Voice-over video is making a comeback, friends.
For the past few years, video storytelling has relied heavily on text overlay and on-screen captions. But with the rise of popular video-first platforms like TikTok and Instagram TV, creators are again turning to the art of voice-over recording to share their messages.
Just not the same, old voice-over of yesteryear.
The most popular and successful videos today incorporate a combination of voice, on-screen text, and visual imagery. And they showcase each creator’s personality to make a more human connection with the viewer.
How can you use voice-over to tell better video stories? We’ve got some useful background info and a handful of tips to get you started.
What is voice-over video?
“Voice-over” (VO) is actually short for “voice-over recording,” and it refers to a person that’s speaking (but not seen) in a video. This often occurs as a narration, but voice-over can also exist as a dialogue.
The traditional way to add a voice-over to video
Creating a voice-over has traditionally meant writing a script and hiring a professional voice actor to bring it to life in the form of an audio file. Then, a professional video editor used a tool like Adobe Premier or Apple’s Final Cut Pro to create a visual video content around the voice recording.
With this approach, the nature and length of the voice recording largely dictates the on-screen elements. The video editor must work with and flex around the audio tracks.
This traditional voice-over process has a few drawbacks.
- It’s time consuming and expensive to rely on professional voice talent and video editing services.
- The process limits video creation to a small set of creative roles within your organization.
- Consumers are demanding more personal, authentic stories from the organizations they interact with — rather than more anonymous brand interactions. The highly-scripted talk track can come off as stuffy and uptight. Plus, social media platforms are more likely to promote original content.
Voice-over gets a makeover
With all of this in mind, we thought the voice-over process could use some updates — so we turned it on its head.
You no longer need to choose between starting a video with or without voice-over. You can choose to add voice-over to any video, at any point in time.
With our upgraded voice-over feature, any video creator in your organization can:
- Upload pre-recorded voice-over audio, or record and edit audio on the go. No need to memorize long chunks of script when you can record sentence by sentence.
- Cut, split, trim, and move the VO audio on the timeline editor, just like you move videos and images. This means it’s a cinch to time your narration perfectly.
- Automatically transcribe the voice-over, which can then be used as closed captions, at the same timestamps as the VO recording. This service is available in nearly every language.
Here’s what it looks like.
With voice-over this simple, journalists can quickly and easily bring their print stories to life and engage a broader audience. Product owners can narrate product explainer videos (combine VO with screen capture!). Nonprofits can narrate stories about the impact of their work.
You get the idea.
Tips for nailing your next video voice-over
For those that don’t have professional voice talent on their resumes, there are a few best practices for capturing great voice-over for your videos.
- Use a good mic. There are tools available to clean up your audio, but there’s no automation that can replace a good microphone. Make sure to minimize your background noise, too, as that stellar mic will definitely pick up the dog barking or your partner microwaving his coffee.
- Record short snippets at a time instead of trying to record a whole script in one go. This sounds more natural on camera, helping you to connect more with your audience. It also makes it easier to move your clips around the timeline.
- Open with a strong visual — and give it room to breathe. Push the start of your voice-over a couple of seconds into the video so your viewer can get acclimated and absorb the visuals first. They might need to turn on or increase the volume, or make the video full screen, for example. Give them a second, so they won’t miss out.
- End with a strong call to action. It’s not enough to include your CTA on screen — you should also include it in the audio. This adds a personal touch and makes it more likely that your viewer will subscribe, share, donate, etc.
How to add voice-over to video in Wochit
You’ve got the tools, and you’ve got the tips. Are you ready to add your voice-over to your video?
- Simply click ‘Record voice-over’ to either record your voice in-app or upload any pre-recorded WAV or MP3 file.
- Drag the audio clip to anywhere on the timeline. Your audio will be automatically transcribed, and your words will show up on the timeline. This makes it easy to align your visuals to the voice-over.
- Edit the voice-over clip freely on the timeline. Use the cut tool to splice, trim the beginning and end of a clip, remove long sentences or duplicate words, and drag and drop to place portions of the track anywhere along the timeline.
No voice-over talent needed. No video editing pro required.
Video voice-over examples
Voice-over is a useful tool to add a personal touch in any video where you’re telling a story. While putting yourself on camera is the ideal, VO is a close second, connecting with your viewer through voice.
Here are some excellent videos using voice-over from our clients.
Sports Illustrated: Broncos Rookie Spotlight Javonte Williams
ProSiebenSat1: Kritik an Armin Laschet aus den eigenen Reihen
Gayety Rainbow Media: Ryan Gosling to Play Ken in Upcoming “Barbie” Live Action
At the end of the day, there’s no right or wrong way to use voice-over video. It’s a storytelling tool that can be used in any number of ways, depending on the type of content you’re creating and your own personal creative process.
As long as your voice-over resonates with your viewers, then it’s a success.
Now, you just have to get used to the sound of your voice.