The Best Voiceover Coaches still Polish their Craft

The Best Voiceover Coaches still Polish their Craft


You know the old saying “those who can, do and those who can’t, teach.” This doesn’t apply to voiceover. Or it shouldn’t. I​n​ voiceover, those who can, ​sometimes​ coach. Of those that do,​ the best voiceover coaches still polish their craft.

Don’t Trust Your Voice Over Career to Just Anyone – Make Sure You’re Choosing Coaches With Experience

A word of caution – the voice over world is large and just getting larger. As with any growing industry, there are many choices for coaches to work with. It’s important to make sure you d​on’t trust your voice over career to just anyone​ with a teaching shingle on their website. Make sure you’re looking to work with people in the industry who have the know-how to guide you. ​Choose coaches with experience.

Take the time to do a bit of research to find out how long the coach has been in the industry, what area of voice over they work in, if they’re experienced with casting or highly successful and know themselves what is booking. Make sure they’ve had some directing experience. They must be able to help you take it where it needs to go. Have their students gone on to further success of their own? Are they actively involved in the community and keeping up with the latest trends, technology and challenges?

No matter who you end up choosing to work with, make sure you are compatible – does their instruction make sense to you, are you “on the same” page when communicating? An amazing coach with a lot to offer isn’t going to be the right choice for you if the two of you can’t speak the same language (figuratively and literally, obvi.). Sometimes people really click and that connection improves the learning experience.
Sometimes they don’t – no fault of either of you – so ​finding the right match and getting the best ROI with a coach is just smart business​.

A Successful 25+ Year Career in Voice Over

I have a looooong history of working in ​voiceover​ – ​a successful 25+ year career​. I’ve worked in many different genres of voice over including radio, tv, commercials, elearning, narration of various flavors and degrees of technicality and audiobooks to name a few. I’ve spent a lot of time and money over the years polishing my craft. I am proud to note that thousands of creatives and producers have trusted me to tell their stories. I feel like I can safely say I’ve seen if not all, most of it anyway.

So when I made the choice to start teaching it was from a mindset of giving back to the community and industry that has given me so much. I bring to my coaching the benefit of having “been there and done that” and love being able to help guide new voice over entrepreneurs.

I coach voiceover for:
● Narration
● Elearning
● Commercials
● General VO Entrepreneurship – including marketing & business best practices
● Improving your read rate – specifically for long form narration

I’ve been excited to have also coached and been a guest speaker here:
● Worked with ACTRA on Commercial Performance Delivery at AGM
● Worked with ACTRA & L’INIS (L’Institut National de l’Image et du Son) on annual
workshop on voiceover
● Coach/Guest speaker at Dawson College Theatre Department on voiceover
● Coach/Guest speaker at National Theatre School on voiceover
● Demo Director at Les Syllabes in Montreal
● Coach/Guest speaker for Black Theatre Workshop Montreal on voiceover
● Speaker/coach at VO Atlanta 2018, 2019
● Speaker/coach at VO North
● Coach at Elley Ray Hennesey’s Open Mic workshops on Narration and Commercials

The Art of Voice Acting Is Always Changing And Growing – Never Stop Studying It

As a fellow voice actor, I firmly believe the essence of our work is a craft. ​Voice acting is always changing and growing​ – and one can always improve and learn from the successes of others. In fact, learning from each other is one of the best ways to gain insight to be better. If this is your calling, ​never stop studying it​.

Here is a short list of some of the coaches
I’ve worked with in the last few years. Many are colleagues as well as teachers and have all brought meaningful new insights to our work together and have given me fresh perspectives to bring to my performance and business:
● Dave Walsh
● MaryLyn Wissner
● Cliff Zellman
● J Michael Collins
● David Tyler
● Pat Fraley
● Scott Brick
●Marc Graue

Every year, as part of my annual business plan, I carve out time and set aside money to reinvest in improving my skills as a voice over artist and to make my business more streamlined. If you’re not already doing so, I encourage you to do the same.

2 Comments
  1. Polly Hadley 5 days ago

    As a trainee, working towards my first demo, I find this really sound advice Kim.
    I feel lucky to be within a network of quality VOs and coaches.
    Would you advise spending time with different coaches to get an all round tutoring and a variety of opinions on performance?

    • Author
      Kim Handysides 3 days ago

      Hi Polly,

      Yes! Not only do we learn different “tricks of the trade” from various coaches, we also learn different ways to approach the material, to ease into performance, to get where we need to go quickly. I also recommend trying things that might be outside your “ordinary” view of yourself. A couple years ago I took a 12 week stand-up comedy course, whcih really took me out of my comfort zone but bolstered my confidence in my sense of comedic timing and ability to bring that to my commercials and characters.

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