How to Make E-Learning Less Boring
I've been voicing scripts for Learning Heroes for a couple of years now and am the voice for much of their output. They are on a mission to dispel the myth that e-learning is boring, and I think they've dispelled that myth a few times over and are a highly rated and progressive name in the industry.
When it comes to interactive e-learning like these guys make, you are more than likely going to have to add a voice over to some aspects of the programmes that you create - but having a voice over doesn't stamp your output with a guarantee that it's going to be any less boring. And just because it's a 'lesson', as such, doesn't mean that it should be delivered in grey!
A script full of the information that you need to communicate, isn't enough to actually teach the 'students' that information. I've voiced a lot of e-learning work over the years, and the Learning Heroes really do know how to pen a script. They add decent room for inflection, a human touch to their written work, personality and the odd quip (regardless whether it's cringey or a zinger, a witty line breaks up the work) - i've even sung a line from a 80s Kiss hit in one of their programmes... although to be fair that bit wasn't scripted... but regardless, they write in a tone that gives me, the voice over artist, room to play, to hit beats and spice it up a little.
Click on the image below for an independent review of a course I voiced for them just a couple of weeks ago. Here are the reasons the reviewer enjoyed the course:
Animated videos that get the message of unconscious bias across in an engaging way.
Engaging and effective use of color, illustration and typography that helps visualize concepts.
A lively, character-rich voice-over, that’s upbeat and engaging (I can’t help thinking it’s Nick Knowles – this is unconfirmed of course).
A subtle use of sound effects.
Uses rich content to convey key messages e.g. research examples, statistics, and perception exercises.
An uncluttered interface helps focus attention on the content.
Uses a humorous tone that doesn’t overshadow the subject matter.
... Now, this Nick Knowles comparison has arisen before. I'm still unsure how I feel about it, so we'll move on swiftly... ahem.
When you write an e-learning script, it's worth considering the style in which you write. If you want 'conversational' from the guy behind the mic, the script has to be written in a conversational way - the way that humans interact; and that takes time to master. I’ve had “Rosko, we want this to be super enthusiastic and read in a really fun and vibrant way” and i’ve opened a document simply called Tax Information… But I think even in a potentially dull topic there is room for good humour, charisma and a human touch - but it all starts with how you write it in the first place.
So, practically speaking, start by using human expressions, like, "Think of it this way..." "What if I told you..?" "Let's take a look at..." “Okay, so, blah blah”. Think of some more and litter your script with human expressions like this, that you wouldn’t perhaps traditionally write into a piece of written work. As a VO, expressions like that are music to my… errm.. eyes. They stick a double dose of me into the recording. It’s those little peaks in flow that fill a script with rhythm and bounce. And contract words and use apostrophes, too. “don’t” instead of “do not” for example. No one says “do not..” in real life unless they’re telling off their dog!
If you're finding your e-learning boring, the Learning Heroes are worth a look. They are creating a huge stock of courses that cover everything from Customer Service Skills, to Unconscious Bias and i'm sure they'll be a few courses in there that will arm you or your staff with some next level learning - and if you're really lucky, it might even be voiced by me... ;)