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Collaboration with Voiceover Clients

Effective collaboration with your voiceover clients is critical.

I recently did an in-person recording session here in NYC. It was me, the engineer, and the client. The session went great. Why? I was self-directing at times, giving them options they didn't ask for, and making corrections to the copy as I went. All things I teach my students NOT to do! At least, not yet.

I also had a recent at-home live-directed recording session where a sentence was grammatically incorrect. The director said he's a stickler for correct grammar but he was worried about altering the copy. I suggested that I narrate it to make it grammatically correct and then record an alternate the way it was originally written. If they don't notice what we did, fine. If they did, we have the alternate. That's exactly what we did and the client was happy.

Does all this make me a rogue, naughty voice actor who doesn't take direction?


Developing your collaboration skills is critical for value delivery. Delivering value in the session is just as important if not more important than demonstrating value in your marketing efforts.

Collaboration is a skill that must be developed to be an effective voice actor. How can you develop your collaboration skills...?

First off, if you are new to the voiceover industry and have never worked with a particular client before, I wouldn't advise doing what I did. Yet.

Marketing is all about establishing and nurturing meaningful relationships. Relationships are based on trust. Trust comes from proving that you can deliver the goods.

With that in mind; listen to the client. Not just the verbal direction, but the nonverbal communication that's taking place. Read the room. Let them get comfortable with you. Notice the back & forth not just between you & the director but the director and other people at the session. Demonstrate you can take direction before you start riffing.

Though you can't start running with the script and doing all kinds of crazy stuff at the outset, eventually you can be a collaboration whiz, too!


Here is where I occasionally suggest stuff that may help your voiceover business. Some of these suggestions may include an Amazon Affiliate link. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means if you click on the link and purchase the item in question, I get a few cents at no extra cost to you.

Today's recommendation: books! One of my favorite self-help titles is Talent is Overrated by Geoff Colvin.

I talked about it in a blog post from way back and I think about its teachings a lot. You may have heard me in a workshop ask who has a nice voice and make everybody raise their hands. Then I say, "NOBODY CARES" to make a point. This book is where I developed that line of thinking.

You can see more recommendations at my Studio Gear & Recommendations page.


Saturday, December 4th @5PM ET: The 12th Annual NYC VO Mixer! (In NJ). Voiceover beginners, pros, or "adjacent" to the voiceover industry; come on out! Dress to impress! It's the "company holiday party". Please RSVP at the Facebook Event page as there is an attendance cap.

Sunday, December 5th @9AM-5PM ET: "Kelly and Tom are Hanging Out at a Hotel". The day after the VO Mixer, we've rented a conference space at the hotel for voice actors to discuss the current state of the voiceover industry and share tips & tricks for success. Voice actors of all experience levels are welcome. It's free to attend but we do ask for a small donation to help cover the cost of the space. To RSVP, email me at

Saturday, December 11th @5PM ET: The Voice Actor's Studio "eLearning Performance with Guest Coach Tom Dheere". eLearning, training modules, and instructional content is a leading category in voiceover opportunity! Every voiceover genre has a unique set of "performance rules." Get a clear understanding of what is required when voicing educational/training content. Don't miss three hours of script reading! You'll be sure to "learn" a thing or two and have a lot fun while doing it!

ESaturday, December 18th @1PM ET: VO Resolutions: Setting Goals for 2022. We are nearing the end of 2021 and the new year is quickly approaching. How can we set ourselves up for success in the voice over industry and enter 2022 feeling confident and ready for success? In this one-hour webinar, students will learn how to set realistic professional goals as a voice over actor and how to take the new year by storm.



Tom Dheere is the VO Strategist, a voice over business & marketing coach and demo producer since 2011. He is also a voice actor with over 25 years of experience who has narrated just about every type of voiceover you can think of. When not voicing or talking about voicing, he produces the sci-fi comic book Agent 1.22.


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