It is common knowledge that effective audio narration results in better comprehension. It makes your course persuasive and engages your learners for longer periods. So, who is the best narrator for your online courses?
The “software narrator”
Text-to-Speech software is the first choice of many as it saves time and money. But I think that using software to narrate your courses is not always the best option. This is because the voice in software narrations is often “lifeless” and the pace remains unaltered throughout the course. You may also face other issues like
- Mispronunciation of abbreviations
- Difficulty in getting the right pronunciation of words that are not in the database of the software
- No emotional connect with your learners
- Problems arise when the same word needs to be pronounced differently in a sentence, such as the word ‘project’.
- Software cannot convey a mature voice such as that of an older person.
These problems make narration using software less than ideal. So, you need to use “real people” to provide the voice-over to your online courses. But now comes the question – can you use someone in your company to narrate your course or do you need to hire the services of professionals? Well, let me share some of our experiences that can help you make the right choice.
Can a staff member be asked to provide his voice?
We observed that home-grown narration is ideal when the project is not very cost intensive and you wish to make a real honest connection with your learners. A familiar voice goes a long way in “reaching” the learners effectively. It also lends credibility as it sounds believable. So, are you trying to rope in one of your people? Please don’t till you hear the drawbacks of in-house narration.
So, what are the drawbacks of narration by your employee?
A major problem is with the quality of audio. If you do not want background distractions in the audio, then it are better that you avoid narration by your staffer. You may also experience delays in finalizing the recording, as your narrator may not produce the right inflections and get his tone right at the first go. After all, he is not a professional who earns his bread and butter by narrating online courses. This may result in retakes and you know what retakes mean – delays.
Then hiring the services of a pro is the best option. Isn’t it?
While narration by a professional recorded in the studio can solve these issues, it also involves paying extra dollars. The narration costs for a 30 minute online course roughly amount to 500 USD. It is important that you strike a fine balance between the two needs – quality narration and preventing budget overruns. It’s better to make a decision in the planning stage itself so that you have an idea of the time and budget requirements.
So, will you go in for an in-house narrator or seek the services of a professional? We will be glad to know more about your decision.