Voice-Over Narration: Do It Yourself or Pay for a Pro? by Debbie Grattan

A silly Lab puppy looking like he just got caught getting into paint cans and making a colorful mess.

Your corporation could have one, two or even dozens of video ideas in your lineup, from how-to instructional videos to those providing a description of your company or a rundown on specific services or products. You may also have an in-house team that typically takes care of all your production needs.

But, is that team using a voice that can really “cut it” when it comes to keeping your viewers fully engaged?

If you’re tempted to tap the smoothest-sounding voice from your staff to narrate your corporate videos, you may think you’re saving time, money and the hassle of searching out a full-time voice-over pro to hire for the job. But you could instead end up wasting time, money and creating an even bigger hassle when the smoothest-sounding voice doesn’t necessarily produce the smoothest final result.

As a longtime professional voice-over actor, I often get contacted by clients who have already completed their narration with someone that just didn’t work for them. The companies have already shelled out money as well as enormous amounts of time and effort – only to be saddled with a video they couldn’t use – due to shoddy and substandard narration.

The shoddiness may have come from any number or combination of problems. These are problems you simply won’t face if you hire an experienced full-time voice-over pro.

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Casting Voice Over Talent for E-Learning, by Peter Drew

You’ve integrated narration and role-playing into your instructional design.  Now, you have to cast the voice talent and get the best reads possible out of them.  This process starts, not with listening to voice-over demos, but with the course itself.

Casting starts with questions

To whom is the course targeted?  Primary gender?  Age?  Financial status?  What is the attitude of the course’s presentation?  Formal?  Light and breezy?  Enthusiastic?  Intimate?  What method is used to measure a learner’s performance?  Anything that has a bearing on not just what is said but how it’s said.

Use the answers to these types of questions to get an idea of the type of voice that would work best as the instructor/narrator.  For role-playing scenes, create a simple persona for each character in order to reflect and reinforce what is being taught.  For example, a female supervisor discussing a job performance review with an employee.  How old is she?  What is her personality?  Is she demanding?  Quiet, yet commanding?  How does she dress?  Is she feminine or otherwise?  What about the employee?  How old is this worker?  Meek and compliant?  Defiant and obstinate?  Concerned and engaged?

Finding the right voice

Once you created these simple character sketches, you have a basis for casting the voice talent.  So, where can you find the right talent for your project?  The Internet has revolutionized the voice over business.  Before the advent of the Web, a producer had to work through a third party, e.g., a talent agency or recording studio to locate voice over artists.  Today, through the Internet, you can locate and contact talent directly, as well as through talent agents, recording studios, and voice casting sites.

On the Internet, voice-over demos are just a mouse click away.  Most voice talents have at least two demos—one for commercials and another for narrations.  For e-learning casting purposes, the more important demo is the narration demo.  With the expansion of online learning and training, though, there are voice talents that now specialize in voicing instructional material.  You can tailor your search to locate these specialists and their
e-learning demos.  If no credits are provided along with the online demo and the voice over artist makes your short list, then be sure to ask if he or she has voiced an elearning project.  Having experience in the category might be helpful in determining your final selection.

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Top 10 eLearning Content Development Companies For 2015, by Christopher Pappas

top-10-elearning-content-development-companies-for-2015

As “top” can mean many things, we created this year’s list by following the same process that we used for the top 10 eLearning content development companies for 2014 list. Taking a closer look at the companies that are leading the line when it comes to eLearning, we selected the top 10 based on the following 7 criteria:

  1. eLearning Content Development Quality. 
  2. eLearning Expertise. 
  3. eLearning Industry Innovation. 
  4. eLearning Company’s Economical Growth Potential. 
  5. Customer Retention. 
  6. Employee Turnover. 
  7. Company’s Social Responsibility. 

As you can guess, the companies on the following list are the eLearning content development crème de la crème. Don’t hesitate to review their official websites and contact them to know more about how they can help you align your organization’s learning and performance goals with its business objectives. If you are looking for the best eLearning content development companies that create high impact and super engaging and immersive eLearning courses, here you are:

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