“Do we need to include voice-over in this video production project?”

File that question under my Top 5 most common when working with one of our video production clients. While we are equipped to do voice-overs and I personally have voiced thousands of videos/stories over the years, you don’t always need a voice-over to tell a great video story. In fact, to date, roughly 75 percent of our video projects are told via interviews with our clients who tell their own story, and without a voice-over. But that doesn’t mean voice-over cannot be used to effectively tell a story. Here’s some general guidelines based on our professional experiences:

What kind of story are you telling?

Is this video a “meet the team” concept? If so, you probably can record interviews with the team members and get everything you will need to tell the story directly without the need for voice-over. However, if you are explaining a process, technical or otherwise, a voice-over may make more sense.

Who is your audience?

This is an important question to ask when determining creative direction and whether you need voice-over. Are you “broadcasting” to the general public or is this video being used to reach a specialized audience? Again, we lean more towards voice-over when the video story gets complicated in scope or process, and less so when the messages are broad in nature.

What is the intended tone of your video?

When we talk of tone, we are referring to the intended feel of your video. Touchy feely? Or buttoned up and professional? Are you a non-profit wanting to share your amazing work in a community which desperately needs your services? Or are you a tech company debuting a new software platform designed to enhance the customer experience? Again, as a professional video story-teller, we would lean more towards telling the non-profit story directly though interviews, while using voice-over or a combination of voice-over with interviews for the tech company story.

Here’s a link to some recent voice-over based video projects we’ve produced with yours truly on the microphone:

Rich Dubek is a two-time Emmy award winning TV news reporter with more than twenty five years of news media experience at the local and network level. He is President of the Dubek Media Group, specializing in expert media training messaging, and on-air coaching, and full service video production. The Dubek Media Group is based in Tempe, Arizona.