“Believe in yourself first, then you can get people to believe in you through the work that you do that matters. That will help push you forward. It’s all about the work.” – Leslie Olabisi

Gem story was written by: BOBO Marketing Services

Leslie O Voice offers voiceovers provided by the “artistically nerdy” Leslie Olabisi! Leslie provides commercial and narration voice-overs for businesses and creative artists in various industries, both locally and internationally.

Leslie also has developed her own niche specializing in interludes. She believes that interludes are making a big comeback, serving as a way to help augment album collaborations through intros, skits, spoken word, and voice tags. As an example, an interlude can be a voicemail intro to a song or just cultural elements added to the background that can help get the message of the song across. Her talent is showcased in the “The ‘Ludes Mixtape” featured on her voice-over services website.

This Gem is driven by her passion for cultivating a sense of meaning with her voice. She aspires to “leave a serious mark and legacy for [her] family, and to really know that [she] paid for [her] space on earth … [and] to contribute to the world in a significant way.” 

“Basically, I don’t want to die not really accomplishing things that matter. That’s what it boils down to Hustling for my last name — not my first.”

Finding Inspiration From Within

Leslie avoids comparing herself to anyone other than herself, and she is always striving toward continuous improvement. When asked who the biggest influence in her life has been, she said: 

“Me from yesterday. Me from last year. Basically, I want to be better than I was before.”

A quote from Pink Panther, “Every day and in every way, I am getting better, and better,” is a mantra that Leslie often repeats to herself to ensure that she’s always pushing forward.

She also takes cues from motivational public figures like Whoopi Goldberg and Lee Strasburg. Through their successes, she’s learned an important lesson: 

“Believe in yourself first, then you can get people to believe in you through the work that you do that matters. That will help push you forward. It’s all about the work.”

Here’s another mantra she likes to follow, based on advice she got from her acting coach Sean Pratt: “Don’t let perfect get in the way of good enough.”

Leslie believes that setting standards that are too high can actually prevent people from taking action. It’s much better to set attainable goals and take action now, rather than waiting for an if-then situation to occur. Also, in the words of Clint Eastwood, “variety is the spice of life.” Leslie loves this quote because it speaks to her bubbly and fun-loving demeanor.

Lessons & Regrets

Newcomers to the voiceover industry should put in the work and get intensive training. Voice training helps new artists not only understand whether the recording business is right for them, but also how to identify which industry path is the right one to take. Leslie also advises newbies should also “manage their expectations.” Earning an income in this industry isn’t always immediate; in fact, it can be quite time-consuming. So make sure you can receive direction well, enjoy talking, possess the ability to enunciate and work to sharpen your acting acumen.

“Voiceover isn’t just reading words off a page, it’s about intonation, inflection, and pitch to emote different feelings. It’s about the script and the story of the brand.”

Leslie jokes that if she could give advice to her past self, it would be “don’t get married, and don’t leave New York!”

At the time, she thought she was being noble and altruistic by putting others before herself. However, she now views that period as the time when she abandoned her goals. It changed the entire trajectory of her life. But it’s still essential to 

“take what you can learn from every experience.”

Fortunately, Leslie was able to learn a lot about herself, and those experiences didn’t change the person she was at her core. To get past her setbacks, she had to lock in and focus on finding the solution to the obstacles in her way.

A Day in the Life

Leslie has found herself moving back to New York, and now she has an off-broadway debut in the works. A snapshot of her day begins with her completing voice-over requests that come in through her various platforms. She then prepares audition submissions in response to other requests received from her agents. A reality of this industry that must be made known is that it’s up to you to go out and get your own clients; only 15 to 20 percent of work comes from audition bookings. Leslie believes that having a home studio is necessary in order to maintain a competitive edge. The turnaround for completing voiceover work is usually 24 to 48 hours, while for auditions it’s three hours.

Leslie also manages her very own LOVStudios channel on Youtube, which features live podcasts every Tuesday. This entails a lot of time spent editing and meeting with her producer to discuss the highs and lows of certain productions and how to make improvements. She puts forth all this effort because she truly believes in the benefits of her professional voice-over services.

As a payoff for her due diligence, Leslie is the proud winner of the SOVAS Voice Arts Award for Outstanding Radio Promo – Best Voiceover! She is extremely proud of this award, as it is yet another testament to how hard she has worked to perfect her craft. 

“Voice-overs automatically elevate advertising because [they tell] the viewer what it is that they need to hear, offering concise messaging for brands. And make it possible to advertise across additional mediums, such as through radio and podcasts. That’s the power of the voice, the voice can change the world.”

Leslie’s voice is a real Gem, and so is she! Stay tuned to her podcasts, and listen out, because you just might hear her in the next commercial you see!

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