Confessions of an eLearning Narrator
Lately, I've been reflecting on my voiceover career. Back in the 90’s when I first started doing voiceovers, eLearning wasn't even on my radar. I had this absurd idea that to make it in the industry, one needed to have a voice like James Earl Jones and exclusively do commercials. Do I sound like James Earl Jones? Probably not. However, a couple of years into my fledgling voiceover career, I was introduced to eLearning (thanks, Matt!), and it has been a game-changer ever since.
But what is eLearning anyway? In voiceover terms, it refers to non-broadcast, informational content like academic tests & lessons, training videos, compliance videos (HR, OSHA, insurance, etc.), museum kiosks, and so much more. It's an industry worth billions of dollars, providing a never-ending stream of voiceover opportunities.
Here's a valuable tip: If you're just starting out in voiceovers and have dreams of narrating cartoons or video games, that's totally cool. I enjoy those projects too! However, finding consistent work in those genres, especially for newcomers, can be quite challenging. On the other hand, eLearning offers a stable revenue stream. I've been working with some eLearning clients regularly for over 5, 10, and even 20 years.
Now, don't get me wrong; I'm not suggesting you should abandon your dreams of being in Pokémon or Halo. What I'm saying is, if you establish a steady income from eLearning, it can fund your training, demo production, and marketing efforts for your animation and video game narration aspirations.
But hold on, don't assume it's a piece of cake! Narrating for eLearning requires a specific set of skills that take time to develop and master. Just like any other genre, you need to understand the intricacies, learn how to interpret the script, and find the right sub-genre that suits you.
So, to all aspiring voiceover artists out there, give eLearning a shot! It not only provides a stable income but also opens the door to a world of possibilities in voiceover. And who knows, maybe one day you'll narrate the adventures of Pikachu while having a laugh!
Thanks for reading! To learn more about me, hear some samples, or download my demos, just go to www.tomdheere.com.
Tom Dheere is a voice actor with over 25 years of experience narrating just about every type of voiceover you can think of. He also helps other voice talents navigate the voiceover industry as the VO Strategist. When not voicing or talking about voicing, he produces the sci-fi comic book Agent 1.22.