What Type of Voice Over Demo Should I Make?

Commercial and narration demos are the most popular types of demos, and the majority of professional voice over artists have both. However a third type of demo, a specialty demo, has gained in popularity over the last few years, and many professional voice over artists have this in addition to or in place of a commercial and narration demo.

Determining which one(s) to market with is an important decision. This article will help you determine what is best for you.

First, here are definitions of the three types of demos:

  • Commercial demo - Due to the "glamour" of being heard on national television commercials, this is the most popular type of demo, even though only approximately 10% of the work is commercial work. A commercial demo demonstrates a variety of different kinds of commercials. For example, conversational, hard-sell, nonchalant, promo, public service announcement, etc.
  • Narration demo - To work full-time in this industry, it is often necessary to have a narration demo, as narrations are 90% of the work. A narration demo demonstrates a variety of different kinds of narrations. For example, corporate training video, telephony, documentary, voicemail, website narration, educational film, etc.
  • Specialty demo - This is a demo that serves one niche of the industry. This type of demo makes it easier to obtain work in one specific segment of the industry. For example, a "nature-film voice-over demo" increases the chance of being hired by a nature-film producer. However, its difficult to obtain other types of work with this type of demo. Specialty demo types include: character demo, audiobook demo, promo demo, foreign language demo, nature film demo, children’s work demo, etc.

In most cases, we suggest marketing at least a commercial and narration demo - this is what most professionals market with. This allows you to obtain all types of work, and not limit yourself.

Adding a specialty demo can give your marketing efforts a head start in a specific sector. Once you gain this experience, it may be easier to obtain other types of work.

Fortunately when marketing your demos, it costs no more whether you have one or more demos on it. This is because you can attach multiple demos to a single email. Likewise, multiple demos can be recorded onto a CD (for example, track 1 of the CD may be the commercial demo, track 2 the narration demo, etc.).

Assuming you have the talent for it, the only downside to produce multiple demos is the one-time cost of producing them. However if you obtain even one additional job due to an additional demo, it will probably pay itself off.

Hope this helps.

March 12, 2008
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Edge Studio helps you determine what voice over demo (commercial, narration, speciality...) is right for you.
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