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Your questions about voice over for e-learning – answered!

Man taking e-learning course

What’s so good about e-learning?

E-learning is growing at a phenomenal rate. Even before Covid the numbers of online courses being produced were on the rise (up 900% since the year 2000), but since the pandemic even more training is moving into the virtual space.

Of course, for some training there is nothing better than being hands on and face to face, but for many subjects, e-learning is definitely the way forward – and there are some surprising facts and figures as to why this is a good thing.

12% of HR managers cite ‘not enough training’ as one of the top reasons that employees leave.

Companies that offer e-learning generate 26% more revenue per employee.

E-learning increases knowledge retention rates by 25-60%.

72% of companies believe that e-learning has helped them increase their competitive edge through up to date knowledge.

E-learning courses consume 90% less energy and create 85% fewer carbon emissions.

Employees that have access to e-learning are more engaged and more productive – and they learn faster too.

Source 

Where is e-learning used?

E-learning is used in a huge variety of sectors. Examples include:

Pharmaceutical and Medical

Hospitality

Transport

Banking and Finance

IT and Technology

Health and wellbeing

Legal and Compliance

Charities

Real estate

Food

Education and Academia

Manufacturing

Energy production

What kind of training is e-learning used for?

The possibilities are almost endless but here are some examples from my personal experience:

In the medical and healthcare sector, e-learning can be used to teach people how to use pieces of medical equipment, how to administer certain drugs, and how to deal with different kinds of patients including those with dementia or other specific problems.

In the hotel industry e-learning can be used to train staff in hospitality and customer service.

In the public transport sector e-learning has been used to train staff in customer service.

The food sector uses e-learning to disseminate information on regulatory compliance.

Charities use e-learning to train staff and volunteers on topics such as safeguarding, and how to work with teams in other countries.

Many types of business from manufacturing to retail use e-learning to teach staff how to use software and apps necessary for their work.

The renewable energy industry uses e-learning, including VR programmes, to train staff how to handle situations off-shore.

What are the advantages of e-learning?

The beauty of e-learning is that the learner can access it from anywhere with an internet connection at a time to suit them. They can learn at their own pace, and easily go back and re-visit anything they didn’t quite understand.

A well-written course will keep the learner engaged with a variety of content. This can be as simple as incorporating puzzles and quizzes to test the knowledge acquired, right through to immersive and gamified learning which may include the use of VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality), to really put the learner at the heart of their training.

Why use a professional voiceover artist for e-learning?

A professionally trained voice over artist will make a huge difference to an e-learning course. Their voice will bring the course to life – and give it a human dimension. They will know how to pace the narration – not too quickly so that information is lost, and not so slowly that the learners are bored. They will also know how to emphasise key points to bring out important information with the tone of their voice – something that may be lost when just reading text on a page.

They can make complicated subjects sound easy and keep learners engaged with a friendly and conversational tone, that is maintained throughout the programme. None of that is as easy as it sounds – it takes training and practice to do well!

A professional voiceover artist will also be recording the narration in an acoustically treated space, so the audio quality will be good. There is nothing worse than listening to poorly recorded audio with lots of background noise for an extended period of time!

How is e-learning narration charged for?

Generally the accepted method of charging for e-learning is by the word, with an extra charge if the audio has to be split up into lots of files. There is not usually a charge for usage as by its nature e-learning tends to be used internally within a company and not broadcast on the internet.

How do I choose a voiceover artist for my e-learning course?

There are many voiceover artists out there, but not all will be experienced in e-learning narration – and it is a particular skill. Have a listen to their voiceover demos – do they have samples of e-learning modules? It’s not often that voice over artists can share e-learning work they have done in the past as, (quite rightly), clients don’t want just anybody to be able to access their courses. Don’t be surprised therefore if they can’t point you to projects they have worked on before – however an e-learning sample on their demo reel should be available.

Ask who they have narrated courses for before. They may not be able to tell you all the companies they have worked for (there are certainly some companies I’ve worked for that I’m not allowed to talk about), but hopefully they can give you a few names so you can understand which sectors they have worked in.

Ask for a sample. Most professional voice over artists will happily record a few lines from your project so you can hear how they would sound narrating your course.

Which companies have you narrated e-learning courses for?

I can’t mention all the companies I have worked for as I am bound by non-disclosure agreements, but some of the well-known companies I have narrated courses for include Hilton Garden Inn, the NHS, Govia Thameslink, Highways England, Danone, Barnardos, UNICEF, Roche, BNI and the European Food Safety Agency. I’ve also worked for many less well-known business too.

What do I need to provide my e-learning narrator?

Often my e-learning clients will just provide me with their script. Sometimes there will be a storyboard to accompany the words, or perhaps a copy of the slides that I will be voicing over. The most important thing is that if I am required to split the audio into short files to go with each slide, that I know how these files are to be labelled. A long script can be split down in hundreds of files so it’s imperative to get this right at the start!

Any other questions?

If you have any other questions about e-learning narration please drop me a line and I’ll be happy to help!