How To Give Creative Direction For a Voiceover - Part 1: Get Clarity


So I did a video last week about how not to give creative direction for a voiceover. And somebody who I respect pointed out that that approach probably wasn't the best approach. So we're going to talk today a little bit about how to give direction, creative direction for a voiceover.

In the end, both you as the producer and we as the talent, we're both trying to get the best possible product. How do we do that? Clarity and communication.

So the first step is to get as much clarity on the piece from the producer side as you possibly can.

One of the first questions you can ask yourself to help get clarity is what do I want the listener or viewer to feel, understand or do? Understanding what you want the listener or viewer to feel is crucial because it's through proper communication of emotion that we're actually going to connect with the audience.

So the goal is to try and get as much clarity up front, as you're writing or as you're thinking about the creative direction that you're going to give to the talent, as possible.

Now that said, don't be afraid to admit what you don't know. A talent this week reached out to me about the last video and said some of the best creative directions she ever got was this. “Hey, I've never directed a voiceover before. I'm not really sure what I'm going for. I'm going to leave that up to you as the talent, but I want to hear you smile.”


Voiceover, I've said it before, is a collaborative process. It's a creative process, and that means if we put our heads together and we communicate about what we know and what we don't know, we're going to get the best possible product.