Why We Don’t Support Audio

Sometimes, we get questions about why we don’t support audio voiceovers for lessons. It’s a good question, other companies do and you can find a lot of courses online with audio.

There are three main reasons why our clients prefer text over audio:

Updating

Audio is harder to keep up-to-date than text. It’s easier to change a word in text than track down the person who recorded the audio in the first place, pull them into the windowless office, set up a microphone, open up your recording software, have them update their sentence, pull in the intern of the season, teach them how to edit a speech file, have them splice that sentence in, review it, and then update the lesson.

Instead, when you have a text file, you can find that typo and change it in the same five minutes. I was that intern once. Please, stick to text.

Your speaker might even have a few stammers, or “Ummmm”s without even realizing it. When you operate in text, it doesn’t matter how many times you say “Um” out loud if you don’t mind the weird looks.

Searching

There is no searching in audio lessons. Sure, you can skip around and try to remember if the thought you’re looking for is before or after this. Similar to when I try to show my friends part of a movie, it takes me 20 minutes to show them a 20-second clip. If your learners are trying to find something quickly, lessons comprised of text is the only way to do that.

Understanding

Let me hit you with some data. The average reading speed is 200 words per minute. According to Quora, the average conversational speaking speed is between 110-150 words per minute. That means the average listening speed is 150 words per minute. If you hire an auctioneer to complete the audio for all of your lessons, you could reach 400 words per minute. I went to an auction once and ended up with a family of small donkeys when I thought I was buying a 12 pack of burritos.

To be completely honest, I never finish any of those courses that are audio-based. I try, I just cannot make it through one. I do have a quick anecdote about why I personally despise audio lessons. In college, I had a few lectures get canceled. Fortunately, our professor was able to make an audio recording of the lesson. The only problem I had with this was that he chose to record the lesson during his lunch break. You might be thinking “What’s the problem with his timing, Matt? You’re being ridiculous.”

The problem was he still ate lunch while doing this recording. I listened to him chew what I assume was a sandwich for an hour while trying to understand the difference between assets and liabilities. That was my worst grade in college. I don’t blame that series of three lectures by any means, but they certainly didn’t help.

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