While voice over artists in the past earned a living narrating for films, bringing cartoon characters to life and producing movie trailers, these days you’re just as likely to find voice over people recording social media videos or apps.

Another fast-growing area for voice over artists is recording content for eLearning modules. The eLearning industry is booming right across the globe, as well as in Australia, and is changing the way we think about education.

If you’re involved in producing eLearning content you’ll know there’s a lot to organise, including finding a voice over artist. Not just any voice over artist will do, however. The best eLearning is engaging and authentic, and the voice you choose will play a significant role in how successful your content will be.

5 tips for finding the right voice over artist for your eLearning project

1. Target your audience

Think about who the target audience is. You’ll no doubt have discussed this during the briefing process and before writing scripts and it’s worth considering again. The voice over artist you choose needs to engage and connect with your target audience. People generally will engage with others who they relate to, so if you know your target audience well, you’ll have a much better idea of the voice over artist you need.

2. Know your brand

You should also consider the company the eLearning content is being produced for. What is their brand and values? What is the ‘feel’ of the company. For example, is the company quirky, creative, innovative, corporate or professional? This can help you identify the voice over style, tone and pitch you need to make your eLearning more engaging. The more engaging it is, the more likely the information will be retained by the learner.

3. Select a voice over style

When it comes to eLearning, the two most popular read styles are natural and professional. The natural style is conversational and authentic, which can help to engage and connect with the Learner. The professional style is more formal, authoritative and knowledgeable. It’s still engaging but is more direct and matter-of-fact. Think about which style is likely to work better for your target audience and subject.

4. Voice over artist gender?

When it comes to voice overs in general, there has been a lot of research into whether a male or female voice is best. However, most of the research has been far from conclusive and some has been contradictory. Again, consider your target audience. If they are predominantly male or female, then choosing a voice over artist of the same gender generally might make sense as they’ll be more relatable.

5. Synthetic vs human voice overs

Technology has advanced a great deal in recent years. AI, text-to-speech and other methods to generate a voice over without talent needing to step into a booth are possible. The upside? You’ll likely reduce costs and decrease turnaround time as the human element is not a factor.

But the downsides are greater. It’s near impossible to get a truly authentic-sounding voice – we’ve all heard Apple’s Siri. She’s OK, but not great. It’s also difficult to make subtle changes to inflection and delivery.

When creating eLearning content, the aim is to engage with the learner and have them retain the information. Unauthentic, fake-sounding voice overs might save some costs in the short term, but in the long run will cost your client as their training fails to truly engage with the learner.

6. Availability

When you do find a voice over artist that’s perfect for your eLearning content, you’ll want to hold on to them. This will allow you to use them again to update material and produce new lessons. You’re not necessarily after a long-term commitment, but it’s worth checking your voice over artist’s past record of availability likelihood they’ll be available in the coming years.

It’s painful when you’re updating content and you have to cast a different voice due to availability issues. This can feel random and out of the place to the listener, and distract them from the content.

Get help with your eLearning project

If you need help finding the perfect voice over artist for your eLearning lesson, Abe’s Audio can help. We can work with you and make recommendations on the gender, age range and style of voice over artists that you need to make your next eLearning project a success.

Find the right eLearning voice

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