The importance of continuing education and training in voice over really can’t be stressed enough.  And considering how many great opportunities there are to learn from and interact with other industry talents, you’ve got to throw your hesitation or your excuses out the window!

Yesterday I had the great pleasure to meet and perform for a couple of VO industry titans!  Randy Thomas is a voice you’ve heard on awards shows like the Academy Awards, the Tonys, the Emmys, etc, etc…  And Steve Ray is a seasoned announcer who just this year, accepted the high honor of becoming the official announcer for the Presidential Inauguration! But his credits also include many other notable events.

Hosted by Anne Ganguzza and the VO Peeps, Randy and Steve were the featured VO artists for a seminar on the ins and outs of live announcing.  They provided us with a fascinating look at what it takes to live announce the Oscars and the Inauguration of a President!!  The two of them were deftly able to convey to the attendees the ways in which the skills they need for those huge events are applicable even to a hospital charity dinner or a local fashion show.

Live announcing is something I love to do.  It’s not for everyone but if the thrill of performing live gets your blood circulating, there are lots of opportunities – especially if you’re motivated to “make it happen!”  And while the “big time” live announce jobs are generally in major urban areas, Randy and Steve talked about some of the ways that VO talent all over the country can make things happen…

  • Hotels in your area that host events will need live announcers
  • Sporting venues large and small use announcers for games (non play-by-play)
  • Convention centers throughout the country have to have talent for clients
  • Hospitals hold various charity events/dinners

Now if you find yourself thinking that these venues probably already have announcers, well they always need backups because sometimes the person scheduled just can’t make it!  That’s where making yourself available at a moment’s notice makes you invaluable.  Don’t let cold-calling intimidate you!  You’re offering a valuable service and nine times out of ten, people are happy to hear about what it is you have to offer.

Before you contact the folks you think might need your live announcing skills, get a demo together.  As Randy suggested, YouTube is a great resource for getting ideas on delivery and style.  Use those examples to write up some copy and voila – you can create a produced demo and then once you start getting some gigs, use those examples to sell yourself.  Randy Thomas has great blog posts as well like “5 Top Tips for Live Announcing,” so utilize the myriad of resources online to help hone your abilities within this niche!  The possibilities are limited only by the boundaries of your imagination and drive….