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Kerry Pascall What goes into selecting a voiceover artist?

Often eLearning projects will require us to source a voiceover artist. This can be a complex task, but with years of experience, we’ve honed the process carefully. We talk to a number of agencies with a set of initial criteria, produce a shortlist and then present it to the client; providing advice on the final decision making process.

Once we have some sample voices, we’ll select up to five that we feel most closely match your needs and then send these to you to choose from.  You may want the selected voices to actually have a read through of the script so you get a true feel of how they will sound reading your material.

At this point there are a few points we would advise you to consider to ensure you select the right one:

  • Would the listener respond better to a male or female voice?  If the eLearning module is targeting a specific audience then bear this in mind when making your decision. 
  • Does the voice need to be enthusiastic and upbeat, calm and melodic or authoritative and reassuring?  If the voice is not right you run a risk of turning your audience off. A complex scientific module would require an informative, interested voice not a lively bubbly voice, for example.
  • A voiceover artist does not need to be a subject matter expert in the topic they are narrating, however, they must demonstrate a confidence, appear knowledgeable in their tone and they should have perfect voice control.
  • Accents also need to be considered. Who will be using the eLearning module: UK, European, Global?  For example, if the module is for engineers based in Birmingham then it makes sense to choose a local accent. However, if it is European then you may want to select a clear British accent.
  • If the script calls for a specific field of experience, for example, medical, then although the artist does not have to be a subject matter expert, they may have to read out hard-to-pronounce medical terminology. If they have not had previous experience of this, it could double or triple recording time in repeated takes.

At Bray Leino Learning, we work with many voiceover artists for eLearning projects and we know from experience how important it is to get the right voice to represent the organisation.


Kerry Pascall, Head of Digital Learning, Bray Leino Learning

In my series of blogs you can expect some tips on implementing eLearning, what to consider when commissioning eLearning, design tips, software and authoring pro’s and con’s, and general advice on everything eLearning!

Copyright © 2017 Bray Leino Learning

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