What Should I Put on my Voiceover Demo Reel? - Carrie Olsen Voiceover
Voiceover Demo Reel

Demo Scripts for Voice Over

Eventually (when you are ready!) you will want to produce a voice over demo reel to showcase your voice over talent.

And you’ll want the right scripts in the right order with the right feel. Engineered with top quality audio production so when agents listen to and compare your demo with professional voice over talent they will consider you for their roster.

You'll be competing with and compared to seasoned voice talent with years of experience and coaching so you don't want to immediately get tossed in the amature pile and forgotten about.

You want a voice over demo that gets results.

With a voice over demo reel you can (carefully, with a marketing plan you've put together with a trusted coach) shop your demo to agents, production houses, and independent clients. You can also add your demo reel to your website and social media accounts and use it in your marketing emails. 

Here’s some great tips from my friend and voice over pro Alyson Steel on how to choose and use voice over scripts for a voice over demo reel…

Alyson Steel

Voiceover Coach

Creating a voice over demo reel (with me or with anyone else) should be a very personal and interactive process with the student. We pull scripts from iSpot, YouTube, Google, print ads, radio ads and modify them to make them your own. We’ll even write your own original copy that gives your demo a truly unique feel. 

Creating a demo that agents, producers, and clients will react to takes a lot of very specific knowledge. Don’t try this yourself at home! Your home made demo might sound good to you and you might feel proud of what you've put together but agents who listen to voice over talent all day every day will have a different opinion.

How to make a voice over demo: What to include and to avoid.

Creating a Voice Over Demo: Things to avoid

  • Never reuse a script that has already been used. (Unless a man is using a female script and vice versa. I make exceptions on a rare occasion).
  • Never use anyone's copy from a demo you have heard that has been published. That’s taboo in the VO industry. Don’t rip someone off. If a producer or agent hears a practice scrip
    t on a demo they will put you in the amateur pile and you’ll likely never hear back from them.
  • Don’t make your demo too early. You’ve got to be good enough to compete with all the other voice talent out there. You’ve also got to be able to match your own performance. Meaning, if your demo has been over-coached or overproduced and you can’t reproduce the results on your own you’ve put yourself in a spot where your demo has over reached your abilities.
  • Listen to (but never copy!) other successful VO demos.
  • Don’t mix genres.
  • Avoid working with a coach or voice over school that promises a demo after a fixed amount of lessons. Only produce a demo when you are *ready*. Not after a certain amount of classes or coaching sessions.
  • I don’t suggest making your own demo. When agents listen to a “home made” demo against professional demos you won’t stand a chance. Even if you’ve got experience with commercial production, imaging, promo, or radio production. A voice over demo is a very specific, targeted piece of audio that requires a very specific skill set to produce.

Voice Over Demo Scripts: What to put on your voice over demo reel

  • Original reads that showcase your range and abilities. Again, do not copy any other existing demo or use practice scripts on your demo. Agents listen to new demos all the time and when they hear an overused spot that's a sign of an amateur.
  • Reads that are focused on the genre of voice acting you are trying to get work in.
  • Reads that are current, fresh, original, and focused on getting the attention of the specific agency, production house, or clients you are targeting.
  • The order matters! A good coach or demo producer will help you choose what order to arrange the reads.
  • Length, number of reads, type of read, music and sound effects matter greatly.
  • Production quality must be high. Remember that your demo will be compared to hundreds of other professional voice actors. Your demo must have a reason to be chosen.
  • Every voiceover demo should be custom made to spotlight the voice talent. Working with a coach is the best way to make sure your full range is captured to produce a demo that gets results.

Voice Acting Demo Reel Examples

Here's some great examples of demo reels from working voice actors. Some of the voice talent listed below have coached with either myself or Alyson. Have a listen and see if you can pick out any of the elements of a demo mentioned above.

Related Voice Over Demo Topics:

How to create a voice over demo

When should you make a demo? What is it for? Get the highlights on voiceover demos in this five-minute video. 

Getting voice over work without a demo

How I landed a big voiceover agent without a professional demo—it is definitely doable. Find out how.

When to make your voice over demo

Here's the thing: If the first thing you do when you decide to get into the voiceover industry is to go out and record a demo, you're probably not going to book a lot of jobs with it and you're probably not going to get on any voiceover rosters.

How to market your voice over demo reel

Marketing your demo to talent agencies, production houses, and independent clients is a delicate matter that should be taken slowly and seriously. You’ll want to work closely with your coach to create an outreach strategy that gets you noticed, not ignored.

Giving generic advice on how to reach out to agencies could do more harm than good. I can’t tell you how many heartbreaking stories I’ve heard from new voice talent who got excited and blasted agents with their demo only to never hear back.

It's best to reach out to a trusted voiceover coach for advice on this topic. You'll need someone in your corner with years of experience and insider info in the voice over industry to guide you in the right direction.

Creating a voice over demo and reaching out to clients is a topic that is covered regularly in The Voice Over Success Intensive.

Questions like how and when to follow up with an agent if you haven’t heard back and how to get work without a demo are often discussed in the monthly live Q&A and in the course materials. 

Learn more about The Voice Over Success Intensive.

Voiceover Success Intensive

Learn voiceover in a supportive community! Learn the basics of recording, marketing, and more.

Carrie Olsen

I'm a full-time professional voice actor and voiceover business coach. I have done work for Taco Bell, REI, BNSF Railway, Bank of America and ESPN to name a few. I dreamed up this community of voice actors to connect, grow, learn and get mentorship from each other. We're the most dedicated group of voice actors on the net, and we're here to help each other build and sustain profitable voiceover businesses.

Carrie Olsen Voiceover