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Things you need to know about having voice acting in your elearning

Just as a facilitator can make or break a classroom course, the right voice acting can be invaluable in taking your elearning content to another level. Having audio is also essential for your aural learners to absorb the material. Most of the elearning we create include narration, and when you need your elearning to be voiced there are a few things a developer should know.

microphone in front of a computer showing sound editing software

Don’t use text-to-speech

Even though Storyline 360 comes with six options for converting your text to audio that sound reasonably realistic, the current state of technology in electronically generated voices still doesn’t have the same human connection of having a real person read out your script. Having a professional actor give voice and inflection to your words is worth the cost. Otherwise, your learners might tune out the automated voices.

One practical use of the text-to-speech function, though, is that copying and pasting your slide script into it can give you an approximate idea of how long it will take for your VA to say it. This may mean you need to split some of the audio script out into another slide, or have graphic changes to accompany the audio.

Hire professional voice actors

It is tempting to record your material with your subject matter expert or a training manager using a phone. However, it’s harder than it looks to read out a script and make it sound personable and natural. Professional actors are trained to deliver your words naturally, and in different styles and tones depending on the character of your elearning. Also, having a real recording studio and high quality microphones make a huge difference to the sound quality.

Have a signed off script

Many voice actors charge per minute of recording, and there may be extra fees depending on how much processing is required after. This means you have to be sure that you keep audio changes to a minimum. If your script isn’t finalized, the amount spent on rerecords will start to pile up the more the VA has to redo. Also, changes aren’t just a matter of recording a single word. In general, the VA will have to rerecord the whole sentence, possibly the whole paragraph, to ensure the change flows naturally.

With these simple points in mind, you can create elearning that sounds great, is right for your content, and will help your learner be engaged and retain the material better. Contact us to help you create an effective elearning script and bring it to life!

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