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Holy Amazing Voiceover Conference, Batman!

I’ve just come back from VO Atlanta, the largest voiceover conference in the US (and yes, there are quite a few). It’s held annually and covers all major aspects of the voiceover industry from narration, promo, and commercial to animation, corporate, and eLearning. You can learn about any aspect of the business you can imagine: trends in the industry, what microphone to use, how to learn accents, designing your website, maintaining vocal health, to name just a few.

I was particularly interested in the audiobook track of sessions that they offer, especially because this year it was being curated by Scott Brick, a legend in the industry who has narrated 1000+ audiobooks (including, among others, the Dune series and Orphan X series for you sci-fi and thriller fans). 

To Go or Not to Go?

I first attempted going to this conference in spring of 2020, but I think you can guess how that went. They postponed it a year and did the whole conference virtually in 2021. Still feeling gun shy about traveling at that point, I was quite happy to attend from my house and in my PJs. Having never done anything like this before, I didn’t quite know what to expect. I was blown away by the breadth and depth of knowledge shared in the sessions and panels.  

conference auditorium

This year, after some agonizing on my part, I decided to go in person. It was such experience it was being there with everyone – the caliber of sessions was excellent once again, the energy was inspiring, and the people were so friendly. I’d heard that the voiceover community is like a family, and I really got to see that for myself. The level to which the individuals in this industry support and uplift each other is heartwarming. It’s also needed, frankly. When a job is mostly done sitting alone in a home recording booth and oftentimes facing frequent rejection from auditioning, you need a good support system to keep you going.

Top 10 Voiceover Conference Takeaways & Fun Facts

So now after drinking from the learning firehose for the last few days, I’m feeling exhausted but energized, and now trying digest it all. In no particular order, here are my top 10 takeaways/fun facts that I will share with you, dear reader, from my conference adventure.

voiceover conference brochure
  1. Gone are the days of the “announcer” or “narrator” voice. People want to hear sincerity. They want real and genuine. They want a conversation, not a lecture or a sales pitch.
  2. Following on #1, the best thing about voiceover is that everyone’s voice is unique. No one can offer exactly what you can. 
  3. It takes 4 hours for the water you just drank to actually hydrate your body.  
  4. AI is here, and is already disrupting the industry. I’d call it the elephant in the room except everyone was talking about it. The silver lining that everyone sees is that AI can’t understand or convey true emotion, and as humans, when we hear stories, we want to feel.  
  5. Audiobooks is a multi-billion dollar industry that continues to grow.
  6. The rate of information transferred is the same regardless of the language. This means that languages that may sound “faster” (Spanish, Italian), are getting the message across in the same amount of time. Cool, huh?
  7. The average words read per hour of an audiobook is 9,300 (actually I knew this one already). 
  8. Getting your acoustics right is the best thing you can do for your recording studio. 
  9. There are TONS of resources available for those wishing to learn about voiceover. You just have to start looking.
  10. Make time to do what you love. The creativity inside you should and must be shared. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.