Spotlight on commercial voice over clients of leading male voice over talent Kabir Singh. NFL, Wendy’s, Acura, Pepsi. Real recording samples!

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.

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.

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The role of the voice actor is critical to the success of a motion worship or church background video. If the tone and delivery does not fit the message, then it can create a jarring experience for church-goers.

Church videos and worship house media can serve numerous purposes.

For example, a church background video or other church media can be displayed subtly in places of worship to create ambiance during a service. Or, more engaging church videos can be included as part of the actual service. Worship media is also commonly used on churches’ websites, social media and as part of educational programs for children, just to name a few.

In this post, I want to discuss what makes a successful motion worship video, especially when it comes to working with a professional voice actor.

Worship House Media Demo - Voice Actor Tips

What makes a great motion worship or church background video?

As a voice actor for hire, I’ve worked with top church motion graphics designers, like The Skit Guys, and I’ve provided my voice to numerous church media videos at Worship House Media (a worship media creator) like the ones highlighted in the demo posted above.

Like all my other voice actor work, this experience has given me insight into what makes church media graphics successful (or not).

Why are some of the videos at Worship House Media so much more powerful than others? What makes some motion worship videos incredibly effective, while others fall flat?

Before I answer these questions, it’s important to first define what “worship media” is and how it’s used.

What is ‘worship media?’

In simplest terms, worship media for churches is designed to connect to the heart and soul of church goers. The media can include church motion backgrounds, worship motion graphics, videos, music and other visuals designed to connect with church-goers, either passively (in the background) or actively (as part of the service or communication from the church).

Each form of media serves a unique purpose. So, to be effective, the most important requirement is that the video achieves that goal.

Now, let’s look at how that can be achieved.

Tips for effective worship house media & church motion graphics

  • Spiritually moving in every respect: Worship background projects are full of love and are fueled by the voice actor’s positive spirit. No matter how the church videos are used, they must resonate with the audience on a deep, spiritual level. This requires the voice, visuals, music and message to all be perfectly aligned.
  • The right sound: When seeking voice over talent for hire, you need to be sure that the voice actor has the right sound for the project. Should the voice be relatable to the congregation? Should it have an urban voice over sound? A Southern accent? Will it only be a narrator voice, or will it need to match a character being represented in the motion worship video? These are all important considerations.
  • Delivery is everything: Does the voice actor sound genuine when reading the copy? Are they feeling it? How well do they deliver the message being expressed? Is the tone and inflection appropriate and changing in the right places? If you look at my Worship House Media Demo above, you’ll notice how the tone and delivery is different in each example: some are soft and gentle, some are powerful, inquisitive, engaging and so on. Each project calls for a different delivery, so it’s critical that you use a professional voice actor who understands how to approach each one individually.

PRO TIP: When doing a voice over for church worship media, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the content. That’s especially true for voice actors who are not active churchgoers themselves. As with every voice over project, you must understand the content and connect with it to be able to deliver the message effectively.

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For any commercial voice over to be successful, it needs to be perfectly in-tune with the subject matter and the goal of the message. Every message is different, requiring a different voice, a different tone, a different vibe. As a basic example, your typical car commercial will not sound anything like an ad for humanitarian aid. It’s apples and oranges. The voice over (and every other part of the ad) needs to be tailored to suit the message.

That being said, what makes a beautiful commercial voice over? What should it sound like? How is it executed?

Let’s break down some of the most essential elements.

Commercial Voice Over

What makes a beautiful piece of commercial voice over script?

The video above is a beautiful ad for The Boppy Company that perfectly pulls together the copy, video, music, voice over and other elements – and I’m honored to have contributed my voice to it.

Behind the commercial voice over was a powerful script that inspired mothers of all ages. It had a poetic cadence and used the voice over to guide the listener to be a motivated and strong mother.

As the professional male voice over selected for this ad, I pulled from my own experiences and emotions to bring this beautiful script to life …

I come from a single mother household. My mom is my inspiration in my life. My mother’s strength has guided me through my adulthood. As she ages, I take care of her and show her the same love a mother showed me growing up.

During this voice over session, I used all those feelings of strength, love and pride to guide me. The script provided the foundation for me to express those feelings in the sound and rhythm of my voice. So the end result sounds like a genuine, heartful message for moms – and not at all like a typical commercial.

What makes a good commercial voice over actor?

The best commercial voice over actors don’t simply read the copy on the page. They immerse themselves into the message and the brand behind it. Without this crucial step, it’s almost impossible to get the voice right.

Boppy’s #Mamabear campaign is an ode to moms – it’s an empowering ad that celebrates Mama Bears’ fierce devotion and love for their babies. It’s about recognizing all you moms out there who overcome challenges every day in your “beautiful, messy, imperfectly perfect world” while handling it all with grit and grace. This message is integral to Boppy’s underlying mission of supporting, uplifting and educating moms through their journey of motherhood.

The visuals reinforce this message with images of moms balancing motherhood with the busy demands of their lives at work and home. “Not just surviving, you’re thriving.”

For a commercial voice over actor to miss the mark here would be a disservice to the entire campaign. It could come across as cheesy, ingenuine or simply disconnected from the message.

Instead, every element of the campaign comes together harmoniously to create a beautiful tribute to moms.

Ultimately, that is what defines a good commercial voice over actor – one who understands the importance of this harmony and can adapt their voice to the emotion of the campaign.

PRO TIP: When creating a commercial voice over spot for your client, ask this question truthfully: what is the single most powerful emotion of their message? Once you have that, dive deeper into that emotion with creative outlets and focus on its truth from a human perspective.

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I recently had the pleasure of providing the commercial voice over work for the University of Maryland’s new Fearless Ideas campaign – the most ambitious fundraising campaign in the university’s 164-year history.

The end result, shown above, is a case study in what makes a great college marketing campaign. Whether the objective is to build creditability, boost enrollment, raise funds for university projects or a combination of everything, there are some fundamental components that must be present in the marketing.

Let’s break down those key components.

College Marketing Voice Artist

What makes an effective college marketing campaign?

Like all advertising, each college marketing campaign has its own unique goals. But often, for colleges and universities, those goals need to overlap.

For example, an ambitious college fundraising project can’t simply ask for money. It needs to connect on a deep level with multiple audiences at once. It must resonate with donors, current students, prospective students, alumni, staff and members of the community.

As such, a good college marketing video needs to express several ideas simultaneously:

  • The pride of being a student or graduate of the school
  • Access to top-notch research facilities that you get as a student or staff member
  • Confidence that is instilled in students that the college has their back and will help them in their time of need
  • Motivation to take the next step – for example: learning more, applying to the school, making a donation, etc.

University of Maryland’s ‘fearless’ approach

Each of the ideas above are subtly woven into UMD’s video, along with another key message that was integral to this campaign: the idea of being FEARLESS … fearless in the pursuit of education, excellence, earning a degree AND in the school’s ambitious fundraising effort.

While the overt goal of this campaign is to announce UMD’s FEARLESS IDEAS fundraising campaign, there are several other objectives being achieved here: building the confidence of college students, motivating prospective students to enroll and pursue their journey, illustrating the power of education to unlock the potential in each student and building the credibility of UMD.

The elements that make it work

Several elements of the video play a role in getting those messages across to the audience, succinctly and effectively. The visuals of course carry a lot of weight. They showcase the school’s impressive facilities and programs, as well as the diverse student body that studies there. The music adds emotion, slowly building in intensity as the copy describes UMD’s mission and announces the new fundraising campaign (notice that the campaign isn’t revealed until halfway through the ad).

And finally, a professional voice over is used to ensure that all of these messages make the biggest impact possible …

The role of the voice artist

For this video, UMD was seeking a professional male voice over to make the campaign appeal to the wide range of audiences mentioned above. The voice needed to be relatable, familiar, encouraging and credible, all at the same time.

Getting the cadence right was also critical. As the voice artist, I needed to build excitement to reinforce the bold goals of UMD’s new campaign and underscore its central message: being FEARLESS.

The result is an ad that doesn’t just announce a fundraising campaign. It’s one that also positions the University of Maryland as a leader in higher education and a destination for free thinking and exchanging bold ideas.

PRO TIP: When searching for voice over talent for your college marketing video campaign – make sure the talent understands your college’s unique history and selling point. It is essential in reflecting the right tone of passion and pride when delivering voice over copy.

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As an experienced political voice over talent, I understand how important it is for political advertising to deliver the right message. When an ad misses the mark, it fails to connect with voters. Even worse, a bad ad can sink an entire political campaign.

But it’s not just the political script that matters. Every single component influences the effectiveness, especially for TV ads: the copy, the visuals, the music, and critically: the voice over.

Today, I want to share some of the most important factors that make a good political voice over talent.

Politcal voice over Kabir Singh

Political voice over demo: behind the scenes

In the demo above, I’ve included a showcase of political advertising examples with my professional voice over.

To understand what makes these ads effective, you first need to understand the background.

These are left-leaning ads that are aligned more with the Democratic party. As such, the client sought a progressive voice actor with a voice that could resonate with the target audience. More precisely, they wanted an African American sound to fit the urban demographics where the ad would run.

But let’s dig into what that actually means and the reasoning behind it.

Authenticity is everything

The political voice over demo was for an urban audience. It represents low-income people. Underserved people. People who are often left out of the political process.

As such, the political voice over talent needed to sound relatable – like a neighbor, a friend or a relative from the same community.

Think about it … If the voice had sounded like a completely different demographic, it wouldn’t be authentic at all.  It would be a disconnect. It would come across like so much other political advertising today: detached, cold, disingenuous.

This is why authenticity is one of the most crucial factors for political voice overs. It has to be real.

Representation matters

Beyond just relatability, political advertising has to represent its constituents.

Remember, the goal of most political ads is to remind voters that THEIR voice matters. THEIR vote counts. Whether the ad is for a politician or a policy issue, the goal is to engage constituents and bring them into the political process.

How can that goal be achieved if the voice in the ad sounds nothing like the audience who hears it? It’s just not possible.

To be effective, a political voice over talent needs to represent the target audience. A voter should hear the ad and think, “Hey, that sounds like me” – even if that thought happens on a subconscious level. That is what representation is all about. The ad represents the constituent. And, in turn, the constituent VOTES to have their voice represented on issues that matter to them.

PRO TIP: The cadence and emotion of a political voice over MUST match the message of the ad. Political ads can have a wide range of emotions, from inspirational to fired-up. Finding the right tone of voice is critical for the ad to be effective.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel for more tips from professional voice actor, poet and philosopher Kabir Singh.

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After the Kansas City Chiefs won the 2019 AFC championship game, they needed to create an electrifying commercial that would build hype for Super Bowl LIV. An ordinary ad would not cut it. An ordinary NFL voice over would not cut it.

Just like the team itself, the ad had to look and sound like a champion.

It had to be bold, confident and upbeat. It had to energize fans and attract TV viewers. So, when it came time for the Chiefs to hire voice over talent for the ad, the goal couldn’t be clearer. They needed an outstanding voice over performance for an outstanding Superbowl performance by the soon-to-be NFL Champions.

As the voice artist for this ad, I want to take a moment to break it down and identify what makes it successful from an NFL voice over perspective.

NFL Voice Over Demo

Some background behind the NFL voice over

For the Chiefs’ Super Bowl preview ad, the NFL voice over was cast and produced using traditional voiceover methods and structures: a voiceover agency located in Los Angeles, CA.

In looking for a voice artist, the team and voiceover agency knew the qualities that would make the ad successful: a cool narrator voice that sounded youthful, energetic, hopeful and fun. They also wanted an urban and/or an African American voice over to reflect the Chiefs’ diverse, multi-cultural and loyal fan base.

Too often, NFL voice overs tend to sound stodgy or too serious. But the Chiefs were vying for their first Super Bowl win in 50 years. So they needed something fresher and younger.

But what is a ‘cool narrator voice?’

It’s easy for any client to say they want a voice over to sound cool or young. But what does that actually mean?

A voice artist may have qualities about their voice that make them right for the role. But that’s only part of it. A professional voice over artist knows how to adjust the tone and cadence of their voice to reinforce the message being expressed.

A cool narrator voice is one that knows rhythm and music. A cool narrator voice understands how to control the beats to the sentences in which he/she performs voice acting.

In the case of the Chiefs’ commercial, the narrator needed to sound as cool and interesting as the fans who support the team, and as cool as the beloved players on the team.

Defining young male voice talent for an NFL voice over

The Chiefs’ ad also needed to sound youthful. So, what exactly does that mean in this context?

I am often described as a young male voice talent. But a young male voice talent doesn’t have to sound childish or young. A young male voice talent can also sound mature and have authority. An understanding of climactic situations and high-pressure situations allows that maturity to come out on the microphone.

The end result is a narrator that sounds energetic, but composed … passionate, but mature … all the hallmarks of leaders and champions, just like the Chiefs themselves.

PRO TIP: When doing NFL voice over auditions, try to study the NFL team’s attitude and marketing. See if you can find the angle of attitude. Does the team provoke maximum authority? Does the team have a more subtle approach and an intimate approach to their marketing?

Subscribe to our YouTube channel for more tips from professional voice over artist, poet and philosopher Kabir Singh.

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