Voice One school administrator Danny Scott spoke with instructor Angeli Fitch about her experience in e-learning, how it differs from other types of narration, and how the e-learning has evolved in the months following March's closures due to COVID-19.
Coming into e-learning, it was already part of my signature voice as an educator. I think a lot of the e-learning narrators out there have some kind of background in teaching. Also as a trial lawyer, I'm used to explaining things to the jury. All of the courses that I took at Voice One really helped as well, because it's a very different skill-set teaching people face to face versus reading a script. I can't emphasize enough that people need training: for corporate narration, for narration in general, and for e-learning. Lastly, I have a love for knowledge - so I think I've been successful in e-Learning because I actually really enjoy it.
Well, to start, acting. I need to act like an expert in anything that I'm talking about. So I could be talking about cyber security, or I could be a doctor talking to other doctors about health care and cancer, or my avatar could be a robot talking about futuristic stuff. The sky's the limit - but you have to know how to act in order to achieve this.
Another thing, and this is a huge skill, it is the ability to do cold reading and sound like you are not reading! Some of these courses are half an hour to several hours long. I do not read the entire script ahead of time. I only scan through it to see if I have any questions for my client such as pronunciations or if I see any typos I need to ask about. You really don't have time to prep. So this is not going to be for everybody.
Having stamina and consistency is a must. You have to have the acting skills to sound like an expert. You really have to love knowledge or at least have an interest because you really are teaching people something.
A lot of the corporate narration videos that I do are maybe three to five minutes. Now, that's different from an explainer video, which is about 90 seconds. Corporate narration can also be promotional because you're highlighting the corporation or the company with a branding video or a promotional video explaining the product or service. And it's often in conjunction with a video or images, and the people watching are learning something about the company.
Now when you're talking about e-learning, you're talking to one person for an extended period, so you really can't sound announcery. It's a very intimate thing because the people that you're teaching usually have you in their ear, on their phone or laptop with ear buds in their ear.
Not necessarily. It just depends on your client. In fact a lot of the modules that I've been seeing lately have been 30-minute or 15-minute modules, but it all depends on the course. But whatever length it is, you have to have consistency in how you sound.
Well, let me go to my LinkedIn profile. I'm up to 9,531 connections. But I always tell people don’t be impressed by the number of connections, it’s the quality of the relationships you make and it took me a long time to nurture my relationships with people. And yes, I've been specifically only using LinkedIn, but you can do just as well having 200 connections. So I would say that while I think LinkedIn is a good place to find people in e-learning, you better have a very personalized way of connecting with them. And I'm going to cover that in the class, which will be about both performance and marketing.
It's absolutely a growing market. I think that people are realizing that everything is just going to be online now, so all the different corporations, the small businesses, everybody is starting to understand that and accept that. So I’ll cover a lot of different kinds of scripts in class: technical, legal, medical narration, kids, teacher training, etc. because it's all happening.
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