How to get experience in radio voice work

Local radio is always the best way to get experience in voice work. This can include voiceovers for ads, trails, jingles, news and weather bulletins, packages or radio drama work.

The best way to start would be at a local BBC radio station; it’s fine to try your hand at a commercial station, but chances are these will be tougher to get into due to their commercial nature, whereas the BBC have many more volunteer and experience-based opportunities. Write to the editor of the radio station, highlighting your skills, interests and abilities; send him or her demo tape, if you’re thinking about forging a career as a presenter, or just try and find opportunities being a Broadcast Assistant on an ad-hoc basis. This will help to get your foot in the door.

After this, the best way to get noticed within voice work is to actually do it yourself. Once you’re in a radio station, there will always be free studios available for you to try your hand on the desk. Record a couple of demos professionally, as-live, and familiarise yourself with the tech – it’s much harder to just have the voice and not the technical ability to capture it!

Once you’ve built a portfolio of demos/work, it’s down to you to get yourself out there, so try to plug these to any producers or editors you come into contact with! Finding a dedicated voiceover agent can help too, because it’s the contacts you need to get your voice out there that is the key once the ground work of creating the demos is done. Another good tip is to shadow the news and traffic bulletin readers, which every station has. They’re a fantastic source of experience and they’ll be able to guide and give you a good grounding to recording your own work!

Good luck!