Voice Over Narration And eLearning Scripts
Inside Secrets for Voice Over Narration in eLearning
One piece of the puzzle to creating engaging, understandable, effective learning and development content is finding the right voices to bring your content to life. Another piece of the puzzle is making sure your scripts help them with this. This chapter explains the steps to write, record, and create voiceover comments and eLearning scripts.
Text-to-Speech for L&D Professionals: The Next Frontier of Storytelling
Learn how to create inclusive online training experiences that engage your remote learners.
Step 1: write your scripts
When writing your eLearning scripts, you consider two main factors: engagement and understanding. You want to be very clear about what the listener is learning and why it is important, and you want to make it easy and fun to listen.
To write scripts that are easy to understand, write the way you speak. Avoid using complicated language or long sentences. Read back your content for yourself to make sure you don’t find any words that bother you. Sometimes sentences sound better in your head than when they are spoken out loud. Pay attention to these sentences and rephrase them. Make sure your punctuation is on point and use commas or ellipses strategically to indicate pauses.
To increase retention, break the contents into smaller pieces and test them. For example, when teaching cybersecurity and the impact of a data breach, you don’t just provide three hours of content followed by a comprehensive test. Studies show that micro-learning, where you break complex topics down into much smaller videos, lessons, or modules, is actually more effective for retention and understanding. Also, to further improve understanding, provide theoretical and concrete examples of the workplace as you break down the content.
Step 2: choosing the right voice
Once you’ve created your script, it’s time to pick a voice that does it justice.
The first component is making sure your talent fits the context of your content. For example, if you are training nurses in a scenario-based training module, you may want your language skills to create a sense of urgency when dealing with an emergency. Or, you want a voice that sounds professional, calm, and respectable, like a doctor. You don’t necessarily want the voice of a promotional video to be talking about cardiac arrest workout, you know?
In another example, if you are teaching content that is naturally dry, you want to make it as bearable as possible for your listeners. It can be difficult to convey this to a staff narrator or voice production company. There is an art in using flexion, cadence, and voice to get a listener’s attention, and while you love your co-workers, voice-over voices just may not be their forte.
Not only does this mean that you have to choose the appropriate voice for your scenario. If you are using a speaker or staff narrator, be sure to include these pointers in your scripts as well.
Choosing a text-to-speech avatar that naturally has the right voice for your content can avoid this extra step. When choosing the voice for your script, you can either choose from an existing text-to-speech avatar or create your own. This allows you to design the ideal voice right from the start, taking into account the context of your script, the similarity of your character, and other branding parameters.
Step 3: recording
The whole point is that even with the perfect script and voice actor, people struggle to read aloud without conversation. People stumble over words, take breaks, and need to repeat.
Even when the recording is done (hurray!), It is never really done. Your records need to be updated every time your company’s processes, website, teams, or calls to action change.
Even if you can find a member of staff willing to record training modules for you, an initial 30 minute commitment can result in multiple repetitions to get the right results. All of a sudden, your co-worker is devoting several sessions outside of her typical work area to be recorded (and re-recorded) somewhere in a private closet … if you can find one.
Without text-to-speech technology, this process becomes an (understatement) headache. However, if you work with a text-to-speech voice avatar, a voice is always available to you. Plus, you can enter 1,000 characters at a time, so you can edit one block at a time instead of getting three hours of content back and catching every last thing when it’s effectively too late.
Step 4: audio editing
Finally, when it comes to voice-over narration, there are some technical considerations to keep in mind.
For one, recording with a standard computer and headphones is not enough, especially in a typical office environment with multiple background noise. To get a high quality audio recording, you need to invest in the right microphones, headphones, and a room with no background noise or echoes. You don’t want your listeners to be distracted by poor audio quality or background noise when they should engage with your content.
The fact is, you might have gotten away with minimal technology a few years ago, but these days people are more tech-savvy than ever. You’re surrounded by podcasts, YouTube, and videos. Without ever studying it, you will feel what a high quality audio production sounds like. Your L&D content affects the way employees perceive your company. Like it or not, your cool factor starts with your L&D materials.
With text-to-speech, you can avoid the risk of bad background noise, echoes, or artifacts. You need to avoid tracking down the perfect microphone, headphones, or soundproof cabinet. You can just upload your script, push a button, and make a foolproof recording in one take.
Voice-over narration: where the right text-to-speech platform comes in
Your script is the beginning of your L&D content. For a speech production team or employee, words alone may not be enough. You may need to input pointers, account for repetition, tweak background noise, and find just the right person every time you record (and re-record). With text-to-speech, however, you can effectively bypass most of the manual steps, choose or create your ideal avatar without repetition reading, catch changes early and update your recordings at the push of a button.
Download the eBook Text-to-Speech For L&D Pros: The Next Frontier In Storytelling to learn how to use AI speech generators for your remote learning programs and drive employee engagement. Also, attend the webinar to learn how to update eLearning voiceovers on time and under budget!