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Doing Voiceovers · 2 January 2021


Doing voiceovers is hard. I do not know how actors do them.


I do not make videos thinking that I am going to be the next great YouTube phenomenon. (Even if I have had delusions of grandeur. Which is a completely different story.) I make videos because I want to teach to more people than just those in my classes. And because I want to have something to point at when my students ask me the same things over and over and over again. The added bonus to already having teaching videos is that I did not need to go into panic mode to make a bunch when we started the new school year in the midst of a pandemic. Oh I had to scramble, but not as much as I would have had to, had I not had any videos done before. But besides the benefit of adding to my teaching tools, making videos is fun.


I know that the quality of my videos is suspect. Sometimes even downright awful. Especially in my own eyes. I laugh at some of the things I have put out there. But some stuff actually works. I know. Lectures are quite boring. But sometimes you just need to lecture. Sometimes there are not very good other ways to get across what you want to teach. Which is why I have made so many lecture videos. I need to teach the concepts I teach, and lecturing is one of the ways to get new content across to the students.


Having taught for so long, sometimes I get new ideas about how to teach new content. And sometimes those ideas even make sense. When they do, I try them out. Sometimes those ideas succeed, and sometimes they just crash and burn. Which is to be expected. At least in my experience.


My latest idea was to teach some fundamental programming concepts with a story. It is a silly story. But it is still a story. And people learn through story. I recorded the footage of my story and I also recorded footage of my programming process. I used all my video editing knowhow (which is not that much) to put it all together into a series of videos. Then, I did the voiceovers.


My thought on the voiceovers was that I would just be the narrator. I was pretty quiet in my videos knowing that I would be doing the narration over all the wonderful acting. (Yes, you can laugh at me. Especially, if you have seen the videos.) Not that it mattered. I just took the audio out of the videos anyway. So all (well, almost all) of my audio was of some quiet keyboard work (at 8 times speed) and my voiceover narration.



I must say that voiceover narration is difficult. My first video with voiceover took 10 or 11 tries to do the voiceover. (I would use my prime exaggeration number if I was exaggerating.) I kept fumbling and stumbling and bumbling and mumbling along. (Okay. No mumbling, but mumbling rhymes with the other -umblings). But I finally got it right. At least right enough for my video. It is by no means professional or even close. But it gets the job done.


I do not know that the story really works to teach the concepts of computer programming that well. But it was fun to create and record and edit the story. At the time of this writing, I still have another recording to do and a few more episodes to put together and edit. If it works, I might need to do more stories. Actually, whether it works or not, I will probably do more stories. Just for fun.


It is funny. I love to do all the steps to making videos. I love to record, edit, and add special effects. I am not that fond of the acting and voiceovers though. So I guess I do not love all the parts. But maybe that is just because they are not as easy to learn to do as the technical stuff. I suppose the more I do my own acting and voiceovers, the easier they will get. What I do know though is that from my own limited experience, doing voiceovers is hard.

© 2021 Michael T. Miyoshi

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