Voice Of God? or Voice Presenter? What’s the difference?

Written by Jonathan Pagden

September 12, 2023

When I’m asked what I do for a living, I usually say I’m an announcer for live events and most people sort of know what that means – even if they’re probably thinking of something slightly different.
If I say ‘Voice Of God’ it usually gets a smile with a slight tinge of disbelief that there could be a job called that.
It does make sense when explained, a big booming voice (with the help of the PA system!) but you never see who’s doing the talking.

But (theological aspects aside), the phrase ‘Voice Of God’ is slowly going out of use – replaced by ‘VOG’, ‘Voice From The Sky’ or simply ‘Voice’.

This is partly because it could be a bit sensitive to use the G-word in this context (though I’ve never heard of anybody actually being offended by it), but also I’d say there’s a link in the industry’s minds between ‘Voice Of God’ and the phrase “Ladies And Gentlemen” – which itself is starting to have what you might call appropriateness issues.

It’s time for an update to both the wording and the whole use of the unseen voice: in a lot of my work these days I’m doing more talking than the people on stage, taking a fundamental part in the show and sometimes even flying completely solo with no on-stage presenter at all. There’s a lot more to it than just “Ladies And Gentlemen” – or whatever’s replacing that.

This needs not only the ability to read a complicated script and make it sound like a chat with a friend (what one client called ‘authoritative but friendly’), but also to deal with the departures, ad-libs and general unexpectedness that comes with a live event. That, of course, is why we love to Do It Live.

‘Voice Of God’ with its traditional meaning doesn’t really cut it for this, a better description may be ‘Voice Presenter’.

Or, the word Voiceologist is good if you want to trigger conversation (and hopefully a bit of self-promotion).

That’s why I devised Voiceologist for my job title.

You should also be careful when looking for someone to do it, anyone who’s ever spoken into a microphone will say they also do live event voice presentation but you’d surely be better with a specialist.

If you’re in event production and you still think of “Ladies And Gentlemen” in connection with Voice Of God, then you may be stopping short of a whole range of possibilities.

Do contact me, I’m happy to talk possibilities any time!