Voice overs on every slide?

Hello Everyone! 

I am brand new to the community.  I am looking for best practices for online training. 

I use Storyline 3 and I am working on a new project to create a module with voice overs and captions.  I provided our SME with a story board and she returned a few slides with voice over scripts.

During our meeting, a colleague mentioned that we should either create a training with audio for the entire module or forget the voice over all together.     

Time for you to weigh in.  All or nothing?


4 Replies
Ray Cole

I recommend avoiding the voice-over all together. Good uses of voice are those where the voice conveys some essential information. A call-center training course on how to handle an angry customer, for example, is one where the learner could benefit from judging the tone of voice of the customer at the other end of the phone line. But a typical voice-over narration has low value and tends to increase the cost of editing and making changes later, while slowing down the pacing for everyone taking the course as they wait for the voice to finish droning on. 

Can you take the few slides your SME provided and turn them into something interactive instead? How is the learner expected to use the information your SME provided? If you can figure that out, maybe you can create an interactive exercise where the learner gets to put that information to use in a realistic way. That would probably make it unnecessary for a voice to read the script to the learner.

Good luck!


Tim Slade

Hi Dorthy,

I tend to agree with your colleague, in that I prefer to be it all or nothing. Besides the fact that you should consider what value the voice over is adding instructional design perspective, I think it created a better learner experience to be consistent throughout the course, from one slide to the next.

The reason for this is that you're "teaching" the learner what to expect throughout the course. I have seen many examples where the first few slides have audio narration, and then a later slide doesn't contain any audio narration. This could cause the learner to think "Did my audio cut out? Is something wrong?" 

With that all being said, if you think the audio narration will help you better communicate your content, make sure you don't simply repeat all of the same text on the screen. Use it as an opportunity to visually communicate your learning content on the screen in conjunction with your audio narration. Help your learners SEE what you're SAYING

I hope that helps!