Winning over the World with her Voice
You may not be aware, but you’ve probably heard Jo Pickard. As an international voice artist, presenter and broadcaster, her voice has been used on Netflix shows, gaming, animation and narration. She is the face and voice of Omaze UK; winner of The Ultimate VO Survivor, a US competition for voice actors; and one of New York City Journal’s Top 30 Inspiring Women of 2022.
“My passion is communicating a story to an audience and taking them on a journey, igniting emotions and creating memories. This passion helps me to develop wonderful characters, voices and read scripts for some of the best in the business,” begins Jo.
Jo was born in Yorkshire, UK, with a passion for performing. Her whole life has been dedicated to telling stories either as an actress, presenter, and now, a highly experienced award-winning voice over actor.
After years of traveling the world, working and searching for love, she has married her best friend and soulmate and lives on a potato farm back in Yorkshire with their two dogs. She is incredibly proud of her family and adores her step daughters and all their achievements.
Speaking about her journey, Jo says, “My parents were huge role models, even though as a young child I didn’t know it at the time. They were entrepreneurs and gave me the inspiration to go it alone. I have always had the drive and commitment to be self-employed and run my own time, motivation and career.”
This imbebed strength came in handy when the pandemic hit and all of Jo’s presenting work, both at home and internationally, disappeared overnight. After the initial shock, she picked herself up, forged on diversifying, and focused entirely on voice acting from a home studio astutely built by her husband. She learnt how to be her own engineer and how to edit and market her skill, quickly growing a trusted, loved and successful business.
Today, she is the face and voice of Omaze UK and since 2020, they have raised £3,750,000 for six different charities and given away hundreds of life changing prizes. With a drive to change the world, Jo also supports black, Asian and Southeast Asian women through mentoring in the world of VO and finds it truly rewarding in every way.
“In my industry, there is a distinct lack of roles and opportunities for women of black, Asian and southeast Asian backgrounds to emerge. Myself and Alix Wilton Regan dedicated our time over the last year to mentor women and help them reach the heights they deserve,” shares Jo.
As a woman leader, what is the most challenging barrier she has faced? “I believe the biggest battle I have faced as a female leader is myself and the conversation that occurs in my own mind. Overcoming negativity and destructive language internally was a game changer and the reason why I had the successes that I have had in my life,” answers Jo.
In addition to global experience of more than two decades, Jo has also worked on over 200 live major events. For nearly all of her career, she has travelled internationally for 80% of the time, making relationships and commitments challenging. She viewed seeing the world, different cultures and focusing on experiences as her life. All this changed when she met her husband and a different balance needed to be struck, as time at home became precious. It was a big step to refocus but letting go of what doesn’t serve you anymore and allowing new opportunities to come into your life has meant that Jo is happier, more content and successful than ever before.
“My husband with his amazing energy, ability to love and unwavering positivity is a constant inspiration,” smiles Jo. On the other hand, in the voice over world she looks up to strong talented women with kind hearts such as Elley Ray Hennesy, Alex Wilton Regan and Tara Strong.
A woman of strength, substance and style herself, Jo believes that you should never take life too seriously or it will devour you. “For anyone reading, believe in yourself, be kind to yourself, and most of all, go for it with a smile because whatever it is that you want to achieve, it is possible with hard work and positivity,” she shares, as her lovely voice can be heard on every TV channel in the UK.