vocal quality for the documentary. Utilize the range of your voice and make notes on the script to indicate tone shifts in the film, so you can personify these shifts with your vocal techniques.

Practice some diction exercises and record yourself reading from a magazine or book in a clear and decisive manner. Run the method you are considering by the director, editor and producer before commencing any final recording.

Inquire whether you will be required to use your own recording equipment or whether you will be recording in a studio. Obtain an agent or lawyer to look over or draw up a standard contract that includes compensation rates and dates.

Relax while delivering the narration and drink plenty of water to keep the palate clean and soft. Minimize excess saliva noises and breathe properly through the nose in natural cadences during the performance It's best to think of the voice over as a musical performance complete with rests and beats to improve your pacing and the timing of the documentary.


Get a vocal coach to help you with timing and intonation while reading. Also look into voice over classes to learn the basics of the trade, especially if you will be working frequently in this medium. Practice reading books, magazine articles and even product labels aloud to help with inflection and feeling tone. Be professional and versatile; it will increase your chances for a good review and future bookings.


Do not rush the dialogue, which will distort the pacing of the documentary.

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