So you’ve finished your course, nailed down your talking points, and mapped out your distribution. But have you thought about the voice that will bring your training to life? Finding the right voice for your course calls for more than a “sounds good” approach. With these five tips, you’ll have the tools to find the right voice talent to enhance your course for learners.
1. Keep your audience engaged
If you want people to learn from your course, it’s essential to keep your delivery in tune with your content. Do you remember watching old training videos from your first job? Or listening to that droning teacher in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off? Just staying awake was a struggle! So look for a voice talent who will keep your training interesting and your message memorable. As your actor auditions, listen for conversational voice dynamics and believable tones. These characteristics will enhance the scenarios in your course so they sound realistic and relatable rather than canned.
2. Maintain brand consistency
The voice you choose should reflect your brand’s overall image. Some organizations have marketing and advertising materials that you can reference, which makes the process much simpler. Remember to focus on the learner, and to keep the company’s brand and message consistent. This is how the rock stars do it!
3. Speak with natural pacing
E-learning needs a conversational delivery. Listen for auditions that sound like real people rather than overproduced radio promos. Consider adapting your script so it reads at about 150 words per minute, rather than stretching it out to the classic commercial tempo of 120-130 words per minute. A voice talent who can bring an “every day” pace to your project is more likely to keep your audience’s interest.
4. Check previous experience or star rating
It’s usually beneficial to work with a voice talent that has previous e-learning or large-project experience, such as for documentaries or audiobooks. Look through some of their past voice-over jobs and poke around their websites—most voice talent have a space for you to check out testimonials and demos.
However, if you find a voice that’s able to deliver the brand image, pacing, and engagement you want, but hasn’t done an e-learning project before, trust your instincts. Everyone has to start somewhere, and sometimes the newbies are as eager to deliver a perfect project as you are. Just be sure to have a reliable audition and recommendations.
5. Specify technical expectations
Your voice talent will need to deliver the finished product, and these projects often require a lot of editing and labeling after recording. Be thorough and clear about your technical requirements so you get what you need from your hired talent. A quick Google search, or consultation with your account manager if you go through a voice-over marketplace like Voices.com, can help you pinpoint exactly what you need.
Once you’ve determined your technical needs, you should post full details about the number of files you want, how you want them labeled, and when they’re due. This will help you attract technically capable talent.
Whether you’re seeking talent on your own, or using a website to source the voice for your course, these five pointers will help your e-learning course resonate with your audience and be a success for you, your team, and your client.
About Grant Thomas
Grant Thomas is the Manager of Professional Services at Voices.com. He brings over 15 years of professional experience in broadcast media, audio production, instructional design, client management, and talent recruitment. He is a “go-to” e-learning production contact for many of Voices.com’s large-enterprise clientele.