Conversational Scripting Made Easy, Part Deux

conversational scripting part twoWe’ve written in the past about the recent wave of customers who have come to us seeking a more conversational sound to their auto attendant prompts, IVR prompts, and onhold messages. People no longer wish to listen to monotone, affectless recordings and instead desire the feel of human interaction, even when dealing with automated recordings. For conversational scripting part two, let’s talk a little bit about the actual process that goes into getting the performance you want out of voice over talents that you will be working with.

Be Direct

Don’t be afraid to have a specific vision (or, I suppose, a specific ‘ear’) for how you want your recordings to sound. The reason you are using professional talent for your voice prompts and messages is so you can have the highest quality possible audio, delivered with the utmost reliability. As professionals, voice over talents are used to receiving directions and guidance, and are able to adjust their performances to fit whatever tone and pace is requested of them.

Direction and guidance are not frustrating. What’s actually frustrating is when clients know what they want but can’t or won’t give those specifics and instead force the creation of multiple iterations of the same script until finally the voice talent stumbles over the correct intonation. But good, clear direction is always not only welcome, but actively encouraged.

The key is knowing what you are recording and who you are recording it for. Are you putting together outbound IVR voice prompts meant to interact with actual customers? Are you creating contact center greetings that will be the first aspect of your company that a client or customer experiences? Or are you crafting an onhold message that a client may have to listen to on a loop for several minutes while they wait? Knowing what you want goes a long way towards helping you get what you need.

Capturing the Conversation

But how to go about communicating the tone, pace, and energy that you want?

One super easy approach that we like to take is to host a live recording session with the client, the talent, and the engineer. In this session the client can speak directly to the talent, coaching such aspects as pace, energy level, and tone, allowing us to really zero in on the ‘conversational’ tone that the project leads are looking for. Sometimes, that can mean making adjustments to the script as needed to make it flow better while sounding more casual.

And once we are all locked into the desired sound, future recording sessions won’t require the same level of hand-holding. The voice talent can reference the existing audio and know the correct pitch and intonation they need to hit to line up with what has come before.

If a live session isn’t an option (be it from calendar conflicts, time zone discrepancies, etc.) we have several sample documents which detail the above mentioned ‘specific direction’ that you can use as a starting point. We’ll also examine whether script refinement is an option (sometimes this is a simple as converting a ’we will’ into a ‘we’ll’).

You’d be surprised how the slightest of changes can alter the flow of a script and take text from formal to informal.

Conversational Scripting Part Two

For everything from lengthy hold messages to short IVR recordings, conversational scripting is the trend that we are seeing across all the various industries that utilize our services for their professional recordings. If you would like to start your own conversation with us on this subject, you can download our free PDF here.

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