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The VO Boss podcast blends business advice with inspiration & motivation for today's voice talent. Each week, host Anne Ganguzza shares guest interviews + voice over industry insights to help you grow your business and stay focused on what matters...

Jun 7, 2022

​​This week, the script is flipped! Pilar is interviewing Anne on her specialty: E-Learning, Corporate Narration, and more. Anne shares her secrets for keeping listeners’ attention during long scripts + tips on how to have an exciting read for corporate copy. Although many consider these scripts dull, Anne argues that it’s the opposite. Putting yourself in the shoes of your favorite teacher or favorite CEO will give you the passion you need to make these jobs soar like a #VOBOSS.


>> It’s time to take your business to the next level, the BOSS level! These are the premiere Business Owner Strategies and Successes being utilized by the industry’s top talent today. Rock your business like a BOSS, a VO BOSS! Now let’s welcome your host, Anne Ganguzza.

Pilar: Hola, BOSS Voces. Bienvenidos al podcast con Anne Ganguzza y Pilar Uribe.

Anne: Hey everyone.

Both: Welcome to the podcast. I'm your host, Anne Ganguzza (I'm Pilar Uribe --)

Anne: Hey!

Pilar: And today, I'm so excited to bring back your favorite host, Anne Ganguzza.

Anne: Pilar.

Pilar: Yes, Anne?

Anne: Pilar, what's happening here?

Pilar: Well, I'm taking over hosting duties today.

Anne: You are?

Pilar: I am.

Anne: Um, okay. What, okay, so what are we talking about, Pilar, today?

Pilar: Well, I want to know, I want to know about corporate narration. I want to know how you got into the business because that's something that I have not done very much of. My world is all about commercials and video games and auditioning, and I've done audio books, but I don't know very much about corporate narration or e-learning. And I would like to know how you got into that end of the business.

Anne: First of all, thank you. I love corporate narration. I love talking about it. Any kind of narration, actually, I'm geekily excited by it. So.

Pilar: Geekily excited about it.

Anne: Geekily excited about it.

Pilar: I will remember that.

Anne: And I'm going to say I have corporate experience after I graduated -- for those that don't know, I have a degree in computer graphics engineering. And so when I graduated college, I was an engineer for a bio-mechanical firm and designed hip and knee prosthetics. And that was a really cool job. I really loved that. I did that for six years. If you know me and you know that I do medical narration, you'll know that's one of the reasons why I love doing medical narration.

So I did not start off in voiceover all of my life, out of the womb. I did have some corporate experience and loved my experience in the corporate world. I also consulted after I got into education. So I do have a few years of being in the corporate world and working in that space and understanding what corporate culture is. And the cool thing is, is that now that I work for myself, I can work for a lot of different companies and not worry necessarily about being thought of as you know, somebody who just jumps from company to company, which at the time when I was doing that, it was not something that corporations looked fondly upon. It was one of those things where loyalty was everything to the company. And it was nice if you worked for a company for a good amount of time before you jumped ship. That was always kind of left for like, oh, that person's just out for money and not necessarily out for their corporate experience or education.

But anyways, I digress into that. But my experience with the corporate world was it's similar in a way of our industry where we're really in competition with one another. Although we don't really say that we are, but we are. And, and in the corporate world, I think in a company, you're fighting for rank within the company. And that to me was it was, it was the way it worked, but it was tiring to me. And for me, I just loved doing the job and I loved sharing my knowledge, which is why I ultimately ended up getting up into education because I love to share. I get excited. I get geekily excited about, you know, my job and I would share things ,and that didn't always work out for me in the corporate world.

So doing voiceover in corporate narration is the way that I win. If that's just a simple way to put it is a way that I can win at every single company that I work for without necessarily having to go to a meeting where I'm fighting for, I'm fighting for that. And I just, I love, I understand the culture. I understand how to speak the corporate language. And I think that's an important part of being a voice for a company to be able to elevate their brand.

Pilar: Yeah. That's a really good point that you make, because as we've said before, we are not just voice actors, we are the business. And so you have to be able to navigate in the world of corporate speak --

Anne: Absolutely.

Pilar: -- in order to survive and to thrive. So let me ask you this, Anne, what was that moment, that moment that triggered you to say and to think, Ooh, I could like this idea of doing voice acting?

Anne: Well, I had since moved on from my corporate job into education, but interestingly enough, it was a really interesting transition because I did not go on payroll as a teacher. I went on payroll as a staff member, and then ultimately got my certifications and was able to teach as well, but I wasn't a full-time teacher. And so the cool thing is, is that I got to teach when I wanted, teach all different types of elective classes in technology, which there goes my, my love for technology, as well as work as a staff member and actually learn the technology and direct people. So it was kind of a really great combination of corporate and education at the same time.

And I was installing phone systems for other campuses and for non-profit organizations and state and county agencies in the state of New Jersey. And after the installation of the phones, people would always need to record their welcome greeting in the phone tree. And nobody really wanted to do that. And so they would have me do it as part of the job. And that's really where my voiceover started because I loved being able to do the voice, be the phone voice. And people told me I was good at it. So they said, you should think about doing something like this for a career or kind of as a side hustle. And that's where that whole thing began.

And I looked into it, I got training, I got a demo, started working part-time, and really fell in love with voiceover. And then after my long career in education, after about 20 years, I really was kind of done with snow in the state of New Jersey where I was, and I was ready for a change. The worst thing for a person loved my personality is to be stagnant and not change and not learn. I'm always wanting to learn new things. I'm always wanting to grow. And I felt like I hadn't grown much in the past few years in my position there. And I just was wanting really badly to try something new. And I thought working for myself and being an entrepreneur and doing something that I loved would be a really cool thing to do.

So I took a leap of faith and started working full-time in voiceover and learned a whole lot, I'll tell ya, still learning. So it's one of the things that I truly, truly love. I don't think I would ever work for anybody again, even though we are temporarily working for people when we do voiceover. And that's kind of the thought is that whether you're doing a commercial or you doing a narration, you're working for a company who has a product that you are the voice of, and that you are typically selling that product and elevating that product's brand through your voice. And so you are working for a bit with, for companies and I love the challenge of that.

Pilar: Sure. So you, you said something that I just want to reiterate for the VO BOSSes out there, working for myself and an entrepreneur. Because I think we really, we do forget that when we are in the midst of our auditions or we're in the midst of learning, that we are our own little bandstand and we have to go forth into the world as creators, yes, but as business people. And I think that that's really important. So I'd love for you to expand on that a little bit, because I --

Anne: It's very important.

Pilar: -- think we just, we get too caught up in this, did I get the audition or didn't I, and it's not just about that. It's not really just about the marketing. It's not just about the auditions. It's not just about paying taxes. It's being a really well-rounded person who is in the service industry. So we are providing a service, and we are business people.

Anne: Yeah. I think it's so, so important. I mean, so many times people will say, you know, I really enjoyed doing these character voices, and I really want to get into the voiceover industry. And the first thing I'm always saying is that it really is so much more than just going in a studio and being the voice. You are running in an enterprise, really, you're wearing all the hats. And for me, that challenge is just as exciting as the voiceover challenge, to be quite honest. How can I build my business? How can I grow my business and how can I get this job? And so it becomes, to me, it becomes a challenge.

I think all my life, I'm that person who gets excited when I have a challenge, and I want to be able to solve problems. It's might be my, that engineer mind of mine. It all comes together when I think about it. When I was younger, I was teaching my dolls. And then, you know, I got into engineering because I love solving problems. And so it kind of just follows me throughout my whole life, where I feel being an entrepreneur is really just challenges that you're presented with and a place where you can continue to grow and grow and grow if you rise up to those challenges, and you're willing to fail a little bit and learn, and then move in another direction and then try that.

So that whole entrepreneur thing I just love, but it's scary. It's really scary. And it's funny because I think that I've grown to the point where this is it, I'm good. You know what I mean? I'm doing well. I feel like I'm successful in everything that I'm doing, but I always want to keep adding and growing more. And it's probably one of the reasons why I probably work a little too much, but I'm looking for that next step and how am I going to get there? And a lot of that still takes courage, and it's still really scary, when you start employing people and shifting control out of your hands, into their hands to help grow the business. I think that's even scarier than when I started. And so I continually am scared and inching my way in this direction or that direction to see if I can have a success. And if I have a success, okay, where's the next step? How can I keep climbing up that mountain? So I don't think I'm ever quite at that place where -- I mean, I feel successful, but I can always grow.

Pilar: Yeah. And I think it's important too, that when we are in fear of something, obviously we don't want it to paralyze us.

Anne: Right.

Pilar: It also can catapult us to the next step.

Anne: Yeah, great point.

Pilar: So being scared of something is not a bad thing, because then that means that you're taking on more responsibility by employing other people. So that's actually a good thing. And because you continue to grow, and you bring these people on to grow as well.

Anne: Yeah.

Pilar: So when you became an entrepreneur, you were talking about how you started in the business in IVR. So for those people who don't know what that is, it means interactive voice response. So it is the voice that you hear "for English press one. Para español, pressione el número uno." That's how I learned.

Anne: Which I would hire you for because you do that so well. If I have to speak that one line of Spanish, it's sad. So I have like, I have a great person I know who could say that prompt for you.

Pilar: Okay, done.

Anne: Done.

Pilar: Done. So you're coming from this background of education and technology.

Anne: Yes.

Pilar: So what makes you think, ooh, I could do this corporate narration. And how did you branch out then into e-learning for example? What propelled you to move into those areas, and explain the difference as well?

Anne: I think for me, they're similar. When I started, it's a large market, the corporate market, because as I always say, there's 30.4 million registered companies in the US, and the, all of those companies have a service or a product that they want to tell the story. And they probably all have a website that has a video or a YouTube channel that requires a voice to explain what that service or product does. And I think because of the sheer size of that market, that's where a lot of the jobs in my early years kind of came from. And actually today, I mean, that's a large majority of what I do. I love the fact that I've had the corporate experience to understand the corporate speak. There is corporate speak pretty much in every piece of corporate copy that you look at.

And if you understand that, if you understand where you can start driving a story from, that helps you to voice it more effectively. I think in the beginning, I started doing these jobs for companies that I didn't think much about in the beginning, but as I started to do more and more of them, of course, I wanted to grow and improve. Right? I didn't want to just be a narrator that would read the words off the page. It really became to me like, how can I tell this story? Because I know that this company has a deeper meaning behind it. When I did work out of college, when I worked at the orthopedic company that I started with, I was employee number 206. And as employee number 206. And it's funny how I just remember that to this very day, 206 -- I loved the product, I believed in the company. I love the product. And I was ecstatic that this product that I had a hand in creating would help people to walk again. And for me, oh, that was the passion.

And that was when I would go to meetings and we would discuss new products and that sort of thing. And some of the meetings became like hours long, not because we were discussing products, but because people were fighting with their egos to say, I did this product, or this product is not where it should be because of this person. I just got really frustrated, and I'm like, can't we all just love what we're doing and be joyful and share in it? And that was probably a young, naive sort of a way to look at it. But I still remember the joy and the excitement of being a part of creating something that could help people.

And that's the attitude that I take with every corporate project, because every person who ever started a company -- look at us, right? We have our own companies. We are entrepreneurs. We believe in the product. We believe that we can be a great voice and make a difference and affect others. Well, so does every company founder. I want to believe in the good of that, right?

Companies are founded for good reasons. They have a product that can help someone, that can make their jobs easier, make them feel better about themselves. And that is the principle of what I drive the emotional nuanced read or thought process of a corporate narration. And that's something so very different than just reading a mission statement. It's understanding that I am a part of this company, and this company has a passion for their product and their services that they're putting out there to help people. And if I believe in that, I can voice that effectively.

Pilar: That's so important what you just said, Anne, and I think we don't do that enough. I mean, I can speak for myself only -- is when we are, even in an audition -- because getting the job great. Wonderful. But even in audition, if you put yourself in the shoes of, I am part of this company, as I'm describing this product, and I'm fighting for this product to get released instead of, oh, you know, I'm just reading copy -- that will make a difference. That will make a difference in what you're feeling and ultimately what you are communicating through your voice.

Anne: Sure. Absolutely.

Pilar: I think that's super, super important. Yeah. So tell me the cousin, the second or the third cousin or the sister?

Anne: The e-learning. Ah, yes. Well, okay. So being in the education, starting off as a small child, as we've mentioned before in the podcast, teaching my dolls and being in education, even though I was on payroll as staff, I still taught classes, and I still taught classes at night. I taught adult continuing ed. I taught college. I was adjunct professor, and I just have a love for sharing, for sharing my knowledge with others. And I think that that again is a big reason as to why I do e-learning quite a bit, and I'll do corporate e-learning because I was a corporate trainer as well as training for students for many, many years.

And so the e-learning industry, so again, if you're thinking e-learning, I always divide it up into two different categories. You've got educational e-learning, academic e-learning, and then you've got corporate training, and there are two very different buyers. Understanding the educational market, I know that the academic e-learning it's noble, it's wonderful, it's honorable. And I'm proud to be a part of that or have been a part of that. But unfortunately, budgets, aren't always there. Academic institutions, aren't saying, oh, let me pay Anne Ganguzza $10,000 to voice this curriculum. It's just, they don't have necessarily that type of resource typically. And so it's harder to do that type of e-learning. However, it's, it's very necessary.

And I do believe just like in corporate, in e-learning you've got to be a passionate teacher. I mean, if you think back to who your favorite teacher is, what were the qualities of that teacher? You know, I think a lot of times people will tell me they were passionate about their topic. They were excited, they were enthusiastic, and they really, they wanted me to learn. And that's again a type of emotion and nuance that you can put behind any e-learning copy that you read and that you voice. And the other aspect, or the other wing is not just academic e-learning, but corporate learning or corporate training. And the cool thing about corporate training is again, you've got the 30.4 million registered companies that probably train their employees.

And if they don't train their employees, they also train or they, most of them do train their employees, right, they also train people on their product. So you've got like kind of an internal facing training as well as an external facing training that they do on their products. And so again, that is a huge, huge market. And I think that for that market, again, you've got to be that great teacher. It can't be that person that is reading the material. However, that's what we've done, a lot of us for many, many years is simply read academic material.

And the way I look at it is some people will pay for that. Nobody will not pay you for reading the material, but I think there's other types of clients that will pay you for a really engaged read as a great teacher. You've got to keep people entertained for longer than a minute, right? That's one of the biggest differences between commercial or promo. I mean, you're doing this for more than a minute. And with today's attention spans, you have to really work hard to keep people's attention and focus, because there's so many distractions like, oh, look it, I just got it. Just got a text. Oh. And so your voice has to be that you like the Pied Piper of, of e-learning. Your voice has to be audibly raised and in the ear of your listener, and you need to make it easy and engaging for them to learn from you.

Pilar: Yeah. And so important. What you're saying about being in the moment while you're reading because --

Anne: Yes, absolutely.

Pilar: -- you are providing as the voice over actor, you are providing a service to the person who's listening because they are being paid to learn. So it behooves them to learn from what you're saying. So you have to really engage the person who's on the other side of those headphones, you know, that that's listening to you because you want them to do better because that's basically why you're there in the first place. And so going back to that whole idea of being part of the company, part of the training, I think helps a lot when you're in the, the reading of the copy.

Anne: And that's where the acting comes in too, right? Because you can't just read the words off the page. You're the one that's making them come alive. So you need to kind of understand what those words are and to be able to tell the story. And there's a story in corporate narration, as much as there's a story in teaching, right? We learn through stories, easiest through stories. And so even if the corporate copy or the e-learning copy doesn't necessarily tell a story directly, there's an underlying introduction, main topic, topic switch, crescendo, I always call it a crescendo, a learning moment, right. where the light bulb goes off, and then it's wrapped up in a nice little conclusion.

So every piece of copy that's written like that, you have to dissect the copy and understand those moments, understand those crescendos, understand the purpose, the introduction, the wrap-up so that you can tell that story effectively. It's so much more than just reading. It's so much more than that.

Pilar: It's like a little three act play.

Anne: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah.

Pilar: I mean, it goes back to Chekov, it goes back to Shakespeare. I mean, you're basically telling a story. It's not about the words. It's about how effectively can you tell this story so the person on the other end goes, oh, okay, that person's making a great point and will retain that at information.

Anne: And I'm so passionate about that. It's interesting that I have people who just never thought of it that way. And, and the thing of it is, is I'm going to be real here. I think probably everyone does narration, whether they admit it or not. It's the non-glamorous part of voiceover or it's always been perceived as, oh yeah. And I also do e-learning or I also do a little bit of narration, but the big draw is the, I'm the voice of this game or this commercial. And I think that's amazing. That's just, I'm not discounting any of that. And that's where I think most people, when they get into voiceover, that's the stars in their eyes, kind of, you know, Hollywood --

Pilar: The red carpet experience.

Anne: It's the Hollywood experience of a voiceover, but I'll tell you what, the narration and the e-learning, and that's, that's like, I call it like the bread and butter that pays the bills in the meantime. And so there are so many people I think that can elevate their narration game or their e-learning game if they choose to, because we can all be better storytellers. We can all improve. I mean, all of our lives, it's just, it's a mission for me as a, as a lifelong learner -- I think teachers are always lifelong learners because a lot of times they're asking you to teach something that you don't necessarily know. So for me, especially with technology, it was always like, well, learn it by the seat of my pants and then teach it.

Pilar: And that's how you would retain it. That's how, that's the best way to retain it.

Anne: And that's how you learn, right, teach --

Pilar: Teach someone else.

Anne: Yeah, exactly. It's one of the ways you learn, but it's an amazing thing to be able to share in joy your knowledge, whether you're sharing in the passion of a product, of a company as a part of that company, as a part of a greater whole to help people. And again, if you hold that emotion in your heart, as you're telling a corporate story, it does wonders for the effectiveness of it. And the same thing with teaching, the same thing with e-learning. And they're both huge, huge markets in this industry. And I think everyone, everyone needs to take the narration maybe more seriously than just, oh, let me just prettily read these words.

I mean, I was always the teacher that said, hey, look, I am not going to say that you won't get paid to read those words pretty. I would never say that. However, if you want to go from good to great or amazing and really capture your audience, we can always learn. We can always learn to tell the story better.

Pilar: Yeah, absolutely. Well, you heard it here first. This is the e-learning and corporate narration guru you have been listening to, Anne Ganguzza. I want to do my demo with you now, so, there you go.

Anne: Pilar. Thank you. First of all, thanks so much for interviewing me. I mean, I've never had the tables turned on me like that. So thank you for being the first -- and talking with me about something that I clearly love.

Pilar: Well, was it, to me, it's really evident how passionate you are and it makes me excited. It makes me want to go out and move that muscle, you know? Because I do the short sprinting, and, and e-learning and corporate narration they're marathons. That's the marathon. So you have to learn the pace yourself, and that's really important to have as a skill.

Anne: Well, thank you, Pilar, really. I'm always happy to share my passion as a coach, as a voice artist, as a podcast host. Thanks so much for talking to me about it. This just flew by actually.

Pilar: And thanks for letting me interview you. This was fun. Not like you had a choice, right?

Anne: Wait, now I have to end the podcast by saying, I want to give a huge shout-out because I like to have a huge impact, and I like to make a difference. You can also make a difference, and if you've ever wanted to donate to a cause that's close to your heart and make a difference, you can do so. Find out more at and you too can make a difference. Also great, big shout-out to our sponsor, ipDTL. I love talking to my BOSSes and my BOSS, Pilar, and Pilar, thank you for talking to me. Um, you guys can find out more at Have an amazing week, and we'll see you next week. Bye!

Pilar: Ciao, ciao.

>> Join us next week for another edition of VO BOSS with your host Anne Ganguzza. And take your business to the next level. Sign up for our mailing list at and receive exclusive content, industry revolutionizing tips and strategies, and new ways to rock your business like a BOSS. Redistribution with permission. Coast to coast connectivity via ipDTL.