Voices provide an identity to your brand or product. When you choose a voice, it becomes the bridge between your audience and you. Chosen right, they can build a fantastic connection with your audience, but a non-relatable voice can totally alienate your audience.
If you are building a video which is meant for children or some other specific demographic, it becomes relatively simple to choose between voices. However, if you are building a video or even better, a brand, that is meant to appeal to a slightly diverse demographic over a period of time, it may not be trivial to choose a voice for your video.
Let’s start with some of the basic questions you need to answer before choosing a voice.
5 most important things to consider while choosing a voice
1. Who is your audience?
It doesn’t matter if you are building a video for your product, business, brand or even just a personal video, the first and most important thing to consider when choosing a voice is who is going to be watching this video? What does your audience look like? What kind of voice would sound familiar to them? A good starting point could be to look at some of your peers and competitors to see what kind of audience they are targeting.
Now, once you have decided what kind of audience you are going after, it’s time to sharpen the definition further:
What gender do they most identify with?
Which age groups does the majority of your audience fall into?
Do they identify with traditional or more modern communities?
When it comes to gender, there have been studies that indicate the voice of a certain gender being more likely to sell, or sound soothing, but there is no definitive answer to this. So, when it comes to choosing a male or female voice, here is my recommendation.
Choose between male & female voices based on what most of your audience identifies with. As simple as that.
2. What emotion are you looking to invoke?
We all build connections through emotions. In fact, it is the single most powerful tool to build a strong perception of your brand or message. But it’s also one of the most tricky ones. In general, as a rule of thumb, businesses and brands want to be associated with more positive emotions than heavy, sad ones. Although there are cases where the latter may be more effective.
So, ask yourself, when you conceptualized your video story, what emotion did you want to invoke with your audience?
Is it supposed to make them laugh?
Do you want to instill trust?
Are you looking to inspire?
Or simply sound friendly and relatable?
Most voices convey a specific emotion very well, although there are few which are versatile.
It’s important to listen to the voice and figure out what tonality or emotion they represent best before making your choice.
3. Which language and accent to go for?
A study of Top 250 Youtube channels revealed 66% of the content was in English, while the second most popular language was Spanish with another 15%.
While English is certainly quite common globally, it really depends on the geography you are targeting. Language and accents vary hugely between countries and regions. If your audience belongs to a specific geography or location, it may be advisable to choose a voice fluent in that language and accent. But, if let’s say you are a digital company trying to market worldwide, you can either go with English or even better, build your video in multiple languages.
Using Murf, you can add voices across 15+ languages and create videos that can be used to target very specific geographies as well.
4. Is it a one-time project or will there be more in future?
This may not be super relevant for you if you are trying to find a voice for some kind of a one-time project. But if you are a business trying to sell your product or an individual trying to teach something online, or even building corporate videos, it is important to consider if you would need to create similar videos in future.
This is especially important if you are a brand or business trying to build a strong connection with your customers. The voice you choose should be consistent across campaigns as it will create a connection and retain that. In this case, a key decision is whether to go for a voice actor or use an AI trained voice. There are pros and cons of both approaches, but fundamentally it boils down to your budget and specific requirements. Signing up a voice actor for multiple projects and campaigns would certainly need a rather large budget, on the other hand AI voices are more accessible and suited to smaller budgets.
5. Is your script compatible with the voice?
Once you have decided on your gender, age-group, emotion, language, etc, you have certainly narrowed down your choices. The final cut to arrive at your perfect voice is to test compatibility with your specific script.
Sometimes, it turns out that the voice may fit all your general guidelines, but may not be best suited to your video script. So, we highly recommend having your script ready before you start choosing a voice for your video. Depending on whether you want to go for a voice actor or a human sounding AI voice, there are two ways to test this:
Natural sounding AI voice in Murf - It is very straightforward in the case of AI voices, just enter your script in Murf and listen to multiple voices speak your specific script aloud before you decide which one to go for. As simple as that. You get 15 mins free voice over time to test out and decide if a voice works for you.
Voice Actors - If you prefer to get a voice actor to record your script, you can always reach out to them in advance and ask them to say a few lines from your script just to get a feel of their voice. In some cases, they may also be able to send you references of past work done with scripts of similar genre.
Examples of different voice over styles
For users of Murf Studio, we have also compiled here some examples of different styles of voices available in Murf Studio to help you figure out what works best for you.
Friendly / Conversational Voice
If you are looking for a friendly voice, you can check out this video with Nate’s voice from Murf Studio. If you are looking for a friendly female voice, Ava’s voice or Scarlett’s voice would work just great too.
Empathetic/ Relatable Voice
For an empathetic or soothing voice, check out this video with Amelia’s voice from Murf Studio. Her voice is known to provide comfort and relatability. Some other voices we recommend for an empathetic tone are Caroline, George and John.
Animated characters need voices that create a unique identity for them, and need to be consistent. This becomes really interesting when you are using an AI voice, because you can create a lot of variety while maintaining consistency of delivery all throughout.
To get an idea, check our Gummy and Bunny’s voice in this animated video created using different voices from Murf Studio.
Authoritative/ Educational Voice
If you are looking for a voice over to explain or teach something, you need a voice that can deliver clarity of speech. Also, one important criteria for such a voice is that it should be soothing to listen to, because typically these will be longer videos. Here’s an example.
Sometimes the videos you are making are meant to uplift your spirit and inspire. The script may have few words, but the style of voice over delivery makes all the difference here. Check out this promo for a shoes brand using Amelia’s voice from Murf.
How to choose music for a voice over video
Now, once you have found the right voice and generated your voice over, it’s time to set the tone of the video using some music. Music is a very vast topic and to explain how to go about selecting it in detail, we need a whole blogpost just for that (which we have decided to create for you by the way). Coming up soon.
In the meantime, let’s look at some basic factors that you can keep in mind while choosing background music for a voice over video:
Should not be distracting or empowering - If your music is too dynamic, it can overpower the voice over and affect how well your voice is communicating with the audience. So, it is important to choose a music that blends well and sets the right tone for the video.
Set the right mood for the video - Every script is built with a mood in mind. Is it meant to explain an idea, teach something, or inspire audiences? Based on what you intend to achieve, the music needs to set the right tonality to the video.
Keep it simple - While dynamic music might have its special place in the world, most voice over videos work best with simple music.
Royalty free - Last but not the least, make sure the video you are using is free of any royalty claims and that it is fit for your purpose.
If you are wondering how to choose music based on all the criteria mentioned above from hundreds of music tracks around the internet, don’t worry! We’ve got you covered.
At Murf, we have manually listened to hundreds of music tracks and curated some of the best specially for voice over videos. We have even tagged the music to different use-cases. E.g. presentation, explainer, animation etc. So it becomes super simple for you to find the right kind of music for your video.
How to get the right audio balance with voice and music
In Murf Studio, you can select the ratio of music to voice over for your audio. To do this go to “Render Options” from the top menu. You would see an option there called Music:Voice. On click you would see a slider with an option to set the ratio as per needs.
In addition to this, you would also see an option called Audio Channel where you can select between a single channel - “Mono” or multiple channels - “Stereo” for your audio.
Voices play a key role in providing an identity for your brand or idea. The 5 most important things to consider when choosing a voice for your video are - audience, emotion, language accent, future adaptability and compatibility. These have been explained in detail with examples in this article. In addition to this, we also briefly discussed how to choose the right music for your voice over and how to blend it with your voice perfectly in the required ratio. We hope you find this useful in making a decision about the voice for your video.