My first involvement with eLearning was in 1997 narrating what was then called a “multimedia” course for Microsoft’s Office '97.
The art, craft, and science of creating eLearning has evolved and naturally specialized over the years. All of the educational and technological fundamentals need to be there, but the execution of the narrative matters more now than ever.
Differences in the narration approach of the learning, both subtle and dramatic, can help to make or break eLearning for different learners in different institutions or industries.
- Education and infotainment consumers are more sophisticated and exposed to more forms of well-produced content than ever.
- Generational differences present in most workplaces and how each accesses and digests information add another layer of complexity for instructional designers.
- Government, medical, aerospace, heavy industry, and corporate sectors are all quite different not only in their content, but in the way the content is approached.
When a human voice actor conveys the content, they can adapt, and adjust the narrative style to suit the context.
The engagement style with the content is different for an ethics and compliance program or a citizenship exam that it would be if you’re performing to bring to life an animated avatar in a virtual reality eLearning setting. The level of empathy required for a medical narration is notably different than that of the narrator conveying how to disassemble and reassemble a rocket engine.
That’s not rocket science to imagine. Sorry, not sorry.
When scoping out prospective narrators make sure they’re able to address the learners your clients are targeting. Do they have examples of sector-specific styles you can listen to? That’s your first and best clue. Listen here to see what I mean.