How to Win in the eLearning Industry as a Voiceover Actor

The eLearning Industry is expanding rapidly and needs good (read: great) voiceover actors to help make their training projects achieve end goals and win results. Here are three things you can do to stake your claim in this booming industry.


Educate Yourself about the eLearning Industry

Kim Handysides eLearning

Credit: ActuarialLearning

By and large, the people who would hire voiceover talent in the e-Learning industry are a bright and bookish lot. That is to say, they are more comfortable with you going to play in their playground, rather than you asking them to come to yours. So, find out about their process. Creating content for eLearning is very different than creating an ad campaign or writing animation. The Instructional Designers usually author the projects, who then hand them to a Project Manager who assigns tasks to graphic designers, animators, IT (and the VO), who send everything to an Integrator who sends the project to QA and then it’s ready to send to the client. They have different goals (aka getting participants to learn something) and those goals are chiefly broken down into knowledge retention (as in the academic arena) or behavior change (like, getting employees to be safe or fill out the correct forms or do whatever they are doing now differently because it is costing the company time, money or a variant thereof, like reputation). Learn what their pain points are.



Reach Out to eLearning Employees

Kim Handysides Voiceover

Credit: SpectrumNet

You have something they want. Your storytelling ability. Your engaging, natural, passionate, professional audio, quick turn-around sound. They need that. Otherwise their projects fall flat. Not all of them know that yet. But, in any conversations you might have with them you can be confident of your ability to meet their goals (whether it’s info retention or behavior change) because there’ve been studies that prove people will tolerate poor quality video over poor quality (or less-than engaging) audio. People largely process information visually. Because the processing window is much smaller for audio, this translates into us being more picky about audio quality. Cool, right? You know this yourself. You will listen to a show while cooking or cleaning, without really checking on the video that much. But if the audio is off (on any show) you won’t watch it.



Help eLearning Freelancers & Other Voiceover Narrators Win


Credit: Vikiaviligban

Once you’ve learned about your eLearning market, and reached out to them with confidence (in your ability to help), do more. Help them out in other ways. Recommend other VOs for characters, for when you’re too busy or for variety. Recommend VOs in other languages than yours for jobs. Recommend them for eLearning jobs you hear about. This is especially helpful if the eLearning professionals you work with are freelance and are always looking for their next gig. In this way, you evolve from just another talent knocking at their door for narration gigs to a trusted partner in their work world.


What has your experience been working with the Elearning industry? I’d love to hear from you whether your encounters have been positive or otherwise.


Kim Handysides is a female voiceover artist who loves learning. 16/7  (‘Cause ya gotta sleep sometime)

  1. Lillian 2 years ago

    Thanks so much Kim. I’m intrigued and definitely want to know more about this.

  2. Jill Goldman 2 years ago

    I like the points you made, particularly about the listener having less tolerance for pour audio quality than for video quality. Clients do appreciate when we voice talent have other voices to recommend, too. I love that we can help each other out in this way. And I love your “16/7” bit at the end. 🙂

    • Jill Goldman 2 years ago

      And of course, I meant “poor” and not “pour”! It was hard to see the lettering when typing the reply…

    • Author
      Kim Handysides 2 years ago

      Thanks Jill! I found that reference in multiple places, including an ironic one called “How Video Works” by Marcus Weise, Diana Weynand. (And I love your site name goldivox!)

  3. Steve Zarro 2 years ago

    With 20 years experience in corporate America as a sales rep and sales trainer as well as years and years of acting experience, I am uniquely fluent in the languages spoken in both worlds. I have voiced numerous corporate videos and e-learning courses, and even appeared on camera in a few. Clients include Verizon Wireless, Coach USA, Coach Canada, Megabus, UVM, and Barry Wehmiller Design Group.

  4. Steve Zarro 2 years ago

    In other words, my experiences have been quite positive and have made me a good fit so far. Looking forward to more projects

    • Author
      Kim Handysides 2 years ago

      That’s awesome Steve! I appreciate your feedback and insight. Sales (rep & training) experience is a great background for this type of work as sales are all about relationships. And those are built on dialogue.

  5. Becky 2 years ago

    Beginning the process of contacting e-learning site for my video business. I’ve been doing tutorials, webinars, TV, message on hold, Erc. For over a decade. Confidence to call= biggest hurdle for me. Been blessed with VO work. Thanks for the encouragement and useful info.

    • Author
      Kim Handysides 2 years ago

      Confession time: me too Becky! I have no problem speaking in front of a crowd of 2000, but calling & emailing are hard! (but worth it)

  6. Petrea Burchard 2 years ago

    Thanks, Kim. I’ve been doing commercial VO for a long time, and am now getting into e-Learning. It’s great to find resources like yours to help me learn.

    • Author
      Kim Handysides 2 years ago

      Thanks Petrea! Glad to be of help.

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