When To Use A Professional For Your eLearning Voice Over Narration

voice over narration

An eLearning company has reached out to you to create narration for their course, and you’re thinking you might be able to do it in-house. After all, it doesn’t take a professional to read a script, right? Maybe, but maybe not. While some can get away with doing their own narration, there’s a reason many depend on professional voice talent. Here’s how to decide when to use a professional for your voice over narration.

If You’re Using Talent That Doesn’t Have Training

There’s far more to a voice over narration than just a good voice, and someone who has a good voice isn’t necessarily the best choice for an eLearning campaign. It takes more than speaking to get a point across– it takes proper tone and inflection. It takes practice to control one’s natural way of popping “P’s” and hissing “S’s” in their speech, traits which may be normal in conversation but are distracting in a professional narration. eLearning videos are most effective when they engage the audience. No matter how well written the script is or how intriguing the content may be, the audience will not be engaged if the voice presenting it is boring and monotonous. Professional voice actors have had training in oral presentation and understand how to use their voice to effectively make a point.

If You Have Sub Par Microphone Equipment

If you have a soundproof room, professional microphone equipment, and the soundboard necessary to remove any ambient or background noise, you can probably get away with doing your narration in-house. However, if you are relying on a conference or spare room, are using a sub par microphone, and don’t have the right editing equipment, you’ll end up with less than stellar results and your client will be able to tell. Think fuzzy audio, unscripted “um’s” in the narration, or distracting background noise, like the air conditioning switching on.

If The Cost Of Your In-House Voice Over Narration Is Expensive

In-house voice over narration may seem like a good idea because it’s cost effective, but that’s not necessarily true with voice overs. Before starting, it’s important to track the real costs of a project.

Right from the start, the voice talent and the manager need to record the narration. The time it takes to record the selection (likely two or more hours), plus the prep time for setup (an hour), is the first aspect you need to consider in overall cost.

There are very few – if any – voice recordings that come out of the studio perfect. The audio needs to be normalized, taking out any background noise, correcting any speech mistakes, and connecting all the pieces together. In an hour long voice over narration, it’s not unusual to spend 20-30 hours just on edits.

What if the script changes post-recording? Do you have the in-house capabilities to paste together audio recorded at different times or places to make it sound natural? If not, your in-house talent will have to record the whole selection again. In fact, it’s much more difficult to fix poorly recorded audio than it is to re-record.

Once all time is added, it takes almost 40 hours, or an entire week, to develop your in-house voice over narration. You end up paying a week’s worth of salary and yet still compromise on quality, let alone taking your employees away from their essential job functions.

What Else Is Important About Hiring A Pro?

You can sample a lot of professional voice talent online and easily choose the right fit for your needs. The cost is likely comparable to what you would spend on labor alone in-house, but you gain your time back and get a professional quality voice over narration your client will love.

The talent agency you choose will help you settle on the right voice talent, supervise the recording session, and completely normalize the audio for you, giving you a completed and professional package that perfectly fits the timestamp of your video.

When To Go With A Pro

It really comes down to the scope of the project and the capabilities you have in-house. If it’s a short course aimed at a small audience, maybe the narration can be kept in-house. If your client’s video narration is lengthy or will be reaching a large audience, we would recommend going with a professional.

Another benefit of working with a professional is the discipline you must have in your script. Since re-recordings are pricey, your client will want to nail down their script on the first go to avoid unnecessary costs, saving you time in going back and forth once the script has been set.

Get Started With A Professional

Ready to get started with professional talent? At Markethold, we specialize in eLearning voice overs and will help you create an outstanding voice over narration for your client.