MOH and IVR Souffle

MOH and IVR Souffle

Posted by John in Articles

Any company in the world

–       One phone system

–       Optional phone service (IVR)

–       One talent

–       One mini Commercial for the company (MOH)

–       Several Prompts (IVR)

–       One Recording Studio (not always needed for MOH)

–       Optional Music Library (some clients want full production)

–       Good Software Conversion program (many systems require low quality recordings)

–       On Hold service companies or an aggressive marketing campaign


Once you have all your ingredients in place you can put these quick and easy treats together.  This recipe is one of the easiest recipes to accomplish in Voice Over.  You can be an amateur talent (cook) and yet still find work in this industry.  The pay is minimal but with the right amount of clients, this can also prove to be a very lucrative career.

There are some very important things to understand when working in this industry; First off the reads required are very similar to the commercial industry.  Many times the professional read is the most popular.  You’ll also hear other reads however like the flat read, the upbeat perky read, the soothing read, monotone reads for some IVR prompting and of course the real actor.   The real actor isn’t as common in this industry, but I like mixing a bit of my real actor with my professional read.  Then you get the best of both worlds.


MOH stands for Message On Hold and this can be done via a professional recording, if the company has the right software to upload and run to their phone system, or it can be done by simply phoning into their phone service company voice mail or going to their company phone in person and recording their voice mail.  It’s like a mini commercial for a company and  is actually a really easy sell if you know what you’re doing in the marketing world.  EVERY company should have a voice mail – INCLUDING YOU.  I hope you’ve had some fun with your voice mail – after all you are a voice talent.


IVR stands for Interactive Voice Recording (JOHN PLEASE DOUBLE CHECK THAT) and the difference is that it’s interactive with the listener.  For example this is when you hear “Press 1, Press 2…” etc.  This can take a bit more skill set.  Some jobs can have hundreds of prompts.  Each prompt can be all the numbers from 1 – 99 so that becomes 99 prompts but considered in pay scale as one prompt etc.  While other companies may consider each number as a prompt – so it’s good to know what the client considers a prompt length before quoting.  You also may have to read each prompt in a monotone type manner that is consistent so they can cut and paste all your words together to form phone numbers and names etc.  However this monotone type technology has advanced considerably and the voice prompting is getting more and more realistic, allowing you to think you’re actually talking to a human being.  So the next time you want to hang up on a voice prompting call, remember, this pays the bills!


The pay scale rate in these markets varies, but on average you will make about $25-150 for one Message on Hold (less for multiple messages for one company) or per page (includes up to 5 prompts) for $150-300.  IVR varies considerably and is usually estimated by the amount of prompts. So it can be from $5-25 per prompt and on the right project, can get into the thousands or even tens of thousands for things like talking trains, airplanes etc.


Much like the commercial industry, you need to make sure you know how many locations this is being aired in, as you should be charging per location.  Many clients don’t like this part, but we should be charging for each location – especially if they change the message slightly for each location to accommodate phone numbers, addresses etc.


This is the industry that truly got me started so I find it one of the easiest ones to get into and easiest to perform, as long as you know what you’re doing.  Knowing the right reads for each client is imperative and you still have to be skilled, but you don’t need to be a pro.


If you need to learn more about this industry I’d be happy to help you out in whatever way I can.


Until next time everyone

All my best
VO Chef Deb

My Voice, Mixed Your Way!

06 Jan 2015 No Comments

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