What is voice-over? The ultimate guide to giving video content a voice

How to create a voice-over for your video content that gets your message heard and brings your videos to life.


      A voice-over (VO) is the narration that accompanies a video, documentary, trailer, or any other form of visual content. Voice-over enhances your content’s reach and credibility by increasing engagement, making the brand more human and improving the effectiveness of the communication. Additionally, unlike subtitles, voice-over provides a seamless experience that delivers your message free from any distraction.

      A well-crafted voice-over can turn mediocre content into something exceptional and help you stand out in today’s crowded market. Choosing the most appropriate voice-over for your content, therefore, can give a substantial boost to your marketing outcomes.

      Speak to your global audience using multilingual voice-overs

      Which content benefits from voice-over?

      Almost all content can benefit from the addition of a voice-over. Here are just some examples of what a well-produced voice-over can do for your business or organisation.

      • Stand out on social media with voice-overs that make an impact.
      • Demonstrate products with compelling video voice-overs.
      • Enhance web-user experience with informative videos.
      • Improve accessibility with audio descriptions.
      • Engage learners with eLearning voice-overs.
      • Energise your audience with motivational lifestyle voice-overs.
      • Inform your team with clear internal communications.
      • Create engaging online events with charismatic voice-overs.
      • Add value with commentary on recorded events.
      • Spread the word with effective how-to video voice-overs.
      • Maintain brand consistency with distinctive voice-overs.

      Download our voiceover script template

      Find out what information needs to be included on your voice-over script and download our templates for video or slide presentation recording.

      Creating a script

      When it comes to writing a voice-over script, there are several key factors to consider to create an effective and engaging message for your audience. Here are some tips to help you write a voice-over script:

      1. Know your audience: Understanding who your target audience is and what they want to hear is crucial for crafting a successful voice-over script. Create a fictional persona of your ideal listener based on factors such as age, gender, interests and expectations. This will help you tailor your message to your audience and make edits as needed.
      2. Know your tone of voice: The tone of your script is essential in getting your message across to your audience. Use short sentences, active voice, pauses and emphasis, and transitions to create a clear and engaging message. Using creative punctuation such as commas can help add emphasis and pacing to your script.
      3. Be as clear as possible: Clarity should begin at the level of writing, so it’s important to condense your core message into a single sentence and build your script around it. This will ensure that your message remains focused and on track. Additionally, you should aim to eliminate ‘padding’ and streamline your script through the editing process.
      4. Edit it again and again: Editing is a crucial part of the writing process and helps ensure that your script is polished and effective. Aim to edit your script multiple times to catch any errors or redundancies, and seek feedback from others to gain a fresh perspective.

        By following these tips, you can create a voice-over script that effectively delivers your message and resonates with your target audience.

        Read more: How to write a voice-over script

        Choosing a microphone for recording your voice-over

        Achieving high-quality audio recording requires a good microphone and, typically, the finest microphones for voice-overs are found at the upper end of the pricing spectrum. Even so, some of the reasonably priced microphones deliver sound quality that is suitable for professional voice-over recording.

        As well as price considerations, there are other fundamental choices to consider when buying a microphone. For example, the connection type can either be ‘XLR’, for professional sound recording, even outdoors or in locations with acoustic conditions that are less than ideal, or ‘USB’, for budget audio productions. A microphone may be a ’condenser’ type, for studio work, or ‘dynamic’, for locations with less stable and predictable recording conditions. They might have a one-directional recording capability, called ‘cardioid’, which is suitable for most voice-over work, or record sound from all directions: ‘omnidirectional’.

        Notable voice-over microphones currently available, include:
        • Blue Snowball iCE (USB, condenser, cardioid and omnidirectional). This plug-and-play, budget priced microphone is versatile and integrates with various devices and software without the need to change settings, so you’re up and running as soon as you’re plugged in.
        • Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ (USB, condenser, cardioid). This is another competitively priced, plug-and-play microphone providing professional-quality sound recordings. It has a built-in jack for headphones, a volume control and amplifier, which can help cut down the amount of post-production required.
        • Heil PR-40 (XLR, dynamic, cardioid). This mid-priced microphone has a wide frequency range, which makes it particularly suited to capturing a very natural, unaltered quality of sound.
        • Neumann TLM 103 (XLR, condenser, cardioid). Featuring everything you need to create professional voice recordings – and a whole lot more – it’s no surprise that this well-regarded microphone is at the upper end of the price range. It is one of the best microphones for voice-over recording on the market.

        Read more: Best microphone for voice-over

        Desktop voice-over services

        Using professional voice-over software can guarantee your content has consistently high-quality audio. Here are some popular voice-over recording software products used by businesses and individuals to create various types of content.

        • Audacity: Free, open-source software for podcasters and dialogue editing, advanced features for easy editing.
        • Pro Tools: Professional-level digital audio workstation for music producers and sound engineers, available on Windows and macOS, free 30-day trial.
        • Adobe Audition: Complete audio editing software suite for podcast creation, video production and audio repair, available on all operating systems with a monthly fee.
        • Logic Pro: Mac-exclusive digital audio workstation for recording and editing voice-overs, podcasts and music, user-friendly interface with powerful features, free 90-day trial.
        • Studio One: Versatile digital recording studio for podcasters and voice-over artists, customisable user interface, free Pro version compatible with all platforms.
        • Murf.ai: Cloud-based text-to-speech platform with AI and deep machine learning technology, natural sounding voice-overs, custom voices and high-quality voice files, easy script conversion.
        • Synthesia.io: Video editor with AI avatars and voices, ideal for creating professional-looking videos without showing faces or hiring a production team. Also useful for creating high-quality videos in multiple languages.

        Read more: Voice-over software

        Voice-over applications for mobile devices

        Voice-over applications provide a quick and convenient way to elevate your multimedia content. The following examples not only offer high-quality audio but also provide a range of editing tools, allowing you to personalise your voice-over for maximum impact. They are all available for download from the AppStore, Google Play or both.

        • InShot: Video editing app with high-quality voice memo and built-in tools to reduce background noise, adjust volume and speed, and a timeline feature for easy syncing of audio and video.
        • Voloco: Recording app with pre-sets and filters to enhance voice-overs, remove background noise and pitch issues. Includes free beats and ability to save projects in various sound formats.
        • Voice Recorder & Voice Memos: Simple and intuitive app for recording and categorising notes, interviews, lessons and music with no time limits, stable recordings and a built-in editing tool.
        • Voice Over Video: App for making voice-overs with pre-made files and simple editing tool for adding effects, cropping, trimming and syncing clips with audio. Saves outcome without a watermark.
        • Dolby On: App with automated noise reduction and spatial audio for podcasters, video makers, streamers and musicians. Includes live transition capabilities, sound effects and ability to save audio in various formats for voice-overs.
        • Smart Recorder: Full-featured audio recording and editing app with crystal-clear audio quality, unlimited recording time, editing features like trimming, cropping and adding filters and effects, and ability to organise files into folders and backup to cloud service.

        Read more: Voice-over apps

        In-browser voice-over services

        If you want a hassle-free method of generating voice-overs without relying on extra software or hiring a professional voice actor, these online services use AI to produce voice-overs suitable for a range of purposes, such as video narration, podcast intros and PowerPoint presentations.

        • Lovo: AI-powered platform for natural sounding voice-overs with user-friendly interface and various paid subscription options.
        • Speechelo: Popular AI voice-over generator with advanced text-to-speech technology, customisation options and one-time payment.
        • Revoicer: Platform to add emotional inflection to AI-generated voices with a 97% similarity to human voices and one-time payment.
        • NaturalReader: Free or paid subscription platform that converts plain text, PDF and other formats into spoken audio with customisable voices and voice direction functions.
        • Amazon Polly: Cloud-based text-to-speech service using advanced deep learning algorithms for professional-quality audio with various free and paid options.
        • TTSReader: Free and easy-to-use platform with multiple languages and accents support, available on multiple browsers and even provides access to Google’s voices if used from Chrome.
        • Voicepods: Highly rated platform with free and paid subscriptions offering customisation options, custom voice creation and API integration for developers.
        • Resemble AI: complex AI voice-over generator with features like custom voice-overs trained by the user, emotion function and professional-quality output available on pay per second or subscription basis.
        • Play.ht: Library of 907 natural sounding AI-generated voices in 142 languages and accents with customisation options and a podcasting feature, free for non-commercial use or paid subscription.
        • Woord: Easy-to-use platform with various paid subscriptions offering multiple voices, languages, accents and customisations, also includes OCR reader for picture-to-audio conversion.

        Read more: Online voice-over tools

        AI solutions

        Artificial intelligence (AI) voice-over technology not only draws on its vast quantity of data to replicate the human voice, it can be used to create synthetic voices that mimic celebrities, cartoon characters, or even generate synthetic voices that are entirely its own creation.

        AI voice-over technology is based on machine learning algorithms that convert text to speech in real-time. Whether you’re creating marketing videos, e-learning modules, or any other type of video content, AI voice-overs can help you create a more engaging and immersive experience for your audience.

        Some of the most popular AI voice-over tools currently available to professional content creators are mentioned elsewhere in this article. These include Speechify, Murf.ai, Lovo and Speechelo.

        Read more: Voice-over AI solutions

        Voice generators

        As we have seen, professional voice-over recording can be expensive – which is why many content creators turn to the numerous free voice-over software options. Here are some commonly used examples of voice-over generators – all free, to some extent at least.

        1. Speechify: AI-powered voice-over software with 60 languages, natural sounding voices and adjustable speed and pitch. VIP support and premium upgrade available.
        2. VoiceGenerator: User-friendly, free voice-over generator for various languages, with adjustable speed and pitch. Voice quality may vary based on the browser.
        3. Balabolka: Free Windows-based text-to-speech tool with language support, adjustable speed and pitch and audio file-saving feature. Ideal for struggling readers.
        4. TTS Sketch Maker: Software for generating human sounding voice-over Whiteboard videos. Comes with 25 human voices, fonts and animated images. Supports multiple video formats.
        5. Voicebooking: Software for converting text files to audio files with natural pauses and emphases. Speed and pitch can also be adjusted.

        Read more: Free voice-over generators

        How to add voice-over to PowerPoint and Google Slides presentations

        PowerPoint presentations are a valuable resource for communicating information to your audience. Nonetheless, several slides that display solely visual content can become monotonous. Enhancing your presentation with a voice-over can make it more comprehensible and more captivating.

        You can create a voice-over for a PowerPoint presentation in four easy steps – and it’s free. Here’s how:

        1. Write a concise script and rehearse it to identify areas that may need adjustment.
        2. Record your voice-over in a quiet location, using Audacity software, for example.
        3. Add the voice-over to your presentation and set it to play automatically.
        4. Sync the audio with each slide by adjusting the timing and sound settings in the Transitions tab.

        Read more: How to add voice-over on PowerPoint

        You can create a voice-over for a Google Slides presentations too:
        1. Create your Google Slides presentation.
        2. Write a script for each slide and practise reading them aloud. Don’t simply repeat what’s written on the slide. Record audio separately for each slide.
        3. Windows: Use the pre-installed Voice Recorder app; Mac: Use the Voice Memo app to record audio files.
        4. Upload audio files to Google Drive.
        5. Open Google Slides, select slide, click Insert and choose audio file from Google Drive.
        6. Adjust audio settings from the new audio menu on the right side of slide, including volume and playback options.
        7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 for each slide.

        Read more: How to add voice-over on Google Slides

        Make your voice heard and bring your videos to life!

        Are you looking to create a video that truly resonates with your potential customers? Then don’t overlook the importance of voice-overs! The right tone, style and emotional impact can make all the difference to how your business is perceived.

        At Semantix, we understand the power of a well-crafted video voice-over. That’s why we offer comprehensive voice-over services that help you bring your multimedia vision to life. Our team of voice-over specialists can help you create a strong script and final product that connects with your audience and captures their attention.

        With video content taking centre stage in the marketing world, it’s more important than ever to ensure your video is hitting all the right notes. By working with Semantix, you can reach more audiences and connect with them in a meaningful way. Whether you’re looking to drive engagement, boost brand awareness, or set yourself apart from the competition, our voice-over services can help you achieve your goals.

        Don’t settle for mediocre voice-overs that leave your audience unimpressed. Contact Semantix today to learn more about our full-service voice-over solutions – and let your video content speak loud and clear to your target audience.

        Contact Semantix today to learn more about our full-service voice-over solutions.

        Get the templates

        With our template, you can easily create a script that meets your specific project needs and ensures a flawless voiceover performance. No more headaches or frustration – just a smooth and efficient process from start to finish.