No matter what the topic, e-learning programs are an increasingly popular, practical and cost-effective way to deliver training. One common component is audio, which is usually combined with visual content – anything from simple slides to complex animations.
For any e-learning program, the audio should be easy to understand and not exceed the company’s production budget. However, it’s simple to do with just a little planning. Keep these tips in mind when preparing and recording audio for use in e-learning programs:
Create an audio-friendly script. Writing a script helps you efficiently cement the way you want concepts to be taught before any audio is recorded. However, how people write is not usually how they speak. People often speak in shorter sentences and less complicated language as compared to written text. Encourage script writers to read passages aloud while working and ensure the text is as readable as possible. Avoid long sentences, awkward phrasing, flowery and obscure words, parentheses and unnecessary acronyms.
Make it easy on the actors and the time spent in the studio more efficient. Don’t forget to have script writers clearly mark speaker changes and indicate the preferred pronunciation for uncommon words and terms, brand names and words that have more than one accepted pronunciation. Add notes on tone or how items should be read. Should the man in a particular dialogue sound happy or angry? Make sure that appropriate directions for the actors are incorporated.
Have a naming convention and use it. For scripts, audio files and other related material, create and agree on a naming convention to avoid confusion about what something is or where it fits into the project. This is especially important when foreign-language versions get added to the mix.
Use tables. One good way to keep information organized is using tables, especially if you need multilingual audio or foreign-language versions. Some columns you might want to include are: File Name, Speaker, Source Language, Target Language and Directions/Comments.
Use voice actors for more than one voice. If your script needs multiple voices, keep costs down by having actors perform multiple roles.
Keep recording consistent. Different equipment can create different audio effects. For seamless postproduction, try to have all the audio recordings done in the same location with the same equipment when possible.
Audio is an essential element for e-learning programs. Keep these preparation and recording tips in mind for a smoother production experience.