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Our office has been working with Rebecca for some time now and is always extremely satisfied with the high quality of her work. In our business, careful attention to detail and precision is essential, especially when working with advanced terminology in science and medicine. Rebecca gets it right the first time, and is fast, responsive and pleasant in the process. Best of all, our clients love her voice for their products.
We appreciate and recommend using Rebecca Haugh for eLearning voice recordings. She is very attentive to the scripts and works with ease and speed, overall very professional and pleasant. Her recordings are perfect and don’t require any editing or re-recording. Her turn-around time is very quick. She also takes up adhoc requests. Overall it is a pleasure to work with her.
eLearning Industry Videos Voiced by Rebecca
eLearning Industry Articles written by Rebecca:
3 Tips to Write an eLearning Script for Listener’s Ears
Collaborating with eLearning Developers, I’ve studied how eLearning courses are ‘heard’ by the course participant. Here are important tactics, bite-sized, for your use.
Voice Over Audio Script Format Tip: Save Time
Here is a quick, efficient tip with a simple audio script format that will save you time: Great when not recording yourself, but having any other person record for you.
5 tips for eLearning Voiceover
Here are some helpful eLearning voice recording tips to plan for your next eLearning project. They might help you get a much better voice recording or at least avoid problems.
Four Bite-sized eLearning Tactics
Collaborating with eLearning Developers over the last 10 years, I’ve watched how eLearning course narratives are – or are not – fully utilizing spoken audio. A narrative ‘heard’ by the course participant can either augment the strength of the course as well as learning retention, or be turned ‘off’. Don’t waste your money!
Here are four, bite-sized tactics you can try or refine. Maybe it’s already part of your due diligence for creating a course? Use these ideas to customize narratives for your course participant and increase impact for your client.
1. The Course Participant Perspective
- Who is the course participant – their job title, role, and level of experience?
- What mindset will they have when taking the course? Are they generally open or closed to it? Is it required, or optional? Do they need it for their advancement?
- Is it more critical they hear from a peer, or a higher up, or a subject matter expert?
- What speed rate and energy of speaking is the right pace for your audience? USA normal speaking rate is about 135-150 words per minute. International English might be on the slower part of that range. ‘Energy’ reflects the musicality of the speech, and movement within notes. Think of musical tones ‘do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti, do’, and whether the talking utilizes the whole range (high energy), stays on one note (low energy), or is something in between.
Often I’ve read training scripts, particularly mandatory courses, where the narrative gives more of a top-down ‘you must learn this’ sensation. My observation of eLearning designers who adjust their script’s vocabulary, tone and pacing to specifically engage more course participants not only serve the overall course objectives but create positive learning experiences.
2. General Tone VS. Who is Talking
General examples of narrative tone can be: Strong and Confident, Wise; Caring and Conversational; Conversational and Lighthearted, fun; Dry and Professional, Clinical. These overall tones for a narrative ignore the specific situation for your training participant.
To have more impact, define who is the narrator from the perspective of the course participant. Specify their role, in relation to the course participant. This specificity will create tangible context for the narrative – and the person who reads it for you.
For example, is this a co-worker teaching a new process to her experienced peers, or differently, is she showing a new person the basics? Is this a subject matter expert sharing information to peers, or differently, to top management.
Here are very tangible examples that provide much more context than generic tone:
- A foster care Social Worker, teaching new social workers…
- Human Resources manager reinforcing safety standards to engineers…
- A Retail Buyer teaching a new inventory and sales system to peers…
3. Create Impact with Proximity
Most courses never address where the narrator’s voice is, relative to the course participant. In fact, the majority of courses place the narrator figuratively “sitting next to” the course participant because often the participant is listening with headphones or on a personal device while taking the course. Assuming that’s the norm, look for an opportunity to create impact by changing that pattern.
For a moment, compare these styles of speaking:
- Whispering vs. Talking at a cubicle vs. Presenting to a room of people.
- A voice actor can move further or closer to the microphone to recreate these styles. We call that ‘proximity’ or ‘proximity to mic.’
Can your script use ‘proximity’ to create poignant moments for participants? A whisper or an ‘aside’ at the right time, highlighting importance? It’s like an audible ‘leaning in’. Or a ‘lean back’ with slightly increased volume to make it ‘bigger,’ cheer someone on or celebrate? Used sparingly = high impact.
4. Keep it Conversational
Even if you cannot do all of the above, please do make your narrative pleasant for the ears by making it conversational in flow since it will be spoken aloud and recorded.
- Use informal language.
- Use contractions (isn’t, there’s, etc.).
- Put lists in conversational sentences with commas.
- Varied and shorter sentences — avoid complicated, or long sentences.
- Read your own script aloud and listen to hear how it sounds and flows.
As a trained actor, I do my best to breathe life into the words and create narrative ‘worlds’, in collaboration with all the other moving parts, to contribute to successful eLearning projects.
Thank you for taking the time to review these ideas, and please reply back with your inspired thoughts and advice.