Make the most of your voice presenter

Written by Jonathan Pagden

July 13, 2023

How do you make sure the person you’ve booked to do the talking at your event says the things you want them to?

(This list is in ascending order – feel free to imagine chart rundown-type music if you want to)

4. Write the words for them.
Seems like a no-brainer, but if your event needs a human feel – and what event doesn’t? – then locking down the words may not be the best way. Your voice presenter, after all, reads scripts for a living and they know what’s going to work.*
Consider putting the essential points into a framework, discussing it with the voice presenter, and then letting them make it their own.
This worked for me last year on-stage in Trafalgar Square with the Lionesses, I was given a single piece of paper with seven numbered paragraphs and left to turn them into announcements.

3. Treat them like a member of the team – and watch them respond!
Your voice presenter won’t mind in the slightest being asked about words, movements and general production stuff*.
If you’re specific with your questions you’ll get some valuable input. You can even send the script in advance of the day or invite to meetings, although a lot of involvement will obviously lead to an extra fee – and it’ll be worth the extra spend.
Myself, I’m only too pleased to have my four decades of experience put to good use.

2. Introduce your voice presenter to the audience.
*Not* because your voice artist is on an ego-trip (and if they are, they’re in the wrong job), but it makes the audience aware of the personality behind that other voice.
Simple to do – at the start of an awards, for example, the on-stage presenter will say something like “This is how we’re going to do it…” then usually ask for no thank-you speeches.
So just say something like “- and while you’re smiling broadly for the photo, Jonathan the Voice will tell us all just why the judges chose this winner…”.
That’s all it needs to add humanity and glitz – at the same time.

And at Number One…
1. Trust them to do it ‘properly’.
If the voice presenter is embedded in the show, knows exactly what should happen and enjoying it, that will benefit the event.
If your on-stage presenter knows there’s someone there who’s totally in control and able to jump in and deal with an issue, to bounce comments off, to be the butt of the jokes or even to do impressions of (if it’s Rory Bremner on stage 😂 ), they’ll relax and do their job.

Your voice presenter can be part of the show, not standing outside it.

*I’m assuming all the way through here that you’re employing a professional voice presenter with loads of experience in all aspects of live events.

By which, of course, I mean me.