Just because your elearning software allows you to record your own narration, it doesn’t automatically follow that you should.
You may think that recording the narration yourself, or asking your work colleagues to record it for you, will be the cheaper option. However, in the long-run this isn’t necessarily the case. Here are six reasons why using an amateur voice – whether thats you or your friends – can be a false economy.
1. You/Your colleagues may have a nice sounding voice, but it takes more than a nice voice to produce a professional narration. Voiceover artists have the experience and techniques to get the correct tone, inflections and pace.
2. You may have the software to enable recording, but do you have the right recording environment? A professional voiceover artist usually works within a home recording studio which is set up to provide an ideal acoustic environment. They can provide you with recordings that are free of background sounds, elimanating noises like the whirr of computer fans and airconditioning systems.
3. A professional Voice over artist has also invested more time and expense in their recording hardware. They will have access to more sophisticated equipment than your $10 USB mic, and they will also have the technological knowledge to get the best sound out of their gear.
4. Long-form narration is a skill that not everyone has the talent for – even some professional voiceover artists prefer to concentrate on shorter voiceover projects and avoid projects like training, e-learning and audio book narration. The ability to read consistently throughout the whole course takes experience and confidence.
5. Using amateur voices will require more re-takes and therefore will take more time to complete the project.
6. When you send out your eLearning course to your client for review, they may well complain about the audio quality from your amateur voice recordings. You can then either spend time re-editing to see whether issues can be resolved without a re-record. Or alternatively, hire a professional voice artist to record the whole course again, but provide you with quality audio recordings with a professional sounding narration.
Written by Alison Pitman. For further information about the author and to hear her voice demos visit www.thephonevoice.com