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The Mindful Injury Recovery Talks Podcast Case Study

Healing Voices: A Podcast Case Study with a Voice Over Artist

On October 31, 2012, Dr. Maya Novak experienced a pivotal moment during a rock climbing expedition - she broke and dislocated her right talus bone.


The subsequent days in the hospital were marked by disheartening prognoses from medical professionals. Predictions ranged from a compromised ankle with limited flexibility to the daunting prospect of a lifetime marked by pain, limping, and potential surgeries.


Undeterred by these grim forecasts, Dr. Novak embarked on a personal odyssey of recovery.


Her determination fueled a commitment to explore alternative avenues for recovery. Driven by an innate belief that there had to be a way to fully reclaim her pre-accident life, Dr. Novak undertook extensive research and study, unveiling a revolutionary injury recovery method that defied conventional wisdom.


Fast forward a decade... PODCAST TIME!

Rope Climbing and the metaphorical challenges faced in Voice Over

The problem - professional impact with time constraints

Dr. Maya decided to launch a podcast - The Mindful Injury Recovery Talks Podcast. She had guests booked to interview, she had some intro and outro music sorted and a very well structured plan for release.


In two weeks time her words would beam around the world inspiring and empowering people with physical injuries.


But although there was intro music sorted, there was no actual spoken intro to put on top of the music.


She wrote 40 interesting facts about her life and then the hunt for a suitable VO was on... someone who works well with deadlines, someone whose voice would suit a broad audience, someone who isn't boring...


Hmmm.



The solution - adding depth and resonance to podcast content

As with all of these case studies, I am the solution. Me, a voiceover artist.


Let me explain why.


  • No intro, needed one FAST.

    The usual turnaround time for most voiceover jobs is 24 hours. Yes. We're good at working to deadlines. Two weeks? HOW ABOUT TOMORROW?!


  • Sound quality increases engagement.

    The majority of podcasts are recorded using "non-pro" equipment. I'm not trying to do anybody down here, non-pro equipment can still be VERY good. But when most podcasts have the same-ish level of quality, standing out from the crowd isn't a given. When you have an intro produced by someone with broadcast quality gear, it adds the cherry on top. Think about it... "Oooh. This sounds good! I'll keep listening." Engagement goes up.


  • NOT SERIOUS/BORING.

    The brief specifically said that. NOT SERIOUS/BORING. If you know me, you understand. If not... I like to think those two words aren't used to describe me. Taking an honest, light-hearted approach makes you come across as genuine. People like people. Be one. (I did really well to not use the word "authentic" then).




Cherry on the Cake and the importance of detail in voiceover projects

Implementation - Crafting a Memorable Experience

One of the first things the client requested was to have a chat. The goal? To see if I was the right fit for the job... regardless of my voice.


This doesn't happen very often but it can definitely serve to help both parties. The client finds out what I'm like to work with (you could have the best voice in the world but be an AWFUL human) and I get a real feel of what the client wants and needs. Hearing their backstory can give a brilliant indication fo the vibe they want to give off too.


We discussed emotion, style, pace and other things to make sure I was clear on what to do when getting in the booth. It was very important for Dr. Maya that these didn't sound "corporate", so we decided on a natural style, like talking to a friend.


Voiceover isn't a one size fits all profession. The voice here wouldn't suit a podcast intro for a horror drama, for example. Which is why discussion and/or script interpretation is so important before recording.


I recorded the main intro, then the 40 facts, all to be exported individually. That meant the client could then use them as and when she saw fit.



Here's Dr. Maya doing her thing.


The video doesn't include my part, you can check that out below. But it serves to give you an idea of her personality and why she wanted to evoke the emotions we discussed.

Results - Elevating Professionalism

Take a look at the quote.


The client got exactly what they needed way ahead of their 2 week deadline. With a 24 hour turnaround it allowed Dr. Maya as much time as possible to put the finishing touches to her podcasting prep.


Every episode starts with an upbeat, AUTHENTIC voiceover from yours truly and a different fact each time. Actually, that's a nice little tip - if you can change up something small for every episode, that's a great way to keep people enaged and an opportunity to tell your audience something else, something unique.


The podcast is bookended (spellcheck didn't pull me up on that word soooo) with excellent audio quality and personality, helping it climb a few steps above other pods in the field.


If you're skipping through lots of podcast intros trying to work out what one to listen to, are you going to stop on one with bad audio, or good audio? (Speaking of which, here's some other bits that can be done to improve audio quality of your pod).


Exactly.


The piece

00:00 / 00:41

The quote.

It was a very pleasant surprise that he submitted the recordings way before the deadline.

Challenges faced.

What the client faced was a dwindling time-frame and the ability to produce high-quality audio that didn't sound like it was being read from a script.


If I had to squeeze a challenge into this one, for me, perhaps it's recording 40 facts that all seamlessly transition from the one intro piece.


But that's what voice actors do. I'm trained to know how to do that, so I just do it.


Lessons learned.

Something I learned from this one is that the industry standard 24-hour turnaround of VO work seems very self-imposed!


It doesn't bother me in the slightest getting stuff out the door quickly, but clients are often surprised when I quote that as a time frame.

Martin Whiskin voiceover artist talking into a Rode NT1-a microphone
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