eLearning Voiceover

The last two decades (and especially the last 10 years) have seen a major shift in the way work gets done in a modern society. We’ve seen this manifest in the way companies train their employees. In the past, it was common for businesses to spend a great deal of money on training departments…which were staffed by content developers, technical writers and live presenters/trainers…many of whom traveled the country or the world getting the company’s employees up-to-snuff on the latest production methods or company philosophies.

Clearly the internet has changed all that. It accelerated a shift that started a few years before the internet took hold with computer-based training (CBT), where PowerPoint and similar programs were used to create slide shows that employees could watch on their own. And even before that, training videos were very popular. The biggest problem with these methods was getting them everywhere they needed to be seen…AND the expense of keeping them up-to-date.

So what did the internet bring to the dance? Speed and ubiquity. Training content can now be made available everywhere, almost immediately. And updates are no problem. When content is delivered via the web, it only has to be changed one time, in one place. Then, the next time it’s viewed…the trainee sees the latest version. Often this requires minimum cost and expertise, as most Online Training content is presented using Flash or Articulate…so the time and personnel involved in the update is minimal, thereby eliminating bottlenecks. A tremendous boon for efficiency (not to mention cost savings)!

This new training format is most commonly referred to as eLearning (aka Elearning or E-learning) or Web-Based Training (WBT).

My particular expertise and style of communication is perfectly suited to this genre…which is why huge companies like Alcatel-Lucent (now Nokia), Wendy’s Intenational, Mindleaders (now Skillsoft) and various agencies of the US Government (especially the Department of Defense) called on me regularly to fill their needs in this regard. My voice has also been of use for decades in mainstream educational training products for huge publishers like Glencoe/Macmillan/McGraw-Hill.

Because e-learning is SUCH a huge trend for business and education, there are countless people hunkered down in small recording studios reading scripts…slaving over a hot microphone…cranking out this new content. And it’s mostly a numbers game…”how cheap can you work?” Admittedly, there is competitive pressure…especially among the educational crowd.

But there’s a big problem with making these decisions primarily on the numbers. Companies often learn two things when using cheap talent:

  • It costs a lot to clean up the mess. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been brought in to re-record after the client found that it took 3 times as long to edit badly-done voice tracks as it did to record them. Over and over, clients have thanked me for pulling their bacon out of the fire after an abortive first attempt with the company president’s nephew or someone else “who used to be on the radio”.
  • The message doesn’t get through. What’s the point of investing time and energy into developing your training content if the people you hire to voice it barely understand it, and obviously, cannot therefore communicate it to others? You won’t find this to be a problem when dealing with me!

Consider hiring a true professional to do this work for you. You won’t regret it! 😉