One of the problems that people have who want to be a voice talent is the idea of, how can someone create a demo reel (actually an mp3) if they don’t have any experience, and how can one get experience without a demo reel? That is a real issue for many people.
What a lot of people don’t realize is that voice over talent can create their own demo reels without them coming from real jobs. All someone needs to do is get great copy (the words to an ad) and record it. Some people have the equipment to record their reel from a home computer, and others go into a studio and have it professionally done. The key part to the demo is that it sound like a real ad. It can really help if there is music placed in the background as well.
If you are just getting started, I would suggest that it is well worth the investment to go to a studio that records a lot of radio spots. You want to work with someone who really knows what they are doing not only electronically, but just as important someone who can make your read sound great.
Finding the words to record will take a little research. You don’t want to record a radio spot that everyone knows. People will know it was not you, and you will also be compared with the professional who recorded the spot. You do need to make sure that what you find works and sounds like a radio spot. Sometimes trying to read an ad from the newspaper or even a TV commercial does not always translate well on a demo reel.
It is generally best to take the words from a radio spot. If you hear one that you like, simply write the words down and use that for your recording.
There are different demo reels that some voice talent create. Some people have political reels that are only filled with political spots, others have narration reels or even reels for animated projects.
Chose the copy that best fits your voice. Don’t try and mix different sounds and styles that are not right for you. It is much better to have one style that you are really good at, then to try and do many styles that are not strong.
Most importantly, take your time, make the words come alive and create an image that people can see while listening to your voice.