When I meet people at general networking events and they ask me what I do for a living, my answer is of course ‘voice over artist’. However, invariably they will look slightly perplexed, then follow with a question something along the lines of ‘what’s that all about then?’, quickly followed by ‘oh yes, commercials!’ as this is commonly what a voice over is best known for. Being a voice over at such events usually causes interest, as the chances are there won’t be many others in the room. Conversely, you can also see their faces wonder what on earth I’m doing there…I mean, they don’t know anyone that makes commercials….
As I go on to explain the types of voice over work that I get involved with, their eyes begin to register on an increasing scale…corporate or website video narration, on-hold messaging, voicemail, e-learning, podcasts…You see, all of these are what I call business audio, and indeed, audio is playing an ever growing part in the world of business…
Website video is something that most companies can now relate to, as they are either in the process of incorporating video onto their website, or already have video.
More and more companies have upgraded their telephony systems to include either on-hold messaging, or IVR prompt/auto attendant systems, for both call management and on-hold marketing messages. Or, maybe even those voicemail prompts they hear as they check to see if they’ve got any messages since they left the office 30 minutes ago! Oh yes, and wasn’t that a sat nav they used to find the venue? That was a voice over too…
Equally, more and more companies and their training or HR departments have embraced the adoption of e-learning materials, which can often have audio content. This is recognised as being an effective method of learning; audio appeals particularly to those who are auditory (and therefore increases engagement for a greater number of learners); but also audio is something that can be listened to on-the-go, or during down time, and is often more cost-effective than conventional training.
Or it could be that the organisation produces regular podcasts for its staff, particularly the larger companies who want to disseminate information in a more informal and engaging way to their staff.
Audio for business…so, now we know ‘what that’s all about’!