Why Narration is Nearly Always a Better Alternative Than Text To Speech

The rising demand for audio content has not gone unnoticed. Podcasts have become wildly popular, and more and more creators are looking to take their content into the world of audio. It makes sense to make audio versions of content available, but many do not know where to start.

Creating great quality audio takes time and money, and can be a steep learning curve. This discourages many creators from taking the leap. Text to speech is presented as an appealing solution: You write, then automatically generate audio articles with the push of a button. It will be quick, cheap, easy, and your audience will love it. Right? Truthfully, while text to speech has its place in the world, it isn’t as simple a solution as you might think.

Text to Speech as a Useful Tool

People have been trying to recreate human sounds in a mechanical way for a long time. The technology has evolved throughout the years, with “talking machines” emerging and growing more sophisticated in design. Stephen Hawking famously adapted a speech synthesizer to communicate after he lost his ability to speak due to ALS, and text to speech in general has been an effective tool in the disabled community.

These days, most text to speech softwares also cater to the academic market. They provide a cheap and easy way for schools to make their educational texts more accessible to students. They are usually fairly user-friendly, and don’t take up too much space, making them appealing to busy educators and school programs with a lot on their plate. They can also be used by students to convert materials from their teachers if they prefer to consume aurally -- or with a combination of reading and listening.

Content creators might also be tempted to utilize text to speech software to quickly and cheaply convert their work into audio. Bloggers who know their posts would make great podcasts might be drawn to the advantages of having a cheap, quick way to convert them. It makes sense why first time audio creators would think it was a viable choice: Text to speech software can convert a lot of text in a short amount of time, and can do it at low cost. Creators can even participate in a little customization, picking between hundreds of voices, accents and languages.

For some audio content, it is a perfectly serviceable option. Things like Google Maps work well with text to speech, considering that you don’t need the nuance of professional narration when listening to street names and directions. It also works well for any digital device that is voice activated, like smart speakers. Writers may think that because things like this sound alright, their content could also translate just fine using a computerized voice.

What Text to Speech Can’t Do

Text to speech falls short, however, when you are really trying to create a great-sounding, engaging audio version of your content. While it can convey words on a page or in a blog post, without the human element it loses any nuance or sense of performance. A synthetic voice cannot connect with an audience the way a professional voice actor can. Ask yourself: can a computer voice make you laugh, carry a sarcastic line, or help you imagine a fantasy world? Can it hold your attention long enough to tell you a story or share a blog post with you?

And not only that, but text to speech is also quite fallible. All of the services suggest that you check through the recording for mistakes, because a synthetic voice cannot ask questions, course-correct, or use context cues the way a human performer can. Ultimately, while text to speech is an important part of the world of audio content, it is not an ideal solution for bringing your work to listeners.

The Human Element with Poise

So, a true podcast with a human narrator is the best way to bring your content into the audio world. This is where Poise comes in. Poise takes content and transforms it into podcasts for you, making sure to reflect your brand and your tone while elevating it into a professional, polished product.

We don’t have to try and sound human -- we are human. We don’t want to listen to a robot speaking, and we know your audience doesn’t either. That’s why we find the best voice for your content in order to produce the best listening experience for your audience. We also help you edit your content to make it ready for narration.

When services compete on price, they’re never going to provide great customer experience. Poise does. We work with our clients, answering questions and making sure they are getting exactly what they need. From the beginning of the process, through recording, to helping you learn how to embed, distribute, and promote, Poise offers an all-encompassing podcast-creation experience.