You Should Use a Voice Over Pro For Your E-Learning Videos

A professional voice-over can be more important than the words spoken. Think “You’ve got mail” — these three little words are synonymous with internet service provider AOL. The voice behind the famous phrase — it belongs to voice-over actor Elwood Edwards — is just as recognizable.  The voice conveys a brand’s message in mere seconds. It resonates with an audience, creating a narrative and sparking emotions.

Brands don’t need celebrities for a powerful voice-over; Edwards wasn’t a Hollywood actor when he recorded AOL’s email greeting. Using a pro, instead of one’s own voice, can have massive results for marketers, e- learning providers, and entrepreneurs who want to generate more leads and boost sales.

The Benefits of a Good Voice Over for Video

Using the right voice-over makes or breaks an e-learning, training or marketing video. It’s all about trust: a confident voice makes a brand appear more credible — something that results in more sales or sign-ups to a course.

Research shows that adding voice-overs to sales and landing pages makes a website appear more “human,” gives visitors the impression a company is “present,” and encourages prospects to purchase products and services.

“You’ll notice a dramatic difference in how you can communicate with prospective buyers and establish a personal relationship without having to do the initial networking,” says technology writer Stephanie Ciccarelli. “You may also see an increase in your conversion rates, which is, after all, what you’re going for, right?”

Debate swirls on whether male or female voices are more effective in marketing — one study suggests that people find women’s pitch and inflection more trustworthy, however — but experts agree that hiring a professional voice-over actor benefits brands.

Hiring To Double Your Return

“If you are looking at doubling the return on an investment from video marketing, it is vital to hire a good voice-over artist,” says Roberta Kennedy, who has worked as a pro voice-over artist for more than 20 years. “Your video may carry brilliant content in the form of marketing messages, but it could lose out on getting adequate attention if it does not have professional voice-overs.”

A voice-over for a video, like any type of marketing, requires an initial outlay, but hiring a pro could provide marketers and e-learning providers with a hefty return. In fact, professional voice-overs could double a company’s marketing investment, according to VoiceBunny — a huge online database with thousands of professional voice actors.

But why is a voice-over so important? In an increasingly visual world, do consumers even pay attention to what’s being said? The answer is a resounding yes. A company’s voice is part of their identity and brand identity. It’s a crucial component of their communications strategy. Voice-overs get a message across to an audience — regardless of the medium.

Voice-Overs: How to Spot the Good Ones

What makes a good voice-over for a presentation? It’s all in the delivery.

How GoAnimate Can Help Your Business

A video uploaded to YouTube by GoAnimate — a cloud-based online video maker — in 2015 proves why a voice-over is essential for brand marketing. In the video, a voice artist describes how animated marketing videos close sales deals and nurture leads. She leads the viewer through a series of animations and explains the benefits of the service. Her tone is calm, cool and authoritative. It’s a great example of the power of an effective voice-over.

Understanding Attribution Bias

Here’s another example of a great voice-over for video content made with GoAnimate. This one focuses on attribution bias in the workplace. E-learning providers can create animated videos like this and introduce new concepts to their audience.Then, they can ask their students to share their content on social media.

The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth

In a video uploaded in January 2017, YouTuber Flaring Inferno walks viewers through the video game, “The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth.” Unlike the two previous promos, this video is difficult to follow, with a voice-over that’s sometimes inaudible.

The Solar System by Jamye

Nine-year-old Jamye used online video maker GoAnimate to create a video about the solar system for a school project. This educational video is clear to understand and features Jamye’s voice throughout. A pro voice-over artist, however, could make this video even better. A combination of Jayme’s voice with a voice actor could help convey the various scientific concepts in the video and attract prospective e-learners.

The Psychology of a Good Voice-Over for Video

As seen in the three examples above, psychology plays a huge part in determining whether a viewer connects with a video. There are loads of other examples, too. Take the voice-over on the New York subway — the one that says “stay clear of the closing doors.” This is an example of an authoritative voice: subway passengers trust it; they think it’s credible.

In a marketing context, customers’ perceptions of a voice could persuade — or dissuade them — from making a purchase. In videos, marketers and e-learning providers should use an authoritative voice — like the one on the

New York subway — to ensure viewers believe everything they say. This can have a positive effect on sales and sign-ups and drive conversions. Most Americans don’t mind whether it’s a male or a female voice doing the talking: two-thirds of consumers say voice type doesn’t make a difference in marketing.

Just like any actor, a voice-over artist takes on the role of a character. This makes one of these professionals a perfect fit for an e-learning video. Voice-over actors convey complex concepts without using industry-specific jargon and encourage more prospective students to enroll in a course.

How Voice Actors Create Killer Voice-Overs

There’s no particular way to create video online. But e-learning providers and marketers can follow these tips to captivate their audience and increase interest in their products and services.

Combine the First and Second Person Perspective

Voice-over artists who speak in the second person (“you,” “your,” etc.) when they create a video instantly develop a bond with the viewer. Narrators who use both the first (“I,” “my,” etc.) and the second person, however, create an even deeper connection with the audience. The speaker tells the story from their own perspective and engages with the viewer.

Speak Clearly

Voice-over artists who speak with clarity command an audience, say VoiceBunny. “Practice speaking with correct pronunciation and enunciation. It might feel a little ‘over the top’ at first, but on the recording, it’ll sound just right,” they write on their blog. This is particularly important in e- learning videos, where viewers hear complicated terms and concepts for the first time.

Keep Viewers Interested

E-learning providers will want to create a video online that viewers watch in its entirety, especially if there’s a call-to-action at the end. Sound consultant Julian Treasure outlines the ways companies can connect with an audience in a TED talk. “I can get very excited by saying something really quickly, or I can slow right down to emphasize, and at the end of that, of course, is our old friend, silence. There’s nothing wrong with a bit of silence in a talk, is there? We don’t have to fill it with ums and ahs. It can be very powerful,” he says.

Know the Subject Matter

Voice actors should have a basic understanding of the subject matter of a video before they record their voice-over for a presentation. An artist who preps for a video is less likely to mispronounce names and places and will spot any difficult words and phrases in the script.

The Best Voice-Overs in History

Here are some of the greatest voice-overs in advertising. Ad Campaign: The Swiss Heart Foundation
Voice: Harlan Hogan

This ad chronicles, in poignant detail, a love that lasts through the generations. Then, it showcases the devastating impact of heart disease. The TV spot features an evocative soundtrack, but it’s voice-over actor

Harlan Hogan that creates an instant emotional connection with the audience. E-learning providers can try something similar when they create video online, where they show the importance of lifelong learning and its emotional consequences.

Ad Campaign: Super Smash Bros. (Nintendo 64) Voice: Don LaFontaine

Don LaFontaine — known as the “king of voice-overs” — voiced thousands of movie trailers and TV commercials. His dub for Super Smash Bros. on the Nintendo 64 is just one example of his deep, dramatic baritone. In fact, LaFontaine’s voice was often more famous than the products he was advertising. For e- learning providers that want to create a video and make a big first impression, using a voice actor with a confident, assertive voice — just like LaFontaine’s — could increase the exposure of their programs online.

Ad Campaign: Budweiser Voice: George Clooney

Men with monotonous voices are “irresistible,” say researchers at Pennsylvania State University, who cited George Clooney as an example. Perhaps that’s why Clooney’s voice-over for Budweiser has proved such a huge success. The actor’s soothing tones wash over the audience in this 2005 TV spot. E-learning providers and marketers should choose a voice-over that reflects their brand.

Ad Campaign: Think Different (Apple) Voice: Richard Dreyfuss (or Steve Jobs)

Apple’s Think Different commercial is described as a “homecoming” for the Cupertino, California-based company. Narrated by Richard Dreyfuss, the promo effortlessly captures the company’s forward-thinking spirit. It’s hard to imagine anyone else dubbing this commercial. E-learning providers should choose a voice-over that’s just as memorable.

What Comes First: The Voice-Over or the Video?

If a marketer or e-learning provider has a script for a video but hasn’t created anything yet, it’s best for them to get a pro voice-over recorded first. This provides them with much more flexibility: companies can sync the voice-over audio after they create a video online.

Companies can choose from loads of voice-over artists online when they create a video, including youthful voices to authoritative voices and everything in-between. VoiceBunny has a roster of talent for education videos, presentations, and commercials. Users can browse voice actors by age, gender, location and more, and listen to samples online.

Voice-Overs in Animated Videos

Voice-overs are great for animated videos. They compliment these visuals and help to weave the narrative, moving the viewer from one scene to the next, almost seamlessly. E-learner providers who use video for marketing or training purposes could optimize their content with a voice-over. A professional voice-over, for example, can convince viewers to sign-up for a program — especially when dubbed over corresponding visuals.


Professional voice-over talent gives an education campaign some much-needed credibility when they want to create a video. E-learning companies should opt for a voice-over artist that provides them with a return on their investment, matches their brand ideology and connects with their audience.