Originally posted on https://www.amazingvoice.com/blog/what-to-know-about-elearning-voiceovers
Including a voice over in your E-learning course not only adds value to the product but can be an effective tool to attract more customers and increase your profit.
Adding a voice to an online learning process helps users master new knowledge faster as it makes it more personal.
Another benefit of an E-learning voice over is that it can boost the learner’s engagement.
Basically, there are two ways of adding voice to an E-learning course: the instructor who created the course can record the audio themselves or you can hire a professional voice over company.
Regardless of the option you go for, there are several steps to follow and a bundle of tips you need to implement to do it right.
7 Golden Rules of Using Voice Overs in E-learning
Typically, E-learning is associated with written online content and visuals.
Sometimes, tactile elements are integrated to cater to the audience’s sense of touch, but the sense of hearing is often left out.
Using the right audio in your E-learning course can make it even more memorable, emotional, and engaging for online learners.
This can lead to greater knowledge absorption and retention which also helps to maximize the benefits of the E-learning course.
In order to achieve the desired effects, it is important to follow these golden rules for using audio in E-learning.
Keep it Conversational
Learners don’t want to log into an E-learning course only to discover they will be dealing with a monotonous and mechanical narrator for the next half hour.
Keep the tone inviting, conversational and light, so your learners can easily connect with the subject matter.
It also helps to boost motivation and engagement, because you are holding their attention rather than boring them to tears with an automated voice.
Avoid using terminology that may be out of your audience’s scope.
Finally, try to add words of inspiration and encouragement whenever possible.
Be Prepared to Outsource
There are some E-learning audio components you need to outsource such as professional sound editing and voice overs.
You can break the process down to its most basic parts, from scriptwriting to E-learning audio editing.
It is also important to determine the tasks you can take care of yourself and which ones you will have to outsource to another vendor.
For instance, if you are not comfortable narrating the script yourself you can outsource it to a professional E-learning voice over company who can convey the appropriate emotion and tone.
You can even gather an entire team of audio specialists who you can easily call upon whenever the need arises.
For example, you can look for a voice over talent who has a specific tone or accent for an E-learning course.
Set the Mood with Music
The music you choose should always align with the E-learning course message and the subject matter.
Ultimately, it should convey a specific emotion that allows your learners to fully immerse themselves within the E-learning environment.
That is why it is crucial to identify the desired mood in advance and choose your music carefully.
Classical music is perfect for situations that call for inspiration and calm while ambient tracks with heavy bass can help online learners pick up the pace.
You can try out a few selections of music to see which track sets the right tone.
Choose Royalty-Free Sound Effects
Sound effects are widely useful in E-learning course design.
They can make E-learning simulations and scenarios even more realistic or add a sense of humor to an emotionally centered story.
However, it is important to choose royalty-free sound effects or cite the proper sources within an E-learning course.
For instance, several sites offer free sound effects but you have to attribute the creator before you can use the audio file.
Many E-learning authoring tools feature an asset library that includes royalty-free sound effects and music.
Use Background Audio Sparingly
The purpose of using background audio is to evoke a certain emotion and create a sense of immersion.
If your audio is distracting, too loud, or runs the entire duration of the E-learning course, it may have the opposite effect.
This is because your learners might be focusing more on background music than the E-learning activities or online texts that will help them achieve their goals.
Remember the brain can only process a limited amount of information at a time, including the audio elements in your E-learning course.
Explain Graphics with Audio
Audio narrations help to increase knowledge retention and increase comprehension, especially when it is used to explain complicated E-learning concepts or graphics.
For instance, if you have a complex chart you want to include in your E-learning course design you can integrate an audio narration that highlights all the aspects of the image.
You can also add a text-based explanation for those hearing-impaired online learners.
7 Golden Rules of Using Voice Overs in E-learning
Voice overs help to add an engaging element to your E-learning course; however, it has to be the right voice.
But how can you make the right selections that will strike the ideal tone?
Here are 6 tips to pitch the ideal E-learning voice overs for your E-learning course.
Identify your Audience
It is important to know who your target audience is.
Is the E-learning course meant for kids, young adults, or foreign students, or is it part of the in-house company training for your new employees?
It makes a difference whether you are addressing a newly hired employee who is getting to know the company or a seasoned engineer who is doing an online course for further qualification.
Knowing your audience makes choosing the best E-learning voice over easier.
Choose the Appropriate Style
Do you want the voice over to sound conversational and laid back or formal and business-like?
This largely depends on the topic, the online learners, and the way the script is written.
Don’t force a conversational topic into a formal topic and vice versa.
When it comes to E-learning voice over, professional, cultured, and formal delivery is what people expect to hear in the E-learning course.
That is why it is important to listen to samples of different voice overs to determine which one best suits the style of your online training program.
Avoid Automated Voices
We are all quite familiar with virtual assistants like Cortana, Alexa, or Siri.
They can offer helpful information and answer questions.
However, these voices sound distinctly non-human.
Using an automated voice bot for your E-learning course may be cheaper than hiring a professional, but the last thing you want is your course instructor sounding like a robot.
This will definitely distract your online learners.
Although Microsoft, Amazon, and Apple vocals sound better than the average GPS, they are still not perfect.
You should aim to give your online learners the same level of connection they would get in a traditional learning environment.
There are certain expressions and sound nuances machines can never match.
Raise your budget so you can afford a human voice actor.
The vocal subtleties and inflexions of a human voice simply have no substitute.
Pick a Professional Voice Over
You may be tempted to have your E-learning course voiced by your own staff.
You simply won’t get the right vocal stress if you go for this option.
E-learning voice over actors are trained in a wide range of delivery, from playful to serious.
These professionals can also interpret the script in a way amateurs may not manage.
They can read the script and add their own creative flair.
They can also help to bring more life to the role in a way the instructor hadn’t even considered.
This is exactly what they are paid to do.
Follow Your E-learning Course Content
While you are sure you want a professional E-learning voice over, you still want to go for the right one.
This choice largely depends on the E-learning course subject matter.
A compliance training course probably requires an authoritative voice.
You have to also consider the societal norms of your audience and their cultural backgrounds.
For instance, a gentle female voice may be the best bet of your course is teaching soft skills such as emotional intelligence.
A deep male voice may be your best option if your learners are more likely to heed a stern tone.
Get Someone that Follows Directions
As professional as an E-learning voice over talent may be, they still need guidance.
A good voice over actor can take directions on what to say, how to say it, and how long to pause.
Amateurs may be unable to execute these instructions.
While this isn’t crucial, finding someone who is familiar with the E-learning course material can be helpful.
If the E-learning voice over actor has worked in your field, they will deliver the content in a more natural way.
They understand the training material, so they will speak with more articulation and confidence.
They won’t sound like they are reading from a script.
Why You Should Hire a Professional E-learning Voice Over Talent
A successful E-learning course requires a lot of moving parts to synchronize, to hold and grab a learner’s attention.
Bad writing can sink your effort just as the voice you use can make or break your project.
Why work hard on the layout and script, only to have your presentation sound amateurish?
Indeed, it is also helpful to think about the audience too.
Do you want your listeners to suffer through multiple hours of poor performance delivered in poor quality audio?
Here are the benefits of hiring a professional E-learning voice overcompany.
- • Experience – A professional voice over company offers you many years of experience with a wide range of copy.
- • Industry Knowledge – They also understand the components of a voice over project and what is expected from them. This includes being sensitive to the needs of all the players.
- • Professional Recording Studio – An E-learning voice over company can deliver high-quality audio in their professional studio.
- • Trained Voice Actor – They understand how to deliver a great performance in front of a microphone and can interpret your script for its intended medium and audience.
- • Trained Engineer (Editor) – Voice over companies’ engineers professionally edit the audio recording, this involves removing breaths and unwanted noises, etc.
- • Commitment – A professional E-learning voice over company stays abreast of industry trends, from the latest technologies for recording to varying vocal styles performances.
- • Valuing Your Brand – The most important thing you need to consider is the impact a professional production will have on your brand identity. Investing in your business will benefit your company and it can send a signal to your employees and other consumers of the E-learning course that you value quality.
Choose a Native for Translation
You may want to use translation software for your regional E-learning course to save costs.
However, this can be as bad as changing the voice on a GPS.
The words may be right but the delivery is often clipped and asynchronous, and this can make the instructions more difficult to understand.
It is important to invest in a native speaker if your E-learning course will be consumed in different languages.
An individual who speaks at native levels will add more life to the role and they will get the tone and vocabulary right.
This is crucial because inflexions don’t always translate across vernaculars.
Also, some languages are driven by intonation while others are phonetics.
In such tongues, altering inflection changes or moving your stress changes the meaning of the word.
Choosing the right E-learning voice over for your online training program can be challenging.
Don’t pick the first volunteer that shows up or use a machine-generated voice.
Find a professional E-learning voice over company whose voice talents match your online training content.
Get someone that can be directed and is patient enough to repeat a segment as many times as necessary.
Professional E-learning voice over talents can read a single line multiple times until you get what you need.
Get in touch today for the best E-learning voice over for your online training course.