How to Find a Great Voiceover Coach

Article Image
Photo Source: Shutterstock

Every talent worth their weight wants to improve themselves. And while coaching seems like a surefire way to do just that, it can be a real crapshoot...especially if you don’t know what you’re looking for (or should be looking for).

What may have worked for a friend or colleague may not be what works for you. Everyone is different and has different innate skills. Knowing who and what to spend your hard-earned dollars on can be elusive.

So, how do you determine who to work with to train and produce your voiceover demos?

Do your research.
Determine who the top 10 voiceover coaches are. Do they produce demos in addition to coaching? Are they available for private coaching?

You likely need one-on-one training to better determine your assets and abilities, something you won’t get in group classes or workshops. While group coaching is fun and encourages community, if the only training you’ve ever had is in a group, you’re inadvertently positioning yourself to be at a disadvantage: Nothing you do as a voiceover talent will be done in a group.

Additionally, when it comes to voiceover, you need to get used to working from home all by your lonesome. Developing your ability to self-direct—which may have gone completely unchecked until now—requires that you master a handful of techniques rather than leaving everything to chance.

Listen.
If your goal is to have your voiceover demos produced by the best, you need to listen to quite a few demos your prospective coach/producer has created. The proof is in the pudding!

Location is relative.
Gone are the days when you were limited to only work with local options. Granted, wanting to be in the same studio with your potential coach may seem the most comfortable to you at first, but if it keeps you from the best training with the best coaches, reconsider. 

Advances in online options like Skype and ZOOM make training from home simple and manageable. Look for coaches who offer these options, even if they’re local. These are common tools all voiceovers and actors utilize on a weekly, if not daily basis.

Get multiple price quotes.
Choosing the cheapest option for anything—but particularly career coaching, training, and demo production—can end up costing you twice. You’ll ultimately have to start over to correct misinformation and the endless small business missteps imparted to you based on the random whims of so-called “experts” rather than based on real stats and substance. Know what you’re comfortable spending on coaching services, but consider that the right coach may more than make up for the costs down the line.

READ: How to Get Paid What You Deserve in Voiceover

Take a leap of faith.
You don’t know what you don’t know, you know? Do your due-diligence, then invest no less than three-to-six one-hour private sessions before determining whether this coach/producer is a good fit. Stay committed.

Communicate.
If you aren’t discovering anything new about the industry, yourself, and your coach/producer with every conversation with your potential coach, move on. 

Know what you’ll be getting.
A coaching session isn’t practice; the best coaching offers technique training. If the only training you’re receiving is simply practicing the same thing over and over again, you’re not challenging your comfort zone.

Developing and maintaining performance agility demands you continually challenge your comfort zone. It’s how you learn to trust your impulses and create with every take.

Apply yourself.
You need to do the work if you expect results. Ideally, your coach will record each session for you to review and to offer a deeper comprehension of the techniques imparted, not solely to listen to what you have done.

Once you’ve found a coach/demo producer you’re happy with, be sure to go back for a refresher in a few months to recharge, refresh, and re-align your goals for the very best results. What makes a coach great is the ability to continually inspire.

Check out Backstage’s voiceover audition listings!

The views expressed in this article are solely that of the individual(s) providing them,
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Backstage or its staff.

Author Headshot
Kate McClanaghan
Kate McClanaghan is a casting director, producer, and founder of both Big House Casting & Audio (Chicago and Los Angeles) and Actors’ Sound Advice. She’s a seasoned industry veteran and actor who has trained actors and produced demos for more than 5,000 performers over her 30 years in the business.
See full bio and articles here!