Don: To begin, remember that it’s not the quality of the voice that counts, it’s the quality of the delivery. For those just starting out, I suggest you find a good VO class. This may not be easy in many parts of the country, but if you live in or near Los Angeles, New York or Chicago, you should be able to find a choice of classes. Some also exist in other cities, but be sure to check out the credentials of the teaching staff before you commit. If classes are not available (and even if they are) I recommend a few books that I believe will give you a running start in the business.
“Secrets of Voice Over Success” by Joan Baker features the viewpoints of more than a dozen working Voice Actors, including myself. You’ll learn from their experiences, and receive terrific guidance in the areas of acting, studio techniques, client relations, and many other areas.
“Step Up to the Mic: A Positive Approach to Succeeding in Voice-Overs” and “You Can Bank on Your Voice” by Rodney Saulsberry. These books explore critical aspects of VO from the viewpoint of one of the most successful Voice Actors in the business.
“The Art of Voice Acting” by James R. Alburger. Step by step instruction on developing a voice over career, including exercises to help strengthen your instrument.
(Joan, Rodney and Jim’s contact information can be found in the “Other Voices” section of this website.)
And remember, practice doesn’t make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect.