Voice-overs: Conversation with Dick Rodstein

Created: Saturday, March 3, 2007, posted by Geetesh Bajaj at 5:22 am

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Dick Rodstein is is an international award-winning voice-over narrator who is based in New York City but serves business clients all over the world. His website, includes audio samples of his work and the Notorious List of 114 Character Voices.

Geetesh: Tell us more about yourself and your voice-overs.

Dick: Corporate communications have always been at the core of my voice-over work. I love narrating TV documentaries and some other assignments have been a lot of fun, like playing Orson Welles in the 60th Anniversary “War of the Worlds” broadcast. But business always needs to speak to consumers and to other businesses, and that’s what I’ve been doing for my whole professional life.

The delivery process has changed over the years, as technology has given us new ways of communicating with each other, but the content has not changed nearly as much. I’ve narrated literally over 10,000 pieces of business communication, one way or another, so I’m familiar with the kinds of messages the workplace likes to get out.

What is especially new these days is the global reach that the Internet makes possible. Recently, I’ve been able to help businesses in Macau, Jakarta, Nairobi, Hyderabad, Tel Aviv, London, Dublin and Stockholm by narrating their presentations for U.S. and Canadian audiences. And all from emailed scripts recorded in my home studio.

Geetesh: Tell us more about situations in which using voice-overs in PowerPoint can be beneficial, and add value to a presentation.

Dick: PowerPoint has democratized the communications process. Instead of going to a media guru with mysterious skills and uncomfortable budgets, now anyone can put together an effective sales presentation from their office cubicle or their kitchen table at home. And indeed, there are times when it is enough to show a succession of graphics while offering your own commentary live to your audience.

However, there are other times when you might not be the most persuasive voice to drive your own message. Trade show presentations, websites, instructional or motivational communications can all benefit from the use of a professional narrator. We’ve all suffered from watching beautiful visual presentations rendered ineffective by stumbling or self-conscious voice tracks. It’s the function of a narration to increase understanding, not to impede it.

Sometimes your message is too important not to maximize the effectiveness of every element in your presentation. One way to do that is to hire a professional narrator who knows how to sell without seeming to sell, balancing the emotional sizzle and the informational steak of your presentation with deftness and security.

PowerPoint gives you the ability to add sound to your slideshow. There are simple instructions in the help menu and more elaborate tips and tricks on websites. The more important your show, the more you should consider hiring a pro to narrate your script. We’re trained and experienced in getting your points across. If a lot is at stake, your investment in a professional narrator will pay you back many times over.

Categories: interviews, powerpoint, sounds

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