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How to enhance your online training delivery using a professional voice actor

How to enhance your online training delivery using a professional voice actor

In this strange new world of global pandemics and remote working, the importance of online training is increasing exponentially. In fact, Data Bridge predicts the Massive Open Online Course market is going to grow by over 40% by 2027. For businesses, this is great news. Online training is more convenient, more accessible and cheaper. It eliminates the need to bring in expensive external training agencies and allows in-house training to be simplified. Yet there is a catch. How do you ensure that trainees are truly engaged with your online training strategy? That’s where a voice actor can help.

Learning and the contiguity principle

We all know that everyone learns differently. So how can an online training program effectively impart information to all types of learner?

The contiguity principle means aligning text, graphics and audio. So, a graphic that relates to some text should be aligned with that text. Then to add another layer of learning reinforcement, audio relating to that information needs to play at the same time.

This basic concept allows trainers to develop e-learning delivery that engages multiple parts of the trainee’s brain. So, not only does adding voice to your course make it more personal and interesting, but it also helps learners to take in the information faster.


5 tips for using voice overs to enhance e-learning packages


1 – Keep it light! A monotonous or automated narrator is enough to drive anybody to distraction. You’re looking for a voice actor with an inviting, conversational tone that makes people want to listen. This voice will boost engagement and motivation by holding their attention.

2 – Align the script to the text and graphics. Adding voice to a training program is a delicate process. If too much is going on at the same time, the learner won’t take any of it in. Follow the contiguity principle to ensure that the actor’s words are in sync with what’s on the screen.

3 – Work with music and sound effects if they are relevant. Sound effects and music can add to the atmosphere and assist with attention span. However, this requires further alignment. The mood and subject must match with voice, text and graphics. Remember to make sure you have the right license to use any sound effects or music you’re uploading too.

4 – Don’t go overboard. Audio is there to serve a purpose whether it be speech, music or sound effects. Too much can be as bad as too little if it distracts from the project at hand. If you are looking into voiceover for e-learning, you probably know that you’ll likely need to outsource professional editing and voice recording. Audio specialists will also be able to help you to determine the right amount of audio for your online course.

5 – Speak to your target audience. Identifying your target audience is the first rule of business. E-learning is no different. Young professionals, board directors, students and new employees will all need something different from your online course. Knowing your audience allows you to tailor it to them.

The true value of training

While designing and developing online training can involve a significant financial outlay, it is an effective and cost-productive way of ensuring employees remain up to date with business trends, learning and technology. Learning can lead to improved staff retention, improved morale and ultimately an increase in bottom-line performance. So, investing in effective online training using voice actors can enhance your business more than you might imagine.

Contact me any time for a no-obligation quote and custom audition for your next eLearning voiceover project! 

Why Hire a Professional Voice Over for Your eLearning Project?

Why Hire a Professional Voice Over for Your eLearning Project?

A comprehensive guide for anyone who creates or manages the development of eLearning training programs.

Ultimately, the goal of any instructional or compliance training program is to maximize the absorption and retention of the content. This ensures the impact of the project is not diluted by any one factor in the development, for example, unprofessional narration.

This is critical. After all the effort and money invested in a proper LMS system, snazzy graphics, 3D animations, script preparation and approvals, music selection, and any other mechanics that go into the project, the last thing you want is to do is have the voice delivering the message to be one of the reasons people DON’T want to “be subjected” to the training.

Here are several reasons why a professional elearning narration voice is going to provide better results than an in-house non-professional:


  • You could be working on other more important or time-sensitive projects while the voice over talent is recording the script.
  • Professional narrators can usually turn around projects within 24-48 hours (depending on script length), providing clean, edited electronic files that are ready to insert into the finished project saving you additional time – and since this is their “day job” the quality and speed will be better than a non-pro. A pro will meet or exceed your deadlines.
  • Pros narrate every day so they are ready to help at any time – never waiting for internal staff to be available.
  • Pros can help maintain continuity in a project over time. Employee turnover during a project would either be a patchwork quilt of different narrators with varying degrees of competency and engagement over time or need a complete re-take, perhaps delaying deployment.

Performance – Information Retention

  • Pros know how to engage with the script. When they’re connected, so is the learner.
  • Pros use professional equipment and narrate in sound-treated recording spaces to avoid distracting acoustic issues such as echoes, background office or street noises. A professional would never use a computer mic or cheap USB microphones  audio should enhance the content, not distract from it.
  • Pros control issues such as sibilance, popped “p’s”, extra mouth noises/clicks, overly loud and distracting breath noises, brushing up against the microphone while narrating, or speaking too closely or too far away from the mic (or varying the distance from sentence to sentence).
  • Amateurs have not been trained to control their pitch, volume or energy – voice over is much more than just “reading it out loud into a microphone.”
  • Pros understand the need for great storytelling as we relate more to storytellers than lecturers, so the right tone of delivery is very important. If the delivery comes across as monotone it will put the viewer to sleep and decrease engagement, absorption, and retention of the information.
  • A professional can become a partner assisting with script revisions, providing alternative text, helping with grammar and pronunciation issues as well as a variety of other issues including abbreviations, how to handle numbers/dates, and much more.


  • The more engaged the listener is, the more effective the outcome will be and the higher the ROI
  • You can negotiate a variety of options with the voice talent to make each project more affordable including volume discounts – but rates are generally more accessible than years ago.
  • A great option is to request a short sample of the professional elearning narration and compare with one done by the internal staff and see the difference for yourself – or use as ammunition for management sign-off.


Credits for content include: Randye Kaye (randyekaye.com), Marie Hoffman (www.mariehoffmanvo.com), Kim Handysides (kimhandysidesvoiceover.com), J Michael Collins (www.jmcvoiceover.com), John Kissinger (www.johnkissinger.com), and Paul Boucher (paulboucher.com)