One E-learning Narration Performance Tip, Part 1
By: Carrie Olsen
From: Carrie Olsen VO
This is part 1 in a 2-part e-learning narration tip series. View and listen to part 2 here.
So in today’s email, which is turning out to be some sort of audio email, not quite a podcast, but it’s audio, I wanted to give you some actual tips, some takeaways, kind of a preview of some of the things we’ll be talking about in the book, more E learning course, the book, more e learning course is a really well rounded approach to booking the learning narration work.
And the reason I say that is because it doesn’t just focus on performance, although obviously performance is very important to booking any kind of voice over work. It also focuses in on the actual administration work, the administration work, what you need to be doing to get the opportunity even to to offer your talents to a potential client for narration work.
So what do you need to be doing on a day to day basis to set yourself up for booking narration work for making those connections with potential clients. But also what is the prep? Right? Because you’re not just going to all of a sudden get an influx of emails asking you to voice courses, you’re also not going to do a one time event, you know, like maybe you market one day and then all of a sudden you’re set and you’ve got all of the leads that you need and you’re booking E-learning work regularly, there is a workflow and a routine that you have to commit to that you have to know, commit to internalize and implement to even give yourself the possibility of booking E-learning narration work outside of auditioning, obviously there’s the traditional auditioning route that you can go and that is totally legitimate and good and if you want to go that route it works.
You know, if you’re a good auditioner and if you have the right access to auditions, whether that’s through agents or online casting sites with the learning, you’re going to find it mostly on online casting sites, but if you want to diversify your opportunities so that you’re not only looking at auditioning, but you’re also looking at outreach. You need to know this workflow and there isn’t just one workflow, but the important thing is that you have a workflow, whether you choose to model it off of someone else’s or you want to create your own, you need to have a workflow.
So the book more E learning courses, going to cover that 100% is going to cover the workflow, it’s also going to cover the performance stuff and today, that’s what I wanted to talk to you about. There are a few things that I think performance wise will really give you a leg up when especially this is super helpful for when you’re reading on your own, but especially when you are in the studio, if you have a client that likes you to go to a studio and you’re working with an engineer for E-learning narration work, if you happen to book that kind of work, these are the kinds of tips that will make you and your engineer best friends that will make them want to hire you for everything.
So let’s get into that and now, and of course, like I said, this isn’t only for when you’re working with an engineer in a studio, it’s extremely beneficial to you at home. Also, probably more so for you when you’re at home, actually, which I’ll explain why in a moment. But most of these are efficiency tools tied with kind of emotional intelligence tools, which will help you to give a more believable read, which is going to make your clients love you because it’s just so much easier to listen to.
I have clients that not only enjoy working with me because, you know, they think it’s effective for their for the end user who is going to eventually be, you know, listening to my voice over in the courses, but if you think about the person who’s creating the courses, they have to listen to all of that audio as they’re inputting into the course. And so I’ve had the actual developers of the course, reach out and say thank you, I appreciate your narration, your approach to narration on these because it makes it easier for me as I’m putting this course together. I actually enjoy listening to your read instead of maybe feeling like I can tell the voice actor who was doing this, didn’t quite care or just wasn’t putting in as much effort.
Okay, so let’s get to these tips that I wanted to mention to you and absolutely feel free to take notes on these, some of them are, you know, it might seem like, oh that’s pretty basic or that’s not difficult to do, or I could have thought of that, but when you really nail these skills to the degree that I’m advocating for, it really does make a huge difference and it’s not something that you most people can just do.
So it will take work to master these skills. Alright, so the first one, simple, it’s reading ahead now, what I’m referring to here, it might seem like, well that’s obvious and we all read ahead. Ii naturally read ahead no matter what I’m reading, because that’s kind of how how we look at a piece of paper, right? We’re always kind of looking a little bit ahead, but I’ll tell you about one time when I was recording in the studio and this was for E-learning and we got done with with a particular section and the engineer and the client, we’re behind the glass listening and they pushed their buttons so that I could hear them in my, my headset. I was I was in the ISO booth with my headphones on and they commented on the fact that they felt I was reading 2 to 3 lines ahead.
So in my mind I was 2 to 3 lines ahead of the words that were actually coming out of my mouth and the reason that they observed that was because when I came across something that, that required a certain intonation to go into a line or two come out of the line or to prep for an upcoming line, I would nail them on the first take and not have to go back and go, oh there were about to do this, I better set up for this, this part, we’re about to go into a bulleted list or we’re about to go into um there’s about to be a tonal shift, so I would recognize those things lines ahead so that I could prep for them and what that did was it made their job so much easier.
They didn’t have to sit there in the studio while I did take after take and let me go back here. Oh, I didn’t realize this was coming up. So it just made it a much more efficient experience for them. And also for the engineer, he made one of the funniest comments when we got done and this isn’t, this isn’t to, to puff myself up or anything, but just what he said, we got through a fairly lengthy script pretty quickly with very few mistakes. I didn’t have to stop and go back very much.
There are a few things for like pronunciation or an acronym or something like that, that, that we wanted to clarify before moving on. But what the engineer said was if only I could get you to stop breathing to stop taking breaths, then, you know, this would be this would be perfect. And what he meant by that, he wasn’t as vulgar as it sounds, he was going to remove the breaths from the audio. And basically he was saying that’s the only editing I have to do. You basically did this thing in one take. And so the only thing left for me to do is remove the breath.
So if I could get you to just, you know, to to somehow learn how to not breathe while you’re recording, then I wouldn’t have to do anything. Anyway, I thought that was a pretty funny comment and it was a great uh you know, it’s it’s nice when the people you work with enjoy working with you and recognize the effort that you’re putting into into your narration. Now, the reason I said up front that that these tools are probably actually more beneficial to you when you’re reading on your own in your home studio than when you are in the in a recording studio with an engineer etcetera is because if you are getting paid hourly, so if you’re getting paid hourly and you’re a super efficient voice actor, you might get done in maybe 45 minutes, whereas it may have taken someone else an hour 15 and so you’re getting paid less in the studio.
But for me, with my clients, I like doing good work for them and as long as you have a rate that is that you’re happy with, you know, just make sure you have an hourly rate that you’re happy with because you if you know that you’re more skilled that you’re going to get done more quickly, just adjust your rate accordingly so that, you know, you’re getting paid a rate that you’re happy with.
But that skill really comes in handy when you are in your booth self directing because it just gives you so much less editing that you need to do. I hope you enjoy these quick tips and if you have any questions about anything, any comments, feel free to shoot me an email and super excited about the book, more e learning course which will launch July 14th. I’ll have a mini course with more tips via email leading up to the course leading up to the launch on the 14th. So stay tuned for more e-learning narration awesomeness.