Gender – Would your students respond better to a female or male narrator? This may depend on the type of eLearning course you are developing and the audience it is intended for. Younger children may prefer a female voice for a training course. An industry that is particularly male-orientated may prefer to hear a male voice.
Age – This refers to the Age of the Voice, rather than the age of the Voiceover Actor. Some voiceovers have a more mature sound than their years, other voice actors specialize in providing child-like voiceovers which work particularly well voicing some online animations. Again, the age of the audience should be taken into consideration. Training programs developed for a company who recruits mainly younger staff will lend itself to a fresh, younger sounding voice, to give a modern, funky edge to its narrations.
Style – The nature of the training program will heavily influence the style you will ask your voiceover artist to narrate the script in. If it is a language training module, the style should be slower, clear, paying particular attention to enunciation and diction. The script writers should also keep in mind how the narration should be said – if they are after a more relaxed conversational tone, its important that the script is written to take this into consideration. Instead of “do not” write “don’t” for example. Small adjustments can help loosen up the script to produce a less formalised tone.
Accent – Do you choose an accent native to your viewers and listeners? Do you go for a more international feel? A British RP accent is sometimes chosen to represent an international training program where listeners will be from a wide spectrum of countries. This could be a decision made on an asumption that a British RP accent will be the most widely understood accent.
Written by Alison Pitman. For further information about the author and to hear her voice demos visit www.thephonevoice.com