As a professional voice actor, I help a wide range of clients, across multiple industries: commercial, educational, religious and so on. Each voiceover project requires me to adapt my style: the sound of my voice, the energy, the cadence and so on.
A great example of this is the voiceover I did for Saddleback Church kids’ ministry – or simply “Saddleback Kids,” as it’s commonly referred to.
In this post, I want to break down how I approached this project as the voice actor for hire and outline what I think makes a good voiceover for bible study lessons for kids, like the demo posted above.
Let’s start with some background about the client, Saddleback Church kids’ ministry.
About Saddleback Church Kids Ministry – A Visual Media Church & Bible Study for Kids
Saddleback Church is a Baptist Evangelical church with a primary location in Lake Forest, California. But Saddleback is actually comprised of numerous church locations around the world, and more than 200 ministries.
For this project, the client was looking for a voice over talent for hire specifically for its Saddleback Church kids’ ministry. Saddleback Kids provides both in-person classes and an online bible study for kids. As such, they need to produce a wealth of engaging church media graphics, visual media church animations and videos to support their Saddleback Church online programs.
That’s where the role of a voice actor becomes so important, especially for its educational programs.
Project: The Story of Easter – What Role Does the Voice Actor Play?
For this project, Saddleback Church kids’ ministry needed a voice actor for its video on The Last Supper, as part of its Story of Easter series.
I have recorded numerous voiceovers for church media over the years, including several for churches offering an online bible study for kids, so I knew right away what was needed.
Most important, a bible study for kids requires the voice actor to have high energy and be full of animation-style spirit.
Okay, what does that mean – and why?
Let’s Start with the Energy …
Picture in your mind a great kindergarten teacher who loves his/her job … a teacher who students LOVE to learn from and get excited about coming to school every day.
What’s their energy level? Can you picture it?
Off the charts, right? They’re active … exciting … moving around … maybe a bit loud at times. And the kids love it!
It’s no different for a voice actor.
To keep kids engaged in their bible studies, the voice actor must keep the energy high. Even for the more solemn parts of a story, like The Last Supper, a professional voice actor knows how to carefully use their high energy, in varying intensities, to keep students rapt.
Without the right energy, the audience will quickly lose interest.
An Animated Personality is Crucial for Bible Study Lessons for Kids
Just like the visual animation itself, a voice actor needs to be animated. More specifically, he/she must have what I call an “animation-style spirit.”
Being animated doesn’t mean just having high energy. It means speaking in a fun, engaging way that kids can relate to. Not necessarily cartoonish, either (because you never want the voiceover to overpower or distract from the message, especially for educational content). Having an animation-style spirit means being able to modulate your voice in a way that keeps things upbeat and exciting. It leaves the audience hanging on every word. That’s exactly the approach I used for Saddleback Church Kids and it’s one of the many reasons why their visual media is so powerful.
PRO TIP FOR CHURCHES: Make sure you hire a voice over talent who will be relatable to your local congregation. For example, if your church is in an urban environment, then you may want an urban voice over sound. This will make the voice sound more like a neighbor or loved one from the community.
Subscribe to our YouTube channel for more tips from professional voice actor, poet and philosopher Kabir Singh.