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The 2 Most Requested Voiceover Styles For eLearning Content

eLearning has exploded into a multi billion-dollar industry and is set to continue its growth over the next decade, as organisations and institutions tap into the ‘anywhere/anytime’ convenience of technology and learning. At Abes Audio, we’ve recorded voice over narrations for hundreds of eLearning modules over the past few years and have spotted a trend with 2 read styles most commonly requested of our talent:

Abes Audio - Voice Over in studio

1. Natural (as if they work for the company.)

Easily the most popular voice over style we’re asked to provide, a natural read has an authentic, engaging feel that ‘connects’ with the user. Also referred to as a relatable or conversational read - as if the voice over person works for the company or organisation - these reads can be the most difficult to deliver authentically because turning words on a page into dialog that sounds natural is much harder than it might sound! An example of a natural eLearning narration delivery is here.

One of the reasons that could explain why this style of communication is so popular is because, as humans, we’re wired for connection and social interaction. A large training module is much more likely to be absorbed by the trainee if they feel like they’re part of a conversation with someone who is just like them, even if the trainees’ contribution to that conversation is simply responding to questions with mouse clicks.

We’ve also noticed an increase in the requests for English-speaking international voice talent to help capture the growing diversity of workplaces and education institutions. For example, a particular module may require an English-speaking Chinese uni student combined with a main narrator with a neutral Australian accent. Ensuring these interactions retain a natural sound is important to ensuring the content remains engaging and authentic.

2. Professional (but not talking down to the person)

The ‘professional’ voice over style differs from the conversational, natural read in that it is more ‘direct’ and matter-of-fact. Also referred to as an authoritative or knowledgeable read, this style is often requested for more serious subject matter. However, it’s important that a professional delivery does not talk down to the user; it still needs to engage with them, just on a more formal level. An example of a matter-of-fact, professional narration is here

Another aspect of creating eLearning modules is ensuring consistency and availability of voice talent - because changes or updates are often required to material years after the original content is created. It’s important the voice over talent have a track record of availability long-term so material can be updated seamlessly at a later date. Abes Audio manages our voice talent carefully, and we have long established relationships with many of our voices - ensuring updates to modules are simple.

We also work with clients around the world to provide eLearning voice over talent for many different projects across a range of government, corporate and non-profit clients and we can output audio in any format and work with your current workflow to seamlessly integrate into the build process. If you require non-English speaking eLearning narrations - just talk to us as we can provide translation and foreign language voice talent in many languages.

Abe Udy

Abe is the founder of Abe's Audio and started the business in 1998 from his bedroom with an old computer, fax machine, dial-up internet, and a microphone in his wardrobe. Today, he leads a team that provides audio production and voice overs to media, agency, eLearning, video & creative clients around Australia and beyond.

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