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The Morgan Freeman Voice Over: How You Can Capitalize On It

Nov 02, 2021
The Morgan Freeman Voice Over


The “Most Recognizable Voice In The World” Isn’t That Difficult To Master…

Have you ever told your dog to “go outside” or to “go potty,” and they just stood there staring at you? Or, maybe you’re one of those people whose dog obeys your every command and eagerly anticipates your telling him what to do. Hey, you might even be able to get your cat to actually listen to you!

It’s no secret that how we use our voices determines how people — and pets — respond to us. After all, when it comes to choosing whom to trust, whom to follow, or even whom to elect, research has demonstrated that men and women across the board demonstrate a preference for the deeper versions of voices from both sexes.

According to Casey Klofstad, associate professor of Political Science at the University of Miami, who conducted one such experiment regarding public perception of the voices of people running for office, “That’s because we get the impression that lower-voiced individuals have more integrity, competence, and physical power.” 

And, as a professional voice actor, there’s nothing more exciting than being told you have a commanding voice. Not there yet? Don’t sweat it. 

Let’s check out a few tips on what you can do to bring your best voice forward.




The Voice You Trust

There is one man whose voice is so deep, smooth, calm, and authoritative that he could make hairballs compelling. That man is Morgan Freeman — documentary narrator, character actor, and the iconic voice of God. 

Freeman’s voice held us spellbound by the drama of penguins’ lives in his narration of the Academy Award-winning documentary March of the Penguins. As the voice of God in the Bruce Almighty and Evan Almighty movies, as well as the narrator of the National Geographic series The Story of God with Morgan Freeman, he has become the voice we trust to navigate the unknown and the mysterious.

Who is Morgan Freeman?

Morgan Freeman was born June 1, 1937, in Memphis, Tennessee. One of four children, he was raised in Mississippi, Indiana, and Illinois. Though Freeman enjoyed acting in school plays, he didn’t decide to go into acting right away. When he graduated high school in 1955, Freeman turned down a partial drama scholarship from Jackson State University and instead enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. 

In 1959, he left the Air Force and moved to Los Angeles to study acting at the Pasadena Playhouse and Los Angeles City College.

Why is Morgan Freeman’s voice sought after?

As mentioned above, Morgan Freeman's voice is one of the most sought-after voices in Hollywood — and, let’s be honest, the world.

This is due to its unique, resonant quality that instantly exudes an inherent sense of authority and wisdom. His deep, articulate, smooth tones captivate listeners, drawing them into the narrative. The richness and warmth of his voice, paired with his remarkable acting skills, lend a credible and compelling nature to his performances that few other actors — both voice and not — can match.

How much does Morgan Freeman make per voice over?

Although the specific figures for Morgan Freeman's voice-over rates are not publicly disclosed, it’s safe to assume that he is among the highest-earning voice actors in the industry. In 2010, for example, it was reported that Freeman received between $1-2 million to be the voice of Visa Credit Cards. 

Plus, according to Celebrity Speakers Bureau, you can actually hire Freeman… for a cool $100,000 to $1 million, depending on your needs. Talk about a payday, huh?

What books has Morgan Freeman narrated?

While Morgan Freeman is best known for his film narration and voice over roles in advertising, the acclaimed actor has also lent his distinctive voice to several audiobooks. 

Most notably, though, he narrated The Shawshank Redemption, a novella by Stephen King, which was later adapted into a critically acclaimed film — with Freeman playing a lead role.




What Makes Morgan Freeman’s Voice So Good?

Freeman credits an acting teacher at Los Angeles City College with teaching him to speak with such clear diction. But what’s his secret ingredient to get the perfect deep, resonant voice? One word: Yawning. 

In an interview with On Demand Entertainment in 2011, Morgan Freeman explained that one way to accomplish a deeper voice is to “yawn a lot.” He said, “It relaxes your throat, your vocal cords, and as soon as they relax, the tone drops. The lower your voice, the better you sound.”

Sounding better is what we all want, right? So to get your own beautifully rich, deep voice, you should practice rest, yawning, and deep breathing to keep you relaxed and to support your speech. 

The fact is that many, if not most, of us tend to sound tight, strained, and thin-voiced due to tension. Physiological tension in our throats leads to a smaller, closed-off sound and vocal fry. 

Freeman says, “I learned in school that most people speak in a higher register than normal because of tension. So the trick is to relieve the tension.” And that means relaxation exercises and yawning. A lot.

For other ideas on how to relax your body and expand your range in warming up for voice over each day, check out our video: The Ultimate Warm-up for Voice Acting

And always remember these three things:

  • Eliminate tension from your body and throat
  • Utilize deep breathing, and support your speech with your air
  • Keep your throat open

When you’re the one with the flowing, resonant voice, people will listen — and they’ll believe in you. Morgan Freeman commands so much confidence and credibility, in fact, that in 2010 he replaced Walter Cronkite as the intro voice for the CBS Evening News and special reports. 

When should I use a Morgan Freeman-style voiceover?

A Morgan Freeman-style voiceover is ideal when you want to bring a sense of wisdom, gravitas, and authority to your project. 

His iconic voice can be incredibly effective in a variety of contexts, such as:

  • Documentaries and Narratives: Freeman's voice is synonymous with storytelling, making it an excellent choice for documentaries and narratives that require a deep, calming, and wise narrative voice.
  • Commercials and Advertisements: If you're looking to inspire trust and credibility in your brand or product, a Freeman-style voiceover could be the perfect fit. His voice has been used to great effect in various high-profile ad campaigns due to its resonance and authenticity.
  • Motivational Speeches and Videos: The wisdom and inspiration inherent in his voice are ideal for motivational content, imbuing the words with a strong sense of purpose and encouragement.
  • Audio Books: The captivating nature of his voice also makes it an excellent choice for audiobook narration, particularly for genres such as drama, history, or biography.




It’s Not Just the Voice; It’s the Message

Finding your own way to capitalize on the Morgan Freeman voice isn’t just about learning to deepen and smooth out your voice so others will listen. It’s also about internalizing the power of his message. 

In The LEGO Movie, for example, Freeman voices the role of Vitruvius, who tells Emmet that anything is possible as long as he believes. This sounds a lot like one of Morgan Freeman’s own quotes: “This is one of the truths of the universe, and you heard it first from here: whatever we decide we want to do is what we do.” 

Put simply, our conviction and passion can drive us to reach our aspirations — especially as voice actors. Because when we start to believe in our capabilities and nourish our passions, we can also convince others to believe in our voice too.

This is a great point for all voice actors out there, whether you're just starting or have been at it for a while. Sometimes we get so worried about being "good enough" that it makes us tense. This, in turn, prevents us from doing our best, and only leads to beating ourselves up for a subpar performance… and then it all becomes a vicious cycle.

The key is to believe in yourself — confidence is half the battle in this gig! This leads me to…

Believe in Your Voice (and Yourself)

When I first started my voice over journey, I remember my wife, my parents, my wife's parents, and basically everyone I knew thought I was crazy. I remember feeling embarrassed to speak about what I was doing and also hiding my equipment from my wife's parents so they wouldn't say anything to me about my waste of time. I questioned every day whether this was worth it or not. 

Over time, however, I stopped worrying so much about failing, and I just kept doing what I knew I wanted to do. 




As I figured out, through trial and error, what worked and what didn’t work to grow a voice over business, I began putting together my own courses and resources to share with others. 

That’s when I created the Vo’s Journey Elite Academy to help aspiring voice actors do what they want to do and succeed.  In the Elite Academy, students participate in classes on:

  • Voice acting
  • Production
  • Marketing
  • Business systems/accountability

From learning how to think to knowing what to do, and what their next steps should be to grow their voiceover business, we cover everything you need to know in the Elite Academy

Plus, with a monthly membership, you can cancel anytime, and enjoy the flexibility and freedom to pace your learning according to your own needs. Whether you're exploring voice acting as a side hustle or looking to go full-time, our adaptable learning system is designed to suit your lifestyle — not the other way around. 

Support Your Voice, Support Your Goals

As a voice actor, you shouldn’t have to go it alone battling the naysayers and your own inner demons like Tom Cruise in War of the Worlds. It doesn’t have to be you against the unknown in a battle of epic proportions! 

To wrap things up, I’d like to leave you with another message from Morgan Freeman himself: “Very often, you know, you stop walking because you say, ‘Well, I’m tired of climbing this hill. I’m never going to get to the top,’ And you’re only two steps from the top.”

So don’t stop now. If this is what you want, if this is your passion, let’s get you to where you want to be.



1 Oaklander, Mandy. “Science Explains Why You Love Morgan Freeman's Voice.” Time.com, 23 February 2016, https://time.com/4233926/morgan-freeman-voice-waze-science/

2 Olsen, Ita. “How to Sound Like Morgan Freeman.” Conveyclearly.com, https://conveyclearly.com/2020/06/19/how-to-sound-like-morgan-freeman-in-4-steps/

3 “Top 20 Wisest Morgan Freeman Quotes to Inspire You to Aim Higher.” Goalcast.com,  https://www.goalcast.com/top-20-wisest-morgan-freeman-quotes-to-inspire-you-to-aim-higher/