The numbers don’t lie: Boasting more than a billion users, TikTok is unequivocally one of today’s top social media platforms. With its short-form videos designed to capture attention in bite-sized bursts, TikTok offers an unparalleled medium that creators can use to showcase unique skills, talent, or simply the ins and outs of daily life. As TikTok becomes more and more popular—and thus more and more saturated, with increasing mountains of content vying for an audience—it can be difficult to make videos stand out. Enter the voiceover.
A voiceover can make TikTok videos more engaging, interesting, and professional by adding a personal touch and sense of authenticity. Here’s a step-by-step guide to adding a voiceover to your TikTok videos, and strategies to do it effectively.
Follow these steps to get your perfect TikTok voiceover.
1. Record the video: Before you create the voiceover, you’ll want a video to layer the voiceover on top of. Open the app, press the plus sign button in the lower center part of the screen, and record away! When you’re finished, press the red checkmark button on the lower right side of the screen.
2. Record the voiceover: You’ll see a menu on the right hand side of the next screen with the following options: filters, adjust clips, audio editing, captions, enhance, and noise reducer. Click the audio editing button. On the next screen, press the record button when you are ready to record your voiceover. When you have finished recording, press “save” in the upper right corner of the screen.
3. Adjust the voiceover: Once your voiceover has been recorded and saved on top of the original audio, you will be taken to a draft of the video. Click “sounds” in the lower left corner of the screen, and then click “volume” on the right. This will allow you to adjust the levels of both the underlying sound and the voiceover, as well as add any other sounds—such as music or trending sounds—beneath.
4. Post your video: Once you’ve finished editing your TikTok video with the voiceover, you’re ready to publish it. Simply save the edited video and upload it to your TikTok account.
Adding a voiceover to TikTok videos can make them feel more uniquely you, while offering a chance to showcase your competency and imaginative scope.
Authenticity: TikTok’s audio capabilities are what set it apart from other platforms—and content creators should take advantage. A recent study found that 88% of TikTok users found sound a vital part of the app’s experience.
Personalization: Adding a voiceover to your TikToks can make them feel more intimate, like you’re giving your viewers a glimpse into your innermost thoughts. This type of personal touch can help keep users engaged with your content, as opposed to TikTok’s text-to-speech option.
Professionalism: Voiceovers can make your videos look and feel more professional, since you can plan out your script and delivery rather than needing to speak in real time while recording.
Creativity: Voiceovers can be a fun way to add a new dimension to your TikToks. You can use them to tell a story, share a joke, or simply add a new layer of creativity to your videos.
These tips can help you to make the most of your voiceovers on TikTok.
Research: TikTok is all about topical trends, so do a deep dive into what’s working and what’s not about your specific topic and goal. A cutesy voiceover added to a video of a puppy running through a field might work great to sell dog treats, but probably won’t match an educational video meant to inform people about new AI technology.
Match the voiceover to the video: On that note, be sure that the tone of your voiceover matches the tone of your video. If your video is lighthearted, your voiceover should likely be lighthearted as well, unless you’re going for dramatic juxtaposition.
Be clear and concise: Make sure your voiceover is clear, concise, and easy to understand. Avoid using technical jargon or complicated language, and focus instead on speaking in a natural tone. It can help to think of your favorite podcast—even though they’re sharing information in a pedagogical way, it feels like you’re listening to friends. Aim for that type of conversational speaking for content that’s engaging and relatable.
Tell a story: Consider using your voiceover to tell a story, such as a personal anecdote or a comedic skit. Expressing your personality can help make your TikTok videos more engaging and memorable.
Practice good microphone technique: To ensure that your voiceover sounds professional, make sure you speak clearly, avoid background noise, and hold the microphone at a comfortable distance from your mouth. Although you don’t need to build a soundproofed home studio to create compelling TikTok voiceovers, doing some casual sound treatment by damping your surroundings with clothes or linens can make a big difference.
Use music and sound effects: Consider using music or sound effects to accompany your voiceover. Since the TikTok algorithm uses audio clips to determine what goes viral, layering in additional sounds can give your content a boost.
Whether hilarious, educational, or inspirational, here are just a few of the best uses of voiceovers on TikTok:
- @therxckstxr: This user uses voiceovers to give people’s pets a voice. The videos are hilarious, particularly the ones where he manages to sync his voice up with the movements of the animal’s mouths.
- @officialblr: The kings of the comedic voiceover, Bad Lip Reading takes video footage from films and politics and uses voiceover to input alternatives to what the people could be saying.
- @thethriftguru: Using voiceover on top of how-to videos, this fashionista walks viewers through the process of turning thrifted items into something new.
- @molinaro_snake_lab: Keary Molinaro uses voiceovers to describe what he’s doing in videos about the breeding and caring of snakes.
While voiceovers can be a useful tool for adding a new layer of creativity to TikTok videos, there are also certain situations when they may not be appropriate or effective, such as:
When the visuals can stand on their own: If your TikTok video already has strong visuals and does not require additional audio elements to be effective, then a voiceover may not be necessary, and may even detract from the content.
When the video is already crowded with audio: If your TikTok video already includes a lot of audio elements, such as music or sound effects, adding a voiceover may only add clutter and make it difficult for viewers to understand what is going on.
When the video is supposed to be silent: Some TikTok content, such as mindfulness or dance videos, are meant to be watched in silence. Adding a voiceover to these types of videos may not be appropriate and could disrupt the overall experience.
When the message is better conveyed without a voiceover: Sometimes, the message of a TikTok video is better conveyed without the use of a voiceover. For example, a video that relies on written words or graphics may be more effective without additional audio elements.
In these cases, it may be best to avoid using a voiceover and focus on creating visually compelling and engaging content. For other videos, follow this guide and play around with your voiceover strategy until you find what works best for you and your audience.