Should I Include a Voiceover (VO) in My Video or Not?

When creating an animated video, a pressing concern that deserves your attention is whether it should have a voiceover (VO).

On the one hand, your inner voice tells you there’s no need for it – and it’s understandable why. Since adding a VO in a video can cost a few hundred dollars, you think it’s best to keep your video focused on visuals.

And then there’s the other inner voice, pushing you to record a VO. After all, a person’s voice has the power to influence consumers’ buying decisions.

If you ask where AnimationProLabs stands, we’ll have to side with the latter inner voice. And there are many reasons behind this alliance, which we’ve discussed in this blog, among other things.

What Is a Voiceover (VO)?

Let’s jog your memory a little.

During childhood, you most likely saw plenty of cartoons that started with, “Once upon a time, in a land ruled by monsters and witches lived a headstrong little girl, Anastasia.”

Or something along the lines.

You couldn’t see the person saying this line – the video only showed what was being narrated.

That’s a VO.

It’s a “production technique in which a voice is recorded to provide the context of what viewers are watching.” Depending on the video’s specific goal, it can be a person narrating a story or explaining an app’s features.

The people who lend their voices are VO artists, who generally read their lines from a script.

Reasons for Including a VO in Your Animated Video

1.   It Makes Your Video Credible and Authentic

Consumers have been listening to VOs since the advent of commercials. Over time, we’ve become familiar with hearing them on the radio, in documentary films, in trailers, and more. Consequently, we’ve subconsciously started to trust videos with VOs.

You can leverage this psychological phenomenon to your advantage. This way, if your video has a VO, viewers will find it credible.

Furthermore, it helps your video look authentic.

For example, if your target audience is Northern Irelanders living in the US and the VO artist is from Derry (a Northern Ireland city), the video is guaranteed to be a hit.

2.   It Helps Viewers Feel Emotions

A crucial element of an animated video is making viewers feel what you want them to. It could be anything: anger, joy, disgust, or sadness. That’s all the more reason to include a VO in your animated video.

But bear in mind that your audience will only feel emotions if you hire a VO artist suited for the specific job.

If your video is about to unveil the latest collection of toys, the VO should be casual and laid back. But if it’s for something serious, like funeral services, the artist’s voice should be somber.

3.   It Eases the Learning Process

Another significant advantage of VOs is that they make learning easy compared to, say, text-heavy videos. We say this because not everyone’s a fast reader.

If chunks of words pass before viewers have had a chance to read, it leaves them utterly confused. But that’s not the case with VOs, especially if you’ve hired an artist that has an excellent command of their:

  • Pacing
  • Articulateness
  • Enunciation

Business owner serving educational-based industries would immensely benefit from VOs in their animated videos. Students can pause and rewind repeatedly until they thoroughly understand the topic.


The Crucial Elements of a Good VO

Generally, when people think of a good VO, their mind immediately goes to narrators/actors like David Attenborough, Morgan Freeman, or Rosamund Pike. That’s because humans associate VOs with having a commanding voice.

While having a dominant voice can undoubtedly help, that’s not all there is to VOs; several elements distinguish an excellent VO from a poor VO. Here’s what they are:

Clarity and Consistency

Before hiring a VO artist, check for the person’s voice clarity. They should be able to narrate words without sounding like they’re mumbling. Otherwise, your audience would have a hard time making out the video’s content.

And this applies on the other end, too.

For instance, if the VO artist overdoes things, it’ll appear fake.


Do you have one of those friends who seem so excited to tell a story that they rush through it, making it impossible to understand a word? Yeah, that’s how viewers will feel if the VO artist you hire doesn’t pause and breathe.

On the other hand, the pacing shouldn’t be so slow that it puts everyone to sleep.


You’re persuading consumers to purchase your product or service through your animated video. If the VO artist sounds dull, no one will take them – and your company – seriously.

For this reason, the VO artist should speak confidently. And it doesn’t necessarily mean shouting at the top of their lungs. Just that they should know when to be assertive and when to be convincing.


If your animated video’s target audience is a specific group, pay attention to the VO artist’s pronunciation, more importantly, the regional accent.

Take ‘water,’ for example.

People in Philadelphia pronounce it ‘wooter’ or ‘wooder’ instead of ‘water.’ Again, whether it’s the correct pronunciation or not doesn’t matter here – what matters is that the VO artist should stay as close to the regional accent as possible.

Preparing to Do a VO Yourself

If you’ve got the equipment to record a VO, we won’t stop you from trying your hand at it. However, be warned that the results may not be what you expect.

Either way, here are a few tips that can help you get started:

  • Find a quiet room
  • Choose a high-quality microphone
  • Select audio software ideal for beginners
  • Write a script
  • Do a test drive
  • Record your VO
  • Make changes to it if necessary
  • Use it for your audio


Until Next Time

Adding a VO will be like icing on the cake regardless of the animated video type you’re creating. There’s a high possibility that it’ll yield a successful outcome, provided the VO artist you hire checks all the right boxes.

And if you’re looking for a guaranteed way to taste success, talk to AnimationProLabs. We’re experts in writing scripts, making animated videos, and adding VOs, all contributing to marvelous results.