Producing a video - should I worry about my accent?


3

I am starting a company and want to have a introduction video like this one:

http://vimeo.com/43763778 So I want it to be authentic etc.

But since I am not a native english speaker, and neither are my co founders, we would have horrible accents.

What would be best in this case.

Screw the authentic video and go for an actor in the US, or voice over?

As native speakers, would you care if the people in such a video had heavy accents?

Are there examples of successful prmotional videos for start ups where the actors have accents?

Video

asked Jun 15 '13 at 16:30
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user1721135
182 points
  • I would combine: use both a narrator with a US accent and your own voices. – Frenchie 6 years ago

4 Answers


4

The Typecast video you link to is a well-produced video, the speaker is confident, engaging and speaks at just the right pace and with just the right amount of enthusiasm. He has an Irish accent, but I personally didn't have to strain to catch anything. Many people find the Irish accent quite musical and pleasant on the ear.

Consider that the other director of the company does not speak on the video, nor do any of their other 12 employees.

Where I'm going with this: if you are not lucky enough to have someone among your co-founders who has a nice English-speaking voice, then hire a professional voice actor who does. Still show video of your staff pointing excitedly at computer screens, etc. but don't have them speak, and have the narrator give your message.

Americans, in particular, do seem to care about accent. Some British children's shows are even dubbed from British English into American English! (I'm not aware of any dubbing happening in the other direction.)

answered Jun 17 '13 at 12:51
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User26625
86 points

3

This is one of those situations where in my view you have to be pragmatic.

It would be crazy for you not to appear in your own video. But you're right, if your English is weak, you won't come across as you deserve, and you can't afford to lose interest.

So find a middle way. Where there's significant information to put across, lean on infographics or/and hire a vocal artist (for instance, put up a few gigs on fiverr ). And for the rest, put it in the form of an interview, so that the words you are speaking are brief and given context by the interviewer (a skilled one can recap key points without it seeming forced).

Good luck! And don't forget to come back and post the link into a comment here :)

answered Jun 16 '13 at 17:48
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Jeremy Parsons
5,197 points
  • "you won't come across as you deserve": unless you prepare and rehearse. – Frenchie 6 years ago
  • @frenchie if this was a promo, agreed. But if this is to reach out to people to engage personally, it's dangerous to create false expectations. – Jeremy Parsons 6 years ago
  • Its not really to reach out to people it will be like a promo. I guess infographics sounds good! – user1721135 6 years ago

2

First of all good luck.

It all depends on how thick your accent is. Contrary to what user26625 said, I do believe that a moderate accent will play in your favor and be an asset. Americans loooove foreigner accents AS LONG AS you can make yourself clearly understood. Keeping your accent will show originality and, more importantly, AUTHENTICITY. It also may help your video be more memorable. Also, you can always make fun of your own accent and say something funny about it at the beginning of your video.

But please keep in mind that your body language, the pitch and tone of your voice, your mannerisms, your looks, your clothes,... also play a huge role on how people will perceive you.

Bottom line: use your own voice. Practice many times before you shoot the video and be confident. And one more thing, don't forget to smile!

answered Jun 20 '13 at 03:02
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A. Garcia
1,601 points
  • By the way, think about all the famous foreign actors like Christoph Waltz in Hollywood. They probably wouldn't be where they are if the did NOT have an accent. An accent, well used, is an asset. – A. Garcia 6 years ago
  • thats a great idea! – user1721135 6 years ago

1

There have been some great comments so far. It is important for you to get your message across clearly. You want people to be able to understand, but you also want an edge to your video. Maybe one option is to make it more of a conversation video between you and a native english speaker. You can speak to them, and have them clarify what you are saying in the video. This gives you both the edge, and helps ensure that those watching can understand.

I agree with A. Garcia, the way people perceive you is huge! Let the video be "you", but make sure to have the confidence you need.

Good luck!

answered Jun 20 '13 at 05:08
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Brittany J.
11 points

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