5 Skills You Must Have to Become a Prominent Voice Actor (infographic)

If you’ve ever wondered the reason characters like Peter Griffin, Homer Simpson, Rick & Morty, and SpongeBob are really personable, it’s because they’re voiced by great voice actors.

Voice actors like Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy) and Dan Castellaneta (The Simpsons) can earn hundreds of thousand dollar per episode. Not only do they have the natural talent (personable voices) they also put the hard work into honing their voice acting skills.

In this infographic (featured below), the team over at breadnbeyond discusses about what it takes to become a voice actor.

The graphic starts by mentioning several hollywood-grade voice actors and their big bucks earnings. It shows that Dan Castellaneta earns approximately US$ 300,000 per episode of The Simpson.

Seth MacFarlane and Trey Parker are worth US$ 150 million and 300 million respectively due to the success of Family Guy and South Park.

The infographic further implies that not all voice actors can be millionaires by mentioning the average income of voice actors in the US according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics — which is US$ 17.50 per hour.

Based on that expectation and reality comparison, the graphic says that it takes a lot of work to even earn a dollar as voice actors. It shows the skills you have to master to become a voice actor who can deliver what a client asks.

Having Clear Enunciation

The first skill that you need to master is Enunciation.

According to the infographic, enunciating means the act of pronouncing words. A good enunciation means pronouncing words clearly and distinctly. The infographic further explains that clear enunciation is crucial the world of commercial voice acting like explainer videos and commercials.

The infographic argues that having a clear enunciation matters because mumbled words might annoy listeners -- which eventually will drive away potential customers.

The second reason why enunciation matters is because it might cause mix-up of phrases. For example, “goin’” (“going” without a proper enunciation) might be misheard as “go in”.
Also Read: How to get better at chatting with people in real life
The third reason why a voice actor must have a clear enunciation is because mumbling might be seen as a sign of unconfidence -- which is something a brand should avoid to indicate their expertise.

Knowing Your Tempo

According to the infographic, the second skill you need to learn to become a voice actor is knowing how to manage a proper tempo when you speak.

It explains that speaking too fast can make your words sound sales-y or as though you are trying to make a sales pitch. Even in commercial voice acting (e.g for explainer videos and commercials) this is not in the best practice.

A brand should be imparting an expertise on a subject while being persuasive, not throwing a hail-mary sales pitch.

According to the graphic, the standard speaking pace for a voice actor to not sound too salesy is by limiting their pace to 140-160 words per minute.

The infographic also mentions several other reasons why voice actors shouldn’t speak too fast:
  • Speaking too fast might cause in losing listeners’ attention.
  • It might strike a negative first impression.
  • Nobody likes feeling they’re being sold to.
  • Speaking too fast might cause you to lose your message clarity.

Proper Intonation and Emphases

According to the graphic, the third skill you need to become a voice actor is the mastery of intonation and emphases in your messages.

It says that intonation is a simple, but vital element of not only voice acting but any form of verbal communication.

The infographic uses the word ‘really’ as an example of a word that changes meaning depending on the intonation and emphases. It further explains with a sentence and how stressing different words in it could alter its meaning entirely.

Voice Characterization

The infographic continues to mention that the next skill to learn in order to become a voice actor is voice characterization.

It explains that voice acting is still acting, and voice actors have to get in character before they could start recording.

The graphic explains that in order to create a fully-realized character, a voice actor must ask themselves these questions:

Who am I?

Where am I?

Where did I come from?

When is this?

What do I want?

As an extension of voice characterization, the infographics also mention that learning different accents and dialects always add a plus point for any type of actors.

Let’s say you are trying to get into a character from German, of course it would make sense if you use German accent for your character.

There are more content in the infographic, which you could check out below:

The Skills You Have to Learn Before Landing Your First Voice Acting Job
Voice actors 🎙️ are are awesome, and here’s why

Read Next: The Staggering Growth of the "Voice Search" Industry

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