Why the Voiceover is the Cherry On Top of Your eLearning Course Sundae


When designing an eLearning course—or building the perfect ice cream sundae—you’ll find yourself faced with a lot of choices. Obviously, the decisions that seem the most important are the ones that take up the most space in your “bowl.” Your content is the ice cream and your various learning approaches are the hot fudge and whipped cream on top.

At this point, your sundae is just about complete. You certainly have enough ingredients to make it delicious—no one’s questioning that. But…there’s just something incomplete about it. “Ah, the cherry,” you think. “Of course!” No sundae is complete without a cherry. So, you scoop one out of a jar at random and drop it on top. Sure, it rolls off to the side and seems more like an afterthought, but the important thing is that you at least have a cherry, right? Wrong.

Okay, now that we’ve taken our sundae metaphor about as far as we can, let’s get down to the heart of the matter. Yes, your content, design and learning approaches are crucial elements for the success of your eLearning course. But even the most highly relevant eLearning content can fall flat if it’s not delivered in the right voice. 

So, if we’re considering the voiceover as the cherry on top of your eLearning course sundae, it’s important to not just randomly choose it from the jar and haphazardly add it on top. You want to make sure the voice of your content is engaging, lively and true to the purpose of your course.

3 Reasons to Go With a Professional

(Yes, as a professional voice actor, I might have a bit of bias here. But I also have a lot of experience and knowledge in a field many people consider an afterthought to the production of their course. So, hear me out.) 

  • Voice actors know how to be engaging: We have experience captivating an audience with only our voice—something much easier said than done (pun intended). If your eLearning content isn’t delivered in a way your audience finds engaging, they’re more likely to get distracted.
  • Voice actors know how to be relatable: Just as with a stage actor or a movie actor, voice actors can take on characters. Depending on the topic and purpose of your course, a professional voice actor can assume a tone that participants will find approachable and easy to listen to.
  • Voice actors know how to get the job done: You won’t have to worry about an excessive amount of takes or unnecessary re-dos. With a professional on the job, you’ll save yourself time and a headache. 

When you’re deciding between different eLearning software companies, ask if they have professional in-house voice actors. That way, you’ll know the final product will have a high quality cherry on top, and you won’t have to worry about the success of your course suffering from the “wrong” voice. Which begs the question: How do you know when you’ve found the “right” voice?

3 Tips on Finding the “Right” Voice

  • Put yourself in your participants’ shoes: Their opinion is the one that matters most, so consider carefully how your participants would want to be spoken to. What qualities would they look for in the voice behind their training?
  • Consider the content: Depending on the subject of your eLearning course, your ideal voiceover might take on several different angles. Just as the voiceover for a sad monologue needs a different approach than that of a cartoon, your content should drive your voice choice.
  • It all goes back to tone: Sometimes it’s not as much a matter of finding the right voice as finding the right tone. Once you nail down the right tone for your course, you can more easily specify the voice.

If you're interested, check out ExpandShare's eLearning Services to see how your program can be an epic success.

Will Holland