Interview with eLearning expert Dennis Duligall by Kelley Buttrick.
With the rise in popularity of eLearning, Voquent asked me to pull back the curtain on how voiceover works within the industry. Dennis Duligall, of Duligall and Associates, is a major player in the industry. Duligall and Associates has a proven track record of producing high quality training programs, completing them on schedule and within budget.
“We achieve this by assembling, leading and mentoring results orientated courseware development teams whose efforts meet and invariably surpass stakeholder expectations,” said Dennis proudly when I asked him about his work.
In addition, they also offer eLearning workshops and consultations, including how to build courses using software like Articulate Storyline
I really appreciate Dennis taking the time to answer my questions and to shed light on how voiceover fits into the eLearning process.
Q: About how many different voice actors do you cast per year?
Dennis: In the current year, I have 30 modules to be narrated in English and translated/narrated in French and a further 10 to be translated/narrated in Arabic. Thereafter, I expect to be carrying out a similar exercise on 10 modules per year.
Q: In general, what qualities do you look for when casting an eLearning voice?
Dennis: This is subject matter and target audience dependent and could range from an authoritative to a conversational tone narrated by both male and female voice talent.
Q: With your eLearning projects do you conduct live sessions or are scripts sent to voice talent to record on their own?
Dennis: Scripts are provided.
Q: On average, how long is a typical finished VO recording for an eLearning project, and about how long does it actually take to record?
Dennis: We try to restrict eLearning modules to a linear duration of 30 – 40 minutes. On receipt of the completed files however, it will take one of my developers approximately 4 hours to incorporate the narrative, optimize cue points and conduct various quality control and browser compatibility checks.
ALSO BY KELLEY: YouTube Star On How To Become a Voice Actor
Q: Are there any special skills or techniques a voice actor should master before going into eLearning work?
Dennis: Difficult to answer this question. We sometimes need to break up or insert silences into the clips when we want students to reflect on a specific (narrated) point or wait until an animation sequence completes.
Q: Do you have to issue non-disclosure contracts or confidentiality agreements with your eLearning work?
Dennis: I have to sign and/or create NDA’s for most of my military projects and some commercially sensitive programmes.
Q: Do you tend to cast the same voice for different eLearning projects for the same clients or do you use a varied number of voices and why?
Dennis: Usually one voice for each eLearning module although we are working on a programme where we will utilize a number of voices in the one scenario based interaction. We also find the one voice talent is requested by different clients.
Q: Can you identify one of the key benefits of using Voquent.com?
Dennis: Working with the client Subject Matter Experts (SME) during the eLearning design process, my team quickly develop a feel for the ‘voice-over’ qualities that would be suitable to convey the eLearning content. Interacting with the Voquent site then allows us to put forward a recommended short-list of suitable voice talent for client final approval. This collaborative engagement with client SMEs from initial design through to the finished product invariably results in a successful programme.
Q: How do you find working with Voquent?
Dennis: I have found the Voquent team to be:
- quick to respond to my RFQ’s
- quick to deliver translation/narrative content on contract award
- appreciate the need for fine-tuning and tweaking of narrative content during final acceptance & reviews.
Thanks so much for your insight Dennis, it’s been great to learn more about your business and how voice over fits into the eLearning process.
About the author
Kelley Buttrick is a seasoned voice actor and writer. Before going full-time into voiceover, Kelley wrote for Women’s Wear Daily and many different newspapers. Website: kbvoiceovers.com