Technically, anyone who can write can create voiceover scripts, and anyone who can talk can do a voice-over. Its all about putting down words and reading them out loud, right?


The relationship between voice actors and their voiceover scripts goes beyond words; it’s about creating visual images for the listeners by emphasizing keywords, using appropriate pauses, and applying the correct tone. A good voiceover script, therefore, provides a comprehensive artistic direction. And when reading these scripts, voice actors should aim to give the words a believable and convincing personality. 

There’s a simpler way to say all this; all the best voice-over scripts have an intent.

And the intention of all great scripts is to tell a story.

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This post was updated in April 2021

Different Types of VoiceOver Scripts

Scripts can be written for either commercial use or non-commercial use, and it helps to understand the difference.

  • Commercial Scripts

These appear online, on TV, or on the radio, and if we’re being honest, no one really wants to hear them. Commercial scripts serve paid media and have strict time constraints, often lasting anywhere between 10 and 30 seconds. Some are longer (infomercials can go as long as 120 seconds), but mostly they are short and sweet, applying condensed and convincing language to sell to a half-listening audience.

  • Non-Commercial Scripts

Used for e-learning, audiovisual presentations, or in medical voiceovers, non-commercial scripts are created for a captive audience. People who listen to non-commercial scripts are compelled either by research, their personal interests, or job requirements. As opposed to selling something to their audience, they deliver instruction or information that often lasts for more than 1 minute (and can go beyond 30 minutes).

We also have a full guide on how to write an audio ad script.

Before Writing a VoiceOver Script

Its easier to write when you know what you want to say, so before drafting your voiceover script, ask yourself these three questions;

  • What are you trying to say?

Your message should be specific. Every word counts in voiceover scripts, and a clear purpose ensures a more efficient delivery.

Looking for a great voice over script? Let us know and we’ll handle it for you! 

  • Who are you saying it to?

You wouldn’t talk to your close friend the way you address your boss. Just like your message, try to define your audience as best as you can.

Are they women? Children? Homeless people? Seniors?

Understanding your audience will help you set the tone of the voiceover script accordingly.

  • Who is your persona?

How many times have you listened to a voice-over and thought;

Morgan Freeman’s voice would have been perfect for this.’

It’s not enough to have a message and an audience, you also need to know who will deliver this message. You cant personify a character until you know who this character is.

A boss talking to their employees? A mother talking to her child?

Knowing your script’s voice means knowing how to read it, which words to emphasize, where to pause, and which tone to apply.


How to Write a VoiceOver Script

A good voiceover script can be read out loud, but it shouldn’t sound like a real-life conversation (although it should adopt a conversational tone). Listeners want to believe that voice artists are making up the words as they go as opposed to reading from a script.

The language used in voiceover scripts, therefore, should be convincing enough to sell something to the audience while maintaining a natural feel to it.

Send a Clear Message

A lot of commercial voiceover scripts are timed, so figure out what you want to say first. The art of convincing your audience to buy what you are selling is subtle. Always strive to deliver the message with every word you use. Here’s an example of a commercial voiceover script designed to sell shampoo:

“Wondering how to grow silky smooth hair?

Introducing Maka’s Natural Shampoo.

A gentle, aromatic blend infused with moisturizers and vitamins for more volume, more shine, and more bounce.

Live your best life with Maka.”

Now let’s break it down into four parts:

  • The Bait/ The Problem

Right off the top, tell people what the script is about.

The first statement should capture the right audience (which in this case is mostly women). The bait phrase should give your audience something they want (silky smooth hair).

  • The Story

The next line gives information on the product brand (Maka) and casually mentions the fact that the shampoo is natural. The concept of the script is to sell a safe shampoo that serves clients without any side effects.

Natural means safe (or at least safer) to use.

The third line in the script has multiple thoughts and carries the bulk of the story.

This statement provides listeners with seven pieces of information. Yes, seven. First, the shampoo is gentle, aromatic, and is enriched with both vitamins and moisturizers.

It also adds volume, shine, and bounce to hair.

Don’t think of a voiceover script as a continuous monologue. Think of it as a series of small and separate ideas. This will allow you to use words that add the most value to the story.

  • The Solution

Finally, hit the audience with the ‘live your best life‘ line. Make them believe they need the product, but don’t stop there.

Write as You Speak

Voice over scriptwriting changes depending on the audience and the message, but the language is never that serious. Voiceover scripts are much more informal compared to the written word. This is why you should always write as if you were speaking directly to someone.

You’ll notice that as a result of applying a conversational tone, the sentences you use will be shorter, and the words more familiar. No one has the patience for complicated language anymore, so get straight to the point.

Here’s an example:


 As a reward for all our loyal customers, we’ll be offering a 50% discount on all our services up to 4/5/21.

Reading it silently in your head is easy enough, but try reading it out loud and you begin to notice everything wrong with the script.

Right off the top, the line ‘[DISCOUNT ANNOUNCEMENT]’ is the document title and should have been left out of the script. If it’s on the page, the voice talent will read it. Always delete the information you don’t want read from the voiceover script, otherwise, it might end up on the audio.

About the date, is it the 5th of April or the 4th of May? Should it be read as April 5th or 5th of April?

Is the year 1921 or 2021?

Without direction on how to read dates, numbers, abbreviations (asap, e.g, i.e), and contractions (you’re, could’ve), it all gets pretty confusing.

Write out words as you want them read. Write out numbers and symbols as well. For instance, if your script includes a list, write it out as number one instead of #1.

Leave no room for doubt in your voiceover script.

How to Punctuate your Script

If you have to use long sentences, punctuate them. This increases readability and gives your audience time to absorb all the information on the page. You don’t want your script to appear like a long string of words. Separate your thoughts and give them time to breathe with appropriately placed separators (commas or transition words like but, therefore, however…).

Sometimes, the meaning of your words may entirely depend on your punctuation:

Most of the time travelers book return tickets.

Most of the time, travelers book return tickets.

The meaning of the statement changes with the placement of the comma. Without the comma, the sentence implies the magical ability to travel through time. With the comma, it implies that people who travel have a distinct habit of booking their return tickets.

Now consider a script like this one:

Welcome to the MEGA Camp! Want to get your dream body in 1 month? We’ve got you covered. Choose your method and train your core, arms and legs with daily workout sessions.

A script is made up of a series of ideas, and each needs to stand out. For this reason, commas are your friends; use them. In the above example, it is grammatically correct not to have a comma after ‘arms,’ but using one would help with readability.

When transitioning from ‘arms‘ to ‘legs,’ there is no room for the script to breath. A comma makes a difference by enhancing the imagery of the ideas being represented.

And now that you’ve written the perfect voiceover script, its time to read it.

You have one job; making it believable.


How to Read a VoiceOver Script the Right Way

If a voiceover script sounds scripted, you have failed at your job.

A regular writer and a voice-over scriptwriter walk into a restaurant. Guess who reads the menu out loud.

It’s a bad joke, but we can’t insist enough on the importance of reading your script aloud. It helps in identifying obvious mistakes with punctuation and language use. An English voiceover is not the same as a Russian voice over, an Italian voice over, Romanian voice over, or a Farsi voice over or Arabic.

A bad script needs multiple rewrites, takes longer to read (even by a pro), and therefore increases production costs. Always read your script out loud, you will catch any obvious mistakes that could cost you. Voiceover scripts are meant for the ear, so after you’re done writing, stand up, take a deep breath, and read your script at a natural pace (like you’re giving a speech).

Get into your persona’s shoes and deliver their message, but more importantly, believe that message.

Own the Script

When reading a voiceover script, make it sound like you are literally making up the words as you go. For a commercial script, imagine your audience in front of you and speak directly to them.

But how do you present a voiceover script in such a way that your listeners understand it, believe it, and are persuaded by it?

It’s simple; trust the message.

Most commercial voiceover scripts use sales-speak to convince their audience, but even then, you need to believe what you are saying. Without believability, you are just reading words from a page.

For non-commercial voiceover scripts (like e-learning scripts), you need to believe that you are the all-knowing expert and your listeners trust in your absolute understanding of the subject.

Owning your voiceover script is really about the three questions you asked yourself at the beginning of the article:

  • What are you selling?
  • Who are you addressing?
  • Who is your persona?

This time, however, add one more item on your ‘how to read a voiceover script’ checklist:

Know your Keywords, and Emphasize them

Voiceover scripts (used for on-screen ads) usually lack a natural flow of language. To sound believable, identify the main selling points and emphasize them.

Here’s a helpful tip on how to read the most important words in a voiceover script; don’t use downward inflections. You want to sound like you care about the product/message, so use neutral or upward inflections.

Now for an example, let’s read the script we wrote earlier on Maka shampoo;

“Wondering how to grow silky smooth hair?

Introducing Maka’s Natural Shampoo.

A gentle, aromatic blend infused with moisturizers and vitamins for more volume, more shine, and more bounce.

Live your best life with Maka.”

Don’t emphasize words that are not about the product. In the first line, the highlighted key phrase points to the problem and draws the audience in deeper.

In the second line, emphasize Maka Natural Shampoo. Once you identify your keywords, try taking out the rest of the words in the script and see if you can still tell the story. Connecting to the meaning of a voiceover script means focusing on the words that matter. So don’t put emphasis on words like introducing and wondering. Instead, let the audience know that the product is gentle, aromatic, and inspires them to live their best lives.

As you read through your voiceover script, pace yourself. Don’t just rely on the commas to show you where to pause. In the above script, there is no comma indicating a pause after the words ‘aromatic blend,‘ but pausing here would emphasize the words more.

When transitioning from one thought to another, consider taking a breath. Pausing just before a word can make it stand out. And when in doubt, or when reading an overwritten script, lower your volume (not your energy level).

Final Thoughts on Writing and Reading VoiceOver Scripts

There you have it. Writing and reading voiceover scripts is about telling a story and conveying the meaning of the story to the best of your ability.

After writing, always read your script out loud, in a conversational pace and tone. Emphasize only the words that best describe your message. A voiceover script is not one continuous monologue but a series of multiple ideas meant to stand on their own.

Need amazing actors to bring your voiceover scripts to life? Submit a project with Bunny Studio and hire a voice pro today!