If you need a technical voiceover, follow these tips to achieve maximal results!
You’ll also want to learn about Victoria’s boutique hi-tech voiceover service.
What is a technical voiceover?
A technical voiceover contains scientific, technological, and/or medical content, and it may be used in a tutorial, promotional video, or business presentation.
Often the voiceover is synchronized with actions appearing onscreen. For example:
In order to facilitate this synchronization, the voiceover may be provided in multiple files, one for each action, slide, etc.
What should the script look like?
It is important that the script for a technical voiceover be written by someone who is familiar with the correct terminology and the format used for writing procedures, preferably a technical writer. For example, when it comes to software, there is a big difference between “Click the button” and “Press the button”, as the former is performed onscreen using a mouse, and the latter is performed by pressing one’s finger against a physical button. Using the correct terminology helps you put your best face forward.
Your technical script will, of course, contain many technical words. While it is the voice actor’s job to look up the pronunciation of these words, bear in mind that they may not be able to find some extremely technical and infrequently used words online. Therefore, it is a good idea to write the pronunciation of such words in the script.
If your script contains acronyms, expect the voice actor to read them as such. For example, if you write “DDoS”, the voice actor will say “dee dos”, not “distributed denial of service”. If you want the talent to say the phrase in full, do not use an acronym.
In addition, if your script contains technical words or acronyms that are unique to your company and/or product, you must specify in the script how to pronounce them.
If you need the voiceover cut into several files to facilitate synchronization with a video, you will need to mark the file names in the script.
Finally, know what your viewers’ level of technical knowledge is. If you write a script that is over their heads, they will not understand your message. If you “speak down to them”, they will be bored and/or annoyed.
You can read the more technical details of how to prepare a voiceover script.
What type of voiceover delivery is suitable?
Technical voiceovers can be delivered using a friendly or formal tone, but ideally, they should be presented in an interesting enough way to hold the listeners’ attention. After all, long technical tutorials are not known for keeping people awake and alert, and a monotone delivery is likely to contribute to a growing sense of boredom.
Ideally, the voice actor will understand the script well enough to deliver it confidently and convincingly. Technical terms should be pronounced clearly.
If the target audience consists of patients with a medical condition that your company or product treats, you may want the voice actor to deliver the voiceover in a reassuring, soothing, and confident way, so as to demonstrate sympathy while inspiring the patient’s confidence in your company or product.
The pace should be slow enough for the listeners to understand and internalize the technically complex text, but not so slow as to bore them.
What about background music?
Background music is generally used in promotional voiceovers, and it is usually added in by the video person. In contrast, background music is not usually used in tutorials.
What file formats are used?
Relevant file formats include WAV, MP3, AIF, OGG, etc. No special bit rate or sampling rate is required, unless requested by the video person.
Article by Victoria Feinerman