Business of VO – The Bosses Talk Demos

How’s my demo? Will you listen to my demo? Is my demo good? Got 50,000 demo questions? The Bosses have got your answers. Take the stress out of the demo process with a calculated, business-minded approach to these all-important audio nuggets. Whether you are making your first or your 50th demo, Anne and Gabby offer practical advice and the inside track to ensure all your demos are solid gold.


Quick Concepts from Today’s Episode:

  1. Demos are your calling-card

  2. They can and should be refreshed and changed as time goes on

  3. The creation of any demo should come with a plan and a specific purpose/motivation

  4. If your current demo doesn’t have a story behind it, you may have made the demo too soon

  5. You should ask many questions of your coaches and demo producers regarding the creation process

  6. Every genre of client has different demo needs – the market is very segmented

  7. Target the needs of a specific buyer when creating any demo

  8. Voiceover Veterans have 10 or more demos created over time

  9. Don’t make a demo that is too trendy, observe new genres and see if they last first

  10. Know the level of difficulty involved in the production of a demo

  11. A great demo is current and relevant

  12. If you ask someone who creates demos to critique your demo, they will have an opinion

  13. Demos are very subjective and you must find objectivity in demo feedback

  14. Script selection is paramount to a great demo – generic doesn’t cut it

  15. Don’t choose copy from an online copy database

  16. Too much variety can be a negative in a demo

  17. Conversational is what’s being hired and should be well represented in your demo

Referenced in this Episode

Direct links to things we brought up ++

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Announcer: Today’s voice over talent is more than just a pretty voice. Today’s voiceover talent has to be a boss, a VO BOSS. Set yourself up with business owner strategies and success with you host Anne Ganguzza along with some of the strongest voices in our industry. Rock your business like a boss, a VO BOSS.

Anne: Gabby, is it not back-to-school time?

Gabby: It is.

Anne: It is the season, and it’s time to get your VO MBA.

Gabby: It is the degree that you always wanted, and we have it at We also have something called a BOSS Booster Basic, which is there to help you and really to just be an advisor and a consulting service for your business.

Anne: You get both Gabby and I — two BOSS brains are better than one — for consulting.

Gabby: It’s true. When we put our heads together, magical things happen, and if you guys have listened to our podcast before, you know that that’s a truthful statement. You guys, go check it out. Take a look at your VO MBA options. Check out that undergrad area on VO BOSS.

Anne: And now, today’s episode. Welcome, everybody, to the VO BOSS podcast. I’m your host, Anne Ganguzza, along with my amazing VO BOSS bestie-bostie, Gabby Nistico. Hey, Gabby.

Gabby: Hi.

Anne: Gabby, today we’re going to talk about something that I think everybody talks about all the time, or it seems to be at least in this industry, and that is the all-important demo. What makes your demo stand out? Why is your demo important? All those good questions that everybody seems to ask me on a daily basis. I’m sure they do you too as well.

Gabby: Yeah. It’s a lengthy topic.

Anne: It is.

Gabby: I mean, there’s nothing like quick or short about demos. I mean, holy crud, they’re, they’re such an all-important piece to what we do.

Anne: First and foremost, demos are maybe someone’s first introduction to your business and to your voice obviously.

Gabby: Yeah.

Anne: You know, everybody talks about them being your calling card, and I agree with that. They are a showcase of, of who you are and what you can do, what your business does. Even more so than just that description, if somebody encounters your demo and they listen to it, and you get work from that, that’s really cool. So I think that’s why it’s so important, number one, that we actually do take some time to look into what makes a demo great.

Gabby: I’ve always likened it to kind of like a model having a really great comp card or portfolio, because without that, you don’t get considered for print jobs. So sort of the same thing here. There’s a lot of stress when it comes to demos, right?

Anne: [laughs]

Gabby: Like everybody kind of freaks out. I think really the first thing I want to um impress upon everyone is, is the knowledge that your demos are disposable.

Anne: Yeah, you know, that’s actually – I, I like that, Gabby, because it takes a little bit of the pressure off. Everybody should understand that demos are, you know, refreshable.

Gabby: Yeah.

Anne: As you progress, and as you learn more, and as you become more accomplished at your vocal abilities, yeah, absolutely you can refresh those demos to reflect who you are and reflect your voice at the, at the time. And I think it’s important to note too though everybody starts somewhere. There’s always a journey [laughs] involved in a demo. Whenever I’m talking to people and people ask me, “what you think about my demo?” I always say, you know what, there’s lots of back story going into the demo. It’s not necessarily is it good, is it bad? How much coaching have you had, right, how much work have you done, what’s your experience level, and you know, how much did you work with your, your coach or the demo producer before you got there? So many questions. So many things that go into a demo as it sits there on your website, or as you deliver it to somebody via email. There’s so much of a story behind it, and I think it’s important that in order to evaluate it properly, you kind of need to know all aspects of the story, and that’s yourself included. Like, where are you in this journey?

Gabby: I think sometimes though you, you maybe assume that there is a story. I have met a lot of people over the years where there, there’s no story.

Anne: It’s just the demo.

Gabby: It’s just a demo.

Anne: [laughs]

Gabby: Whether they did it themselves, whether it was a coach who did it, or you know, someone that they just paid money, it’s just there, and ironically, that lack of a story I think is pretty indicative of how new someone is in this industry, how green they are, and when you start to ask questions about that journey, what were the motivating factors for you and your coach at the time of creation?

Anne: Right.

Gabby: When someone doesn’t have answers to those things, you realize, oh.

Anne: Maybe they weren’t ready.

Gabby: Possibly. That to me is usually an indicator that they weren’t ready to make the demo, or they got taken by somebody who just wanted their money and just said, “hey, yeah, we’ll just make a demo.”

Anne: Right.

Gabby: And there was really no thought process put into it.

Anne: I think that when you go into a demo, you need to be educated. You need to be asking those questions, and you need to be assessing what point are you at in your coaching? What point are you at in your career, in getting ready to, to be able to find work and sell your business or sell your services. I think that you need to be thinking about all of those things, in addition to the coach and the producer that is creating your demo, I mean…

Gabby: Who the hell are your clients?

Anne: Yeah, exactly.

Gabby: I mean, truthfully, that at the end, that’s the question at the end of the day. I think we’ve expressed this a few times. You know, it’s not about you.

Anne: Right.

Gabby: It’s not really about your voice. It’s about the buyer.

Anne: And what is the buyer looking for? Absolutely.

Gabby: Right.

Anne: What is the buyer — what problem is the buyer trying to solve?

Gabby: That’s why we have so many demos nowadays. Voice actors —

Anne: Yeah.