You’re a Human—Stop Narrating Like a Robot!

Conference Archive

Learning Solutions Conference & Expo 2019 - March 28, 2019

Josh Risser

Voice Over Talent
DIY Narrator

The standard advice you hear about eLearning narration has taken you down the wrong path. You’ve been told to “billboard important phrases,” “speak at a comfortable and steady pace,” and “e-nun-ci-ate your words.” All this advice has done is turned you into a predictable and boring script reader. “Billboarding” causes you to sound unsure of what you’re saying. That “comfortable pace” is slow, repetitive, and disengaging. And “enunciating” makes you sound like a robot. Since the beginning of civilization, people have passed along information through speech. Narration engages your learners by connecting with them at a primitive and emotional level—a human level. It’s time to throw out the old advice and start talking to your learners like a human.

In this session, you’ll learn how the old narration advice has led to poor learner engagement. You’ll explore new ways of approaching your script that will connect you with your learners as if you were talking directly to them, and you’ll make your narrations more engaging and more human. You’ll start applying the new concepts immediately, so you won’t be left with a bunch of ideas in the form of scribbles on paper. Scripts will be provided, and you will have the opportunity to volunteer and be coached live during the session. This will be a no-pressure environment, with feedback and coaching provided from a place of respect and a mutual desire to improve learning outcomes.

In this session, you will learn:

  • How the old advice has led to poor learner engagement
  • What you should have really been taught when someone said “billboard important phrases”
  • How to use your imagination to put yourself in the room with the learner and talk directly to them
  • Specific techniques that help you sound more relatable and human
  • How to make awkward script elements, like long lists and questions, sound conversational
  • How to “talk to one person” when you’re narrating


Designers, developers, managers, and anyone who has to narrate their own eLearning projects


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