Recently I did some eLearning narration for a new client I landed via one of my agents. We blocked out two hours to record a 2,000 word script. We recorded it, did a full playback, and recorded a few retakes in about one hour. It was a great session and everyone was happy.
While the sound engineer was editing the audio for playback, one of the end-clients asked me how I work so fast, make so few mistakes, and put the right emphasis on the right words the right way the first time.
I told them that experience is a big part of it. Narrating the same genres & sub-genres for 20+ years helps you notice patterns to more easily find the rhythm & attitude so you can lock in the style of the piece that much faster. It was also a well-written script which makes my job a LOT easier.
Another question asked was, "How much do you practice the script before the recording session?"
I told them I barely even read the scripts much less practice them. They were shocked.
Am I recommending you not read the script before a recording session? Absolutely not. Do as I say, not as I do!
TIP OF THE WEEK
eLearning narration, like any other genre, is a special skill set. It requires you to flex a specific set of muscles quickly and effectively. With that in mind, here are three eLearning narration tips:
1. Take acting classes, particularly improv classes. I know it sounds crazy but it will make you a better eLearning narrator. Learning how to make the copy more conversational, more organic, and making strong choices quickly will take your eLearning narration to the next level.
2. Prepare effectively. Ask good questions. Look up pronunciations in advance. Find other videos online the company has produced or ask them for one. Ask for the music, too if they've made a selection. Hearing the music informs you of the mood & pace of the project and can be a BIG help.
3. Learn to look ahead at the next line while you're reading the current line. I know this one sounds crazy too and I don't recommend doing it when you're early in your voiceover journey, but when you learn how to see what's coming, you'll be better prepared to make a strong acting choice. It also cuts down on misreads. Assuming you don't mash a word on the next line into the one you're currently narrating, that is. ;)
TIP OF THE WEEK
Saturday, September 25th @8PM ET: The Voice Actor Studio webinar "Set Goals and Build a Business Plan". Now is the perfect time to create your voiceover business plan and set your goals for the next week, month, quarter, and year. In this online workshop, I will walk you through how to determine what success can look like for you and how to make it happen.
Thursday, September 30th @8PM ET: The Edge Studio Marketing 201 webinar "The Sales Funnel". In this class, students will explore the concept of the “Sales Funnel,” and how it can yield more paying clients in the long run if used properly.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
Tom Dheere is the VO Strategist, a voice over business & marketing coach and demo producer since 2011. He is also a voice actor with over 20 years of experience who has narrated just about every type of voiceover you can think of. When not voicing or talking about voicing, he produces the sci-fi comic book Agent 1.22.