Am I a voice-over artist now?

In the beginning there were screen captures

In 2018, while living in Malta, I began working for a tech company. They hired me to help onboard new customers through a combination of product demos, training materials and general support.

I found a “Learning Management System” (LMS) that seemed easy to use, wrote documentation, built courses into the portal and wrote assessment questions to quiz users on what they had learned.

All of that was pretty well within my comfort zone.

Then, I started to create videos showing how to work inside our platform and it became apparent that screen captures by themselves were not enough.

I shut myself in a meeting room and began recording.

It was supposed to be a “proof of concept”. However, my bosses liked it and before I knew it I had recorded hours of audio. (I would like to take this opportunity to apologise to all of the users who were forced to listen to my voice every day while learning to use the platform).

Does anyone like the sound of their own voice?

My colleagues at the time told me that the recordings were great and that I have I have a “calm, soothing voice”.

I have a hard time accepting compliments and am usually convinced people are just being kind, so I took that with a pinch of salt.

In my own mind I sound like an English Minnie Mouse. If I become too aware of sounding like a cartoon character, I can end up with vocal fry à la Kardashian.

To be fair — nearly everyone I have spoken to about this complex has agreed that listening back to recordings of your own voice is pretty painful.

Back to the story…

Fast forward to 2022. I now contract to, and manage marketing for, my former employer. I work remotely from my home in Belgium for the majority of the time but in March I made the trip to Malta for a face to face catch up.

While I was there we were in the process of producing a video to show at exhibitions and to share with their potential clients.

The CEO asked me to do a sample recording of the first part of the script we were co-writing so we could get an idea of pace to share with the animator. A “proof of concept’.

I had my suspicions after the training videos of what might happen next.

After some frantic back and forth, I managed to secure a last minute recording studio booking, opened the script on my laptop in the booth and did three takes. Two at normal speed and one that felt like I was reading the terms and conditions on a radio ad.

In the end, the hyperspeed version was chosen — although it really doesn’t sound as fast as it felt!

It took three days for me to be able to listen to the whole vocal clip back once we got the cleaned up recording from the studio. But in the end, I didn’t hate it, and so far everyone has given really positive feedback on it.

The final result?

  1. You can watch and listen to the video for yourself here.

2. I learned, once again, that sometimes you just have to do things that scare you.

3. My colleagues are asking when I’m starting a podcast. Maybe it’s not such a crazy idea…

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