Rosi Amador – PBS SoCal “Family Math” Educational Narration (English Voiceover): Rosi Amador provided this voiceover for an educational program for PBS SoCal, the primary Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) member television station for the Southern California market.
Compelling Narration For Effective Educational Content
One of the most rewarding parts of our job is being able to use our voices to educate people (and to educate ourselves in the process). That’s why eLearning (educational narration) is one of our favorite voiceover genres.
The eLearning industry has seen enormous growth in the last few years. As we weather the first, and hopefully last pandemic of our lifetimes, the need for content that keeps the public informed has grown exponentially. At the same time, eLearning developers are creating ever more innovative eLearning content, and many of them have come to us for narration and character voices. We’ve also been collaborating with PBS affiliates on exciting new educational programming, and museums are finally receiving in-person visitors again, so we’re back to narrating audio tours of some breathtaking exhibits. It is never a boring day at ABVO!
We are passionate learners in both of our native languages, so we’re fortunate that around 50% of our voice over work consists of eLearning content. It’s amazing what you can learn reading this stuff! In fact, we feel so strongly about it that we dedicated an entire page on our website to our eLearning work. (Link to page in website).
Working alongside industry titans like Discovery Education’s Mystery Science, WNET – Thirteen Public Television in NYC, MCD Public Health, National Science Foundation, the Getty Museum and NASA, we have had the opportunity to voice hundreds of wonderful educational narration and eLearning projects in English, Spanish, and Hispanic accented English covering a wide variety of topics. We couldn’t be more grateful.
We thought it might be fun to share some behind the scenes tips and tricks we have learned working as eLearning industry voice actors. Our experience has taught us what’s required to take eLearning narration from good to amazing.
1. A Disengaged Audience is a Wasted Opportunity
E-learning content needs to be accessible, self-paced, relevant, and personalized. Equally important, though, is keeping the audience engaged. Many of the top eLearning producers we have worked with are constantly adopting new strategies to ensure engagement. These efforts include new design elements, an interactive presentation, and organizing the content into easily absorbed bits of information. As always, our clients recognize the importance of casting a professional educational narrator. One of the most powerful teaching tools is the human voice, and as anyone who’s sat through a boring lecture can tell you, the quality of that voice matters!
Zia Amador / Rosi Amador “Meet Zia” Out Maine Educational Narration (English Voiceover): Zia and Rosi Amador recorded this animation created by Medical Care Development, MCD Global Health. MCD’s mission is to improve the health and wellbeing of people worldwide through enduring, high quality, cost-effective and universally accessible public health solutions.
2. Using Professional Voice Talent
When cost is an issue (and when isn’t it?) it may be tempting to consider not investing in professional voice talent. Nevertheless, elearning narration requires a set of skills that only trained voice actors possess. There’s a lot more involved than just reading text. Being a good voice actor means having not only an appealing voice, but also proficient acting skills. Bringing characters to life and expressing their emotions is a craft. A professional voice actor can help motivate the audience and focus their attention, increase information retention, and enhance the overall quality of the production.
3. Do a Test Run
You know that hiring a professional is essential for a high quality narration, but how do you find the right voice for your project? Easy: request an audition! Ask your voiceover provider to record a short sample of your script for your review. You can hear exactly what the VO talent sounds like, offer suggestions, and decide whether or not he/she is a good fit for the project.
4. Make Sure Your Script is Recording-Ready
One sure-fire way to slow your project down is to provide the voice talent with a script that’s riddled with errors. You’ll make things easier on all involved if you make sure the script is proofread and any unusual pronunciations are spelled out. This can save a great deal of back-and-forth between you and the voice talent. If your script is in a language other than English, we can’t emphasize enough the importance of getting a professional translation. A poorly translated script can add hours to the recording time of a project. If you need translation help, we work with an international team of translators, proofreaders and QC professionals who keep us on our toes and assure an impeccable finished product.
5. Work with Talent that Allows You to Maximize Efficiency.
We work with educational content creators and developers from around the country, and we know time is of the essence! Next time you are looking for voiceover talent, be as specific as possible about your needs in terms of performance, file format, file delivery, accent or translation. We are often asked if we can split and label separated files for an elearning narration. Check! Our clients vastly appreciate when we provide them with a customized service that allows them to work faster and smarter. Just like that, you can save many hours of editing and your whole production team will surely appreciate it. Talk to your VO provider, ask them about the different ways they can help you maximize your efforts.
Zia Amador ~ Educational Web Video for Planned Parenthood (English Voiceover): Zia Amador recorded the voice for “Am I Normal? Puberty, Explained”. Springtime Jellyfish teamed up with Planned Parenthood for their new series explaining puberty, a total of four videos. For this project we worked with the Planned Parenthood team and combined stop-motion animation with 2D digital animation to create a unique, inviting, playful and friendly video series.
A Family of Bilingual eLearning Narrators
Having recorded hundreds of eLearning modules in English, Spanish and Hispanic-accented English, our experience allows us to offer our clients a tailored service. We’ve recorded training videos, animated educational games, diversity, equity and inclusion training, slide-based courses, institutional orientations, you name it! Our family is always happy to flex its voice acting chops when asked to provide multiple character voices. We’ll work with you to ensure that your project connects with your audience and meets or exceeds expectations. Let us help you with your next eLearning narration project. It’s our job to make your job easier!
Check out our eLearning Narration YouTube Playlist
highlighting some of our remarkable clients
For more demos of our work, check out our eLearning Narrations playlist. This playlist features a variety of #eLearning voiceover projects that bilingual eLearning narrators and voiceover talents Brian, Zia, Alisa and Rosi Amador have recorded for their global clients.