What is a “narrator?” According to the Oxford Language Dictionary, a narrator is “a person who delivers a commentary accompanying a movie, broadcast, piece of music, etc.” Narration is all around us, from documentaries on television to audiobooks to radio dramas to business videos. Voiceover narration is probably the biggest categories most voice artists work in.
To be a great narrator, you need to be able to deliver the script in a variety of ways. This is a not a one-size-fits-all niche. Plus, your delivery must keep the listener engaged from start to finish. Consider the most successful audiobook narrators in the industry. Why are they contracted to narrate an author’s book? Because they understand the characters they are portraying and can deliver an engaging story.
Narration Is Everywhere
Understanding the material you are narrating and delivering it in an engaging way is key to making the piece you are working on successful. No matter what you’re reading – from corporate voice over to explainer video with voice over to documentary and medical narration – the narrator must be artistic and show off their acting skills so that their narration fits the genre of the script and stands out from similar products.
What Makes a Good Narrator?
As one of the best Black narrators in the industry, George Washington III will tell you that a good narrator is “experienced with the ability to be a vocal chameleon and keep the style used consistent from start to finish.” A good narrator can read between the lines of the script they are working with to provide a finished product that a listener enjoys and understands. They need to be able to emphasize the most important points of the narrative so that they can adjust their narration style appropriately.
A good narrator is also well-versed in a variety of narration styles. Business narratives may require a narrator voice that is confident and authoritative. A “how-to” video may be more conversational and relaxed. Medical narration requires not only the ability to pronounce complex words, but also a calm, soothing tone that is clear and concise.
Popular Types of Voiceover Narration
While commercials and audiobooks are types of voiceover narration, there are other types of voiceover narration your business may need. Some of them include:
- Documentary narration – think of the shows you see on the Discovery Channel. A documentary narrator could work on a program about the sun one day and dinosaurs the next.
- Corporate narration – we’ve all watched those company videos the first day on a new job. Corporate narration is designed to educate and help change behaviors. For example, IT security videos keep employees up to date on the latest phishing and email scams. They are informative and a good narrator can make them fun and interesting.
- Animation – whether the voice is for an animated television show or video game, this is probably the most fun to do. As a Black narrator actor, George Washington III has some great experience in this genre, having voiced Green Lantern John Stewart in the DC Online Universe.
- Podcasts – this section of narration is a quickly growing field and narrators may find that their voiceover narration will vary from one to the other. From voicing characters in a podcast drama to hosting a talk show, the narrator has the chance to enjoy some vocal variety.
How VO Evolution and George Washington III Can Help
As a Black narrator actor, George Washington III can help your narration stand out from the crowd. His rich baritone has already been heard on the National Museum of African American History and Culture app. Plus, he is the voice of a Green Lantern. Let him narrate your next video, podcast or documentary and elevate it to the next level of professional standards.