Expertise in Voice Acting

August 15, 2023 08:30 AM By Paul Boucher

I spent some time this past weekend, as I do most weekends, traveling to and from ideal sites to engage in one of my favourite hobbies, road cycling. In this case, the badass badlands of Drumheller, Alberta.

While driving, I finished listening to this season's Against The Rules podcast, written and hosted by author Michael Lewis. In this season, tackling topics relating to the "unfairness of American life," he addressed the devaluation of expertise and the real experts in our world. 


In example after example, he illustrated how the "talking heads" at the top are often NOT the experts and how they can sometimes be dangerous in their interpretation or misinterpretation of facts by experts.


I encourage you to take it in. Six short episodes will likely reshape your opinion of where you find the experts around you. Find it here (on Apple Podcasts) or wherever you stream your podcasts from. 


It made me contemplate again how vital subject matter experts, often called SMEs, are to the voice actors (talking heads) who end up being the proxies of an SME's credentialed and lived experiences.


Experience is akin to the seasoned traveler navigating various landscapes, and honing their skills. On the other hand, credentials are the maps and guidebooks representing formal education and certifications. Their true potency is unlocked when they converge.


However, I propose that experience holds a slightly superior position. The lived encounters, the hands-on learning, and the ability to adapt in real time often set experts apart.


Imagine a voice actor asked to bring eLearning or other content to life. On paper, they might possess impressive credentials - a degree in theater, voice training, and a track record of successful projects. While these credentials are invaluable, it's the wealth of experience that will genuinely elevate their performance. Experience allows them to navigate the nuances of various scripts. Experience empowers them to handle unexpected challenges, like a complex concept that demands a unique delivery.


This blend of experience and credentials translates into something tangible. Confidence is an assurance to the learners that they are in capable hands. When expert voice actors deliver eLearning content, their confidence is infectious and creates an environment where learners feel assured that the material is being presented by someone who truly understands and embodies it.


Think of expertise as a torch that lights the path for others. Learners often grapple with isolation and a lack of direct interaction, especially in the eLearning landscape. Yet, a bridge forms when they hear a narrator who exudes confidence and expertise. The voice actor becomes a guide, a mentor through the digital maze. Learners absorb the content and take in the assurance that the expert narrator projects.


This transfer of confidence is where the impact of expertise truly shines. As learners engage with the eLearning content, they absorb the expert's approach to the subject matter, their method of articulation, and their subtle cues of understanding. This isn't just about the material; it's about nurturing a learning experience that leaves a lasting imprint.


Expertise is a synergy between experience and credentials, with experience holding a slightly elevated role. The confidence that stems from a well-rounded expert, in this case, the voice actor, resonates deeply. This confidence becomes a conduit for learners, imparting knowledge and a sense of assurance and mastery. 


To hear what your content might sound like delivered by an expert narrator, reach out any time!