The Voice Over Entrance Exam – A Taji Book Review

Morning Folks,

Just in case you missed it… Peter O’Connell of audio’connell e-published a free Voice Over related ebook that you can download here:

The book is called “The Voice Over Entrance Exam” and was brought to my attention via a tweet from Michelle Summers of and I believe Paul Strikwerda mentioned it in his Double Dutch Blog.

The book is 53 pages long (its in PDF format) so it is more of a booklet than a full fledged book. It is structured more like a Power Point Presentation than the standard format of an ebook with about 8 pages containing a computer graphic dedicated to separate the chapters as well as a title and dedication page… so more like 43 pages of actual material.

The book addresses people who are thinking of becoming Voice Over Actors. It addresses some of the steps to be taken to first assess if you have talent… then to pursue the improvement and honing of that talent and finally the proper approach to running a Voice Over career.

I generally like to keep an ear to the ground when it comes to the Voice Over Industry because as a person who is part of that community (first) and writes about it (second) I have to keep informed as well as inform others of the revolving gears of our industry.

That’s why I took the time to read through Peter’s book and figured that since our industry does not always consist of people at the same level of development … maybe one part of the book can come in handy to any one of us. The idea being that maybe not all of us are Business Savy … and maybe not all of us understand the community’s mind set or industry standards or whatever else we might need to help promote our Voice Over Business.

The thing that struck me the most about Peter’s book is how adamant he was about telling people who think that they might have a chance at being VO actors that there is a big possibility that they won’t succeed in this business. After all the First chapter is appropriately called “Failure IS an option.”

But this is not suprising since Peter himself on this book’s promo site says:

“The Voiceover Entrance Exam will help you, the prospective voice over talent, take a hard look at what you really need to think about if you want to work full time or even part time as a professional voice talent.”

Trust me Peter wasn’t kidding he tries to be as pragmatic and straightforward about the whole ordeal from the get go.  He suggests a number of trial by fire exercises to ween out the herd’s weakest members. For the semi established the book doesn’t get good until you reach maybe 3/4 of it… It speaks of how you should approach the business aspect of the VO industry and he does give some applicable advice that might help you improve and streamline your Voice Over career.

Overall this is an interesting read and I feel is more designed to cull the herd and deter wannabes and quick buck mongers from an industry that he obviously loves very much.

I will quote one part of the Book that will give you an idea of how Peter feels about the VO Industry

Don’t Tread On My Industry

Seeing voiceover as a quick way to make a buck, people assume modern audio technology will make them appear talented enough to succeed in voice over. Anyone can read out loud, right? No…technology is merely a tool. A truly professional voice talent offers a performance and business skill set that overwhelms mere technology in usefulness and profitability. So in addition to the slap in the face these new audio technophiles get when sacks of voice over cash don’t show up at their door, their unprofessional presentation (from both a performance and business stand point) also diminishes the value of my profession for the past 27 years. That’s not OK with me.”

Page 45 – Voice Over Entrance Exam – Peter O’Connell

Power to ya! That’s all for now folks… If you liked this post please remember to leave a comment. If you like this blog and would like to receive email updates of when I post new material click here to add your email to my emailing list.

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Update (much later in the day): I found one other voice over blogger has reviewed this ebook (Stu Gray – The Creative Mouthpiece)

The Voice Over Entrance Exam is Copyright © 2009 O’Connell Communications, LLC


  1. Yep, you’re right. I mentioned this eBooklet in an May 7th wire on this very site.

    A few days ago, I read the latest edition of Julie Williams’ VoiceOver Insider magazine ( If you’re curious about how much the average voice-over talent makes, it will give you some answers.

    Over a quarter of those surveyed make less than $10,000 per year. On the top end of the scale, 8% makes between $100,000 and $200,000 per year and a lucky 2,6% makes more than $200,000 off their vocal chords. A third of all the respondents have been in this business for 10-25 years. Imagine being in the biz for a quarter of a century, and still scrambling to get a gig!

    Just by looking at those numbers, Peter O’Connell is right about telling people to think twice before they give up their day job, just because someone told them they have a nice voice. In these dire economic times the temptation is definitely there. After all, it sounds so easy: just get yourselves an OK mic and a preamp, download Audacity and step into your closet for your first recording. Shazam… you are now a voice-over star!

    Well, we all know it doesn’t work that way, but that’s another story!

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