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What are the Differences between Narration and Voiceover?

James Strauss

Although they perform similar functions – be it in a video, or in a radio – voiceover and narration can be seen as different works because they present different performance and languages.

In journalism, by definition, the narrator is the professional responsible for narrating a fact. In literature, there is also “the narrator”, who has the function of leading the story – it can be the character himself, an observer or a hidden one. But regardless of the medium, in short the narrator tells a story or a fact as it is.

The speaker is a professional who presents subjects, themes, programs, makes interventions in the story presented, in short, he is a sound support for various situations.

Here are some examples:

On a radio, for example, when broadcasting a football game, the announcer presents that program and interferes with it, while the narrator tells everything that is happening in the game.

In an institutional video or in advertising videos, the announcer can “open” the video, “close it”, and even narrate some parts. A narrator, on the other hand, would tell the story of the video in detail.

This, however, is a concept that is increasingly being replaced by another name: “professional voice”.

Because both the narrator and the announcer can move between the demands that arise and perform both functions, but to do both, you need to be professional and have complete control over your work tool: the voice.

It is essential, however, to have a good diction, breath, know how to interpret the text and pass credibility to the target audience, whether on radio, video or any other medium.

But, after all, what to do to be an announcer?

Well, now that you already know the difference between narrator and announcer and that both need to become professional to perform a job, a question may arise that is very frequent: “what does it take to be a professional announcer?”

First of all, to be an announcer you will need to take a course in the area. There is still no specific graduation in Brazil for announcers, however, in the market there are some good options for free and technical course.

There is also a course by a fellow speaker, Regina Bittar, who calls “Development of the Professional Voice” and also the course by another colleague called “Voice of the Work”.

In addition to these, there are other options for training announcers – in person and online – that can be easily found on the internet.

It is important to do at least one, but if possible do more, because then you will have more security to start a job as an announcer, develop and improve the vocal and interpretation characteristics.

Is it necessary to have audio technical knowledge to be an announcer?

It is important to make it clear that, in addition to the interpretative quality, the sound quality is of utmost importance.

Therefore, it is necessary that the speaker also has audio knowledge. In the past, this was not fundamental, as the announcer made his recordings in a production company, which directed, recorded and edited.

However, today it is essential that the announcer has his own audio studio, and for that reason, he has to be responsible for everything. You have to understand the minimum of professional equipment, know if to record, edit and, of course, be your own director.

Customers already expect the work to be delivered finished, without the need for touch-up. So, what used to be the exclusive work of the sound production company, nowadays, it becomes, more and more, the competence of the talent itself.

What if I don’t have the resources to set up a studio?

Of course, having a complete studio when starting out is hard to achieve (unless you have a financial reserve for it).

Usually, professionals acquire equipment as they work and invest in their own work.

However, if you have the basics for a home studio, you can already do your first voiceovers.

And what is the basics?

  • Microphone
  • Earphone
  • Computer
  • Audio interface
  • Recording / editing software
  • Location with adequate acoustics

If it is not possible to have the basics at this time, there is the possibility to rent equipment or even a studio.

Many producers do this type of service according to their demand. It is an alternative for beginning a career, but it is not advisable if you want to continue in the profession. The best thing is to gradually set up your own studio.

To be an announcer, do I need to take the DRT?

To perform a voiceover job, you do not need to have the DRT (Technical Registration Document), however, for voice acting it is mandatory.

This means that the advancement in the announcer’s career will depend much more on you, on your commitment and does not have a specific time for that to happen. When you feel like you’re ready, it’s time to go after the first customers!

Q.I Works in this voiceover market?

In the case of professional announcers, the IQ is not as strong as in other professions, because the work of an announcer is not a promise, he is already presented before being hired.

The announcer needs to send his portfolio and / or sample of the work to be approved and therefore, if the client does not like what he heard, he will not hire, regardless of whether he is an indication or not.

Of course, having a networking is important, but in fact, if you intend to become an announcer or an announcer, more than having IQ, you must have quality.

And How does an announcer get Customers?

To be able to enter the job market and stay there, the voice professional needs to have one more talent: selling! Yes, in addition to having vocal quality and technical knowledge, you also have to be a seller of your own service.

On the internet there are some sites where it is possible to register a portfolio and voiceover samples, so it is good to prepare a good material to present. Once this stage has been completed and you have conquered your first jobs in the area, what will come later will be much more fluid.

Seen like this, it seems difficult and complicated, but what is the beginning of a career?

The difference is that if you have the vocation and the will, everything will be easier for you to become a talented announcer!


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