This week’s blog comes from the Courseware Corner, as the team shares the impact of voiceover on learner engagement and four ways to help you become a Courseware Voiceover Expert!

An essential factor of voiceover is delivering the right tone to provide information. Most importantly, the target audience should play a significant role in determining the delivery. Should the voice be male or female? Should the voiceover tone be delivered by a subject matter expert or light-hearted delivery? Is it appropriate to have subtle music over the voiceover?

As well as voice tone, it is critical to understand “how” to record the voiceover. Is the voiceover artist pausing at the right time? Are their speech patterns upbeat and inspiring? We don’t want learners to switch off! The listener needs to relate to the voiceover artist and trust what they are saying.

1. Setup Your Environment

It would be best to have an environment that is conducive to recording audio. Not everyone has access to a recording studio, and if your options are limited, there are still things you can do to improve the sound. Try to eliminate hard surfaces; carpeted flooring absorbs sound better than wooden floors.

Walls can deflect sound; soften them by adding curtains, blankets, or acoustic materials. If the need arises to record while traveling, a cheap yet effective way to absorb sound while in a hotel room is to put a blanket over your head while recording!

2. Use a Pop Filter

Popping sounds occur when pronouncing strong consonants at the beginning of words, such as the “p” in parade. A pop filter is a protection filter for microphones that reduces or eliminates those sounds and is relatively inexpensive.

3. Use a High-Quality Microphone

Rather than using a computer’s built-in audio, which typically has inferior audio quality, use a headset or microphone whose purpose is for narration.

4. Use a Noise Reduction Filter

It’s rare to have complete control over environmental noise, such as HVAC systems, appliance sounds, cars going by, etc. If your audio recording software has a noise reduction filter, you can create a “noise profile” of the segment containing the offending noise. The software then finds and replaces all instances with silence, resulting in a dramatic and favorable impact on the audio quality.

We hope you find these tips helpful.