Choosing a Voice for Your e-Learning Course

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In this blog post, I go behind the scenes of creating audio for e-Learning courses.

What to Look for in Your Voice Talent

  • Firstly, choose a voice who records in a professional studio. You could hire Patrick Stewart, but if he made your recording in a shower cubicle using a smart phone you’d not be happy with the result!
  • Next, voice overs who regularly record e-Learning content are the best people to work with. Like myself, they are usually masters of editing and processing audio. They’ll edit your recordings and split them up into separate files (often for each slide that your course specifies). This means their work will drop straight into your training course or e-Learning program and you’ll not concern yourself personally with any audio engineering.
  • Hire voiceovers who have a good internet connection and are tech savvy. This way they’ll not struggle to promptly send you the the large number of audio files your training course likely requires.
  • Check the talent that you hire are regularly available. When you’re creating a lot of audio, mistakes in the script often need addressing. Hiring a voice over talent who is available everyday will ensure that those mistakes can be quickly amended and your project isn’t put on hold.

Do It Yourself vs Paying a Professional Voice Over

Many people think that they can record a good-enough voice over, especially if the project is on a budget. Not surprisingly however, the recording quality and sound of amateur voice overs is below par most of the time.

Additionally, amateur voices aren’t experienced actors. Remember back to your early school days when someone came in to read at story time? Some people had a knack for it while others would read all words as though they were the same. Which did you prefer?

The bottom line is that a professional voice talent will give the most interesting delivery of your message. E-Learning courses (and nearly all kinds of educational audio recording) are, by definition, long. If the message could be conveyed in a quicker way then it would be. It’s important to respect the fact that your audience are going to be listening for a long time, and so they deserve to hear a voice that doesn’t grate or become tiresome – and even better that keeps them interested beyond the first few minutes!

As someone experienced in e-Learning and audio book acting, I am trained for these marathons of text.

  1. eLearning Narration Josh Shirt Voice Over 0:43
  2. Medical Narration Josh Shirt Voice Over 0:29
  3. English Language Course Narration Josh Shirt Voice Over 0:38
  4. Audiobook Narration Josh Shirt Voice Over 1:54

I’m conscious during my performances of e-Learning voiceovers that they must maintain an interesting, clear and engaging tone, as demonstrated in this instructional video I recorded for Samsung.

Choose a Voice Who Can Act

E-learning courses usually have a variety of real-life scenarios aimed at demonstrating the case in point. These scenarios, designed to place the listener in a role play situation, strive to be believable so that the listener can experience and learn from the interaction. It’s therefore important that the voices they’re hearing can act!

Professional voices can often create and perform multiple characters as shown here in my characters showreel:

  1. Characters - Video Game and Audiobook Josh Shirt Voice Over 1:04

When you cast voice overs who are also actors your life will be easier:

  • Your project will require less planning when each voice can play multiple characters
  • Overall the number of voices you’ll have to hire will be reduced, saving you money.

My Credentials

If you’re looking for a voice that ticks all of these boxes, please consider me for your e-Learning project.

To date, I have completed many large audio projects, from audiobooks to training courses.

I Can Also Manage Your Entire E-Learning Project

As an experienced voice actor and trained sound engineer with a good knowledge of the UK voice over industry, I can also offer a one-stop-shop for your e-Learning project. If you would like me to cast multiple talented voices and record and edit your entire project then please get in touch to discuss your requirements.