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Listening to the Human Voice. More powerful than watching Film and TV?

A recent study sponsored by Audible and undertaken by University College London proves this.

How can just the voice evoke more of a response from an audience than film or TV with it’s image, art direction, costumes and sound?

Doesn’t sound right does it?

What made the difference for the researchers was that an audience listening to the voice were more active co-creators of the story via their imagination than if they were watching film and TV, which was more passive.

In listening to and watching the same scene across the different mediums of Audiobooks, Film and TV, the data was clear:

“they had stronger physiological responses for auditory stories including higher heart rates, greater electrodermal activity, and even higher body temperatures. We interpret these findings as physiological evidence that the stories were more cognitively and emotionally engaging when presented in an auditory format.“

So the voice has real power in storytelling.

How does that help me?

Any content that uses the human voice must become more cinematic, more vivid and life-like. Just as the worlds of audiobooks and gaming have headed for a more cinematic feel, how can the same emotional intensity and connection be brought to commercials, corporate videos, e-learning and explainer videos?

Part of it has to do with the artistry of the voiceover artist, which takes daily practice and intention to develop.

The other part is in knowing how to direct a voiceover artist (take a refresher and visit the post on “Top 10 ways to get the most out of your voiceover artist” here).

Ultimately, it is a feeling, an intuition. Producers of content know when the voice is on the feeling of the piece and when it is off of it.

In the following financial corporate piece see what is the difference between when the lines are being truly connected with, and when they are not. How will that affect the audience?

The more poignant and powerful the voiceover is, the more it is rooted to the message and a strong feeling place of building the story and the world, the more your commercial, corporate video and e-learning project will get the ROI that everyone is after.

Read the full Audible / UCL article here.

If you like, please share.

Paul Mclaughlin © Versatile Voiceovers

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