Voiceover is everywhere, from TV commercials, to radio, to movie trailers, to museum guides. In fact we are so used to hearing voices telling us stories, selling us products and even gently telling us where to go that we almost don’t notice it. Think about how often we go about our day stepping on and off elevators or public transit and a friendly voice tells us which floor we are on or what stop is coming up next. It’s so ubiquitous we almost don’t notice it.
Voiceovers enhance our everyday experiences and have many other applications!
Voiceovers are essential when used as part of an e-learning application. I think we can all remember a time when we had to watch an important safety video for work, but the narrator was so boring and uninteresting that it was nearly impossible to pay attention. Having a good narrator for e-learning is essential for bringing the material to life while still conveying the importance of the subject matter. Many companies use e-learning to cover important subjects like workplace safety, teaching a new software program, employee orientation, and other training videos. In e-learning, the learner will watch a portion of the video (or the whole video) and may follow along with text or images on screen. At the end there are questions to test the retention of the material and a grade is assigned.
Corporate videos are another example where voiceover is used. Corporate videos are used within a company to describe new products or services to sales people, to illustrate important policies or directives, or to motivate employees at corporate events. In the medical field, medical videos are used to explain new medications or equipment that may be used by doctors or nurses. For example, a pharmaceutical company may create a new medication and will create a video to explain all its uses, side effects and clinical trial outcomes. The end user is a medical professional, not a member of the public.
One type of voiceover most people are familiar with is the documentary. From a nature documentary, to a true crime story to a celebrity exposé, the narrator brings the subject to life.