Announcing vs. Voice Acting

Posted in For Beginners by Administrator on the February 2nd, 2009

By Jim Conlan
Copyright Jim Conlan, Voice Overs 2009
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Just as there are lots of ways to be employed as a voice-over talent, there are lots of ways to think of yourself as a voice-over talent. The most basic distinction is whether you call yourself an announcer or a voice actor.

In announcing there is usually one voice, and that voice is coming from a person who isn’t pretending to be someone else. He or she is simply delivering a message on behalf of a client.

In voice acting there may be one, two, or many voices. They are participating in a drama… so they’re pretending to be someone else.

In either case the purpose of doing it is to communicate information to someone so they will remember it and act on it.


There are many, many different kinds of voice actors, just as there are many different kinds of visual actors. Some voice actors specialize in comedy… even sub-specialties like character voices, unusual-sounding voices, or just great comic timing. Others specialize in being the “straight-man” or woman in a comedy team. Still others are better at serious scripts. There are monolog specialists and dialog specialists.

There are also some talented people who can do great announcing and great voice acting. In general, though, voice actors don’t work in all the categories I mentioned before. Their chief value is in broadcast advertising, TV and film work, and cartoon/anime projects.


There are as many kinds of announcing as there are announcers. Announcers find work in all of the categories I mentioned before.

Although we may think of announcers as pretty much sounding alike, there’s actually a great variety of styles, from extremely formal to exceptionally casual. Some announcers are chosen for a very specific style of speaking. Others adapt their style to the copy at hand.

Houston residents can find out more about the voice-over profession by attending one of my Introductions to Announcing and Voice Acting, through Leisure Learning Unlimited. More information is available at

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