Narration can be valuable to include in your e-Learning. It helps guide learners through a course, it provides additional information, it adds a more interactive element to training, and it also personalizes the experience.
While the benefits are numerous, narration can also be tricky to master, particularly for novices.
Follow the below steps for flawless e-Learning narration.
Define Your Audience and Your Objective
Clearly defining your audience and your e-Learning goals are steps we recommend for nearly every aspect of the development process. That includes narration.
By understanding your goals and who you’re going to be speaking to, you can determine what tone of voice and approach will be most effective. That approach and tone may be personal, professional or somewhere in between.
Strong narration should build some connection between yourself and your audience, so think about this during the initial planning phases. If you want to build that relationship because you’re viewed as an authority, take a more professional approach. If you’d rather evoke a sense of warmth and friendliness, factor that into your narration style.
Create a Script—But Don’t Swear By It
This bit of advice can be a bit confusing because on one hand we’re telling you to create a script, and on the other we’re telling you not to read it.
Both pieces of advice are important. You should write a script to keep yourself organized, focused and on-track throughout the recording of narration. At the same time, you shouldn’t rigidly read it because that’s likely to come off as stiff, unnatural and impersonal when you’re recording.
If you’re worried you’ll be tempted to read a script, don’t write one that’s detailed. Instead, write your overall ideas and important facts you hope to highlight, and use it as a resource.
When you’re writing, make sure you’re doing so in a way that reflects the way you speak. You may consider doing a practice run without any script at all to gauge how information naturally flows. You can then base your writing on this run-through.
Just as the written content in your e-Learning should be concise, so should the spoken content. Don’t ramble and don’t try to blend too many concepts with one another.
Focus on varying your sentence length to include both short and long sentences, with each sentence conveying only one major idea.
Additionally, don’t take the long route to get to your point. Say what you want your learners to take away from the training and leave it at that.
Pair Narration with Visuals
Design your narration plan or script around the visual elements that are part of your learning content. This will reinforce concepts, make the learning feel more interactive.
Ensure that your visuals and on-screen text match what you’re saying in some logical way—otherwise you’re likely to confuse your audience and overwhelm them. They’ll be unsure of why an image is paired with a certain bit of narration. Instead of learning they’ll be trying to figure out how Point A connects with Point B.
Use Narration to Build Connections
The ultimate goal of e-Learning is always that it’s effective. One of the best ways to ensure this is the case is to show learners the real world implications of the content. Use narration as a way to build that connection.
Tie content in with your audience’s jobs and lives in a way that feels real and important. That will draw them into the training process and make narration more relevant.
View Your Job as a Training Leader
When you’re adding narration to training content, think of yourself as the person who is leading your audience through the process.
Always keep this goal in mind, and think of ways you can simplify the experience, make it more appealing and attractive, and keep learners feeling engaged. These should be your primary objectives as you build narration.