How Professional Narration in e-Learning Boosts Teaching Module Effectiveness

While the term “e-learning” has been in existence since 1999, the popularity of online training programs has accelerated tremendously in recent years…a trend only magnified through the pandemic. Hybrid models and on-site staffing shortages continue to emphasize the need for stronger e-learning training programs. And providing clear instruction is key to creating consistently successful results.


That need for clear instruction is why professional narration is so essential in the production phase of e-learning programs, and IAP helps make it happen. As more and more companies look to produce e-learning modules of their own, our professional voicing and narration services for video applications are in increasingly high demand!


Why is it so important to have a professional narrator? Just like classroom learning, the more engaging the instruction, the more material is absorbed and digested. Amateurish and monotonous voices tend to easily lose an audience’s attention span, and when that audience is watching via computer or multimedia tools, getting them back is not so easy.


According to the experts at, there are three components to a successful e-learning course: high quality content, polished design, and easy navigability. But they also point out that “even high-quality eLearning courses are going to fall short of expectations if the learner isn’t fully engaged and motivated to learn.”


That’s where the right voice enters the equation. A professional narrator delivers instructional material in a clear, concise fashion…friendly, soothing, and easy-on-the-ears yet authoritatively commanding in a way that keeps learner and trainee attention sharply focused. IAP’s voice artists are quite skilled in this type of delivery, and that’s why our e-learning soundtracks are in such high demand.


Making e-learning and online training videos as comprehensive as possible requires a skilled voiceover. Another advantage with IAP’s capabilities? There’s a whole world out there and we’re not confined to just the English language. We specialize in recording a variety of languages, and we can provide accurate translation too. This is important because, sometimes, in-house translation and online translation services are not 100% accurate. And that can be tough to comprehend for puzzled listeners. If you’d like to preview voices and languages available for e-learning productions, please click


Illinois Audio Productions has worked with a number of e-learning companies across the country over the years, producing programs for a range of industries. We’re also pleased to work with companies directly on their voice narration for video e-learning projects. In-house productions are trending upward and we’re always glad to lend a hand…and voice.


A well-established provider of top-quality audio productions, IAP rates are reasonable and competitive. Turnaround is also quick – especially helpful when critical e-learning rollouts need to be implemented ASAP. Make us your partner in audio production with professional e-learning narration and we’ll be glad to give you a quote.

BEFORE You Upgrade Your Phones…Know this

Messages-on-Hold (MOH) is as vital to your business as ever…and that should be a consideration when selecting the right phones or phone system. Illinois Audio Productions (IAP) can  easily configure the audio, but there are a few things you should know about the compatibility between phone systems and MOH play back options.

Compatibility Match-Up Dilemmas…and Solutions

The biggest transition in telephonic technology has been the inception of Voice Over Internet Protocol or VoIP as well as cloud-based phone systems. However, clients using external MOH players may quickly discover those units don’t match their new system. Some VoIP and Cloud systems are compatible. But more often than not, On-Hold productions need to be provided in uploaded audio files. It’s a solution IAP can make even easier and more convenient.

It should be noted than most telephony formats required by these systems are much lower quality than those that utilize an external MOH player.

Potential issues with MOH player compatibility are important for smaller businesses to consider BEFORE buying two to four-line phones at big box stores. Very few of these phones are on-hold compatible. Right now, only TWO models carry Messages-on-Hold capability that are not true PBX systems. Consult with IAP prior to buying a big box system OR upgrading to VoIP/Cloud phone systems. That way, your MOH transition stays as seamless as possible!

The Differences to Expect in MOH Playback  

Traditionally, Messages-on-Hold playing through an external unit have been in some loop form. Whether loaded digitally from tape, CD, USB stick, MP3, wav file, or remotely, the replay concept is basically a four to six-minute loop format.

Be aware that some VoIP/Cloud-based systems limit recording length. With Avaya IP Office, MOH productions need to be wrapped into 90 seconds or less. However, there are still possibilities for a workaround with IAP external players and Avaya IP Office.

Xfinity/Comcast systems allow two minutes of MOH audio. But playback through these systems is “sequenced,” meaning the entire production starts from the beginning with each call. That’s less desirable than looped audio from our external player which placed holding callers into the “loop” giving every individual message equal playtime. “Sequenced” Messages-on-Hold can give callers a heavy dose of the audio’s beginning and significantly less of the entire production toward the end.

These “sequenced” type messages get stale for callers quickly, especially repeat callers hearing the same limited portion. IAP has a solution. If you have a VoIP system with a short MOH recording time or a sequenced system that starts over constantly, consider changing messages more frequently to keep them effective, timely, and fresh.

IAP is always glad to help…and that goes especially if you’re still deciding on a phone system upgrade!


Overhead Music and Messages for Effective Revenue Building

You did it! You got customers through the door. Now what? Creating the right ambiance with mood music helps shape a more comfortable shopping environment and pleasant customer experience. Doing it the right way with Overhead Music from IAP takes your establishment’s ambience to a whole new level—and that can add revenue at the point-of-sale. Strategically placed promotions between songs at specific times of day, ensures awareness of your products and offerings to an audience already in your place of business.

The Right Overhead Background Music

Choosing the right background music can seem like a daunting task. After all, you can’t please everybody’s musical preferences. IAP overhead music makes it significantly easier to play a variety of licensed business background music with simple programming. Think of it as your operation’s own personalized radio station.

There’s a plethora of waiting room music options for doctors, dentists, retail stores, medical specialists, and professionals of all sorts. Whether serving as pleasing mood music or as part of a branding and sales effort, there are selections of more than 70 channels…rotating literally thousands of music tracks so customers (and staff) are never bored by repetition.

Adding Effective Messaging to your Overhead Music System

The benefits of professional messaging interspersed in your “business radio” are virtually limitless. It’s the combination of overhead music AND messages that drives up sales. There’s a certain art to the creative process, developing cross-promotional upsells that are succinct and grab attention without hitting too hard.

That’s the ticket to increased revenue at the point-of-sale. The combination of Overhead Music and Messages for an audience already in your store is a direct appeal that yields immediate results. Business background music elevates the mood, and every so often a short, professional message pops up, informing customers about in-store promos, seasonal offerings, or added services they previously didn’t know about.

The Equipment

Wondering about playback units for background music? IAP’s unit can stream overhead music and messages simultaneously. On-board memory keeps the overhead music system playing, even if internet connection is lost. The affordable, small unit is also smart, sensing when the stream can resume without manual resetting.  A QR code on each player allows for quick and easy channel changes and volume adjustments.

Scriptwriting for Overhead Messages

When adding messages to overhead background music, what should they say? Professional IAP scriptwriters can pinpoint the finer details for audio announcements, making your personalized radio station a money-maker. As for the studio and scriptwriters that create those messages? IAP works with you—helping you pinpoint the focus of messages, making suggestions about what to include, and how long messages should be. Then our experienced copywriters craft messages for your approval.

Cool Features

Mood music in the store and waiting room music in professional settings have taken great strides in both quality and diversity over the years. IAP’s overhead machines go way beyond. Different genres of music can be scheduled for certain days…even times of day. Matching messages with business background music is also this easy (especially when the holidays roll around).

Call or email us about the voice, music, and equipment needed for your set up. We’re always here to help and can offer a no obligation quote.

Using On-Hold Messages and Phone Greetings Effectively in Times of COVID

Many businesses have made safety adjustments to stay productive in times of COVID. Now that vaccinations are ramping up and warmer temperatures are ahead, even more changes are likely as protocols evolve and day-to-day operations are tweaked for safe measures.


One significant aspect of daily transactions began early in the pandemic. Suddenly phone traffic started booming. Fewer in-person transactions, more ordering by phone for curbside pickup. Of course, higher volume phone traffic translated to longer hold times…ample, ideal opportunities to give loyal customers clear guidance in the way one takes orders, books appointments, and imparts valuable information to make transactions safer and more seamless.


What should YOUR callers know?


Consider the changes in
-medical offices
-campus settings

-salons, to name just a few

-the public at-large
about these changes in your facility can be a challenge.
Further modifications are inevitable in the months ahead and disseminating vital information in advance is key.


Certainly, social media and an active online presence help considerably. In addition to increased phone traffic, more daily functions are happening online than ever before. Not just in sales, either. Medical tele-health sessions and ZOOM/remote learning have made their mark.


A solid Messages-On-Hold production also delivers a powerful, direct impact. MOH speaks directly to a familiar audience in a huge cross-section of America. Here are just a few examples.


MOH can


-Help doctors, dentists, and veterinarians explain new screening procedures prior to entering the building.


-Keep restaurants cooking and serving by telling customers contact-free ways to still enjoy a meal with curbside pickup.


-Assist Auto Dealership Sales, Parts, and Service with each Department’s own unique safety protocols.   


-Clarify do’s and don’ts for reopening retail showrooms, gyms, stylists, nail salons, small businesses, and larger centers of shopping.


-Give school administrators a hand with the dissemination of information about shifts to classroom, hybrid, and remote learning as well as testing and scheduling.


These are just a few real-life examples to show how hold-time can be utilized most effectively: by communicating critical details to an interested, qualified audience. In these rapidly changing times, people have questions. On-Hold Messaging from IAP gets the point across in clear, concise fashion with pleasant, licensed music and stellar professional voice artists.


Flexibility and Fast Turnaround to Roll with the Changes


Another excellent value with IAP Messages-On-Hold is the flexibility to change audio productions with exceptional turnaround time. This has been a real boost for medical facilities offering COVID vaccinations. With scheduling based on supply and availability, phone systems have been flooded with eager callers. MOH has provided valuable assistance by informing holding callers with extremely up-to-date messages and what steps to take next. Our studio is delivering timely new audio quickly and reliably.


Interactive Voice Response (IVR), Automation, and Overhead Messages


Effective communication goes beyond updated websites, social media, and even MOH. Medical professionals, businesspeople, and educational institutions have also been using their phone systems with revised efficiency.


Automating IVR greetings helps ease the burden on staff and routing customers in a way that gives them control of transactions without physical contact is a win-win. Giving clear audio instructions is where professional IAP recording can help connect the dots for incoming calls.


Last but not least, let’s not forget Overhead Messaging and Announcements. Welcome customers back into your facility or business with informative overhead messages that tell about:

-new products

-ongoing safety protocols

-monthly specials

-how nice it is to see them again


Guidance and information from above commands attention!



You can utilize all these channels to effectively communicate what is happening at your business. Contact IAP today and we’ll work with you to circulate these important messages that can keep your business running smoothly.

Music on Hold Music vs Messages on Hold…Sound Quality on a Cell Phone

Just about everybody has a cell phone nowadays. In fact, some households don’t even have landlines. As a business owner who wants to utilize on hold marketing, it’s good to know what your callers waiting on hold can hear the best. Noise cancellation technology in cell phones effects the way we hear music on hold as opposed to messages on hold. The messages with a human voice mixed over music come through much more clearly …and should be something to consider with your own on hold marketing.


Thanks to significantly stronger technology and networks, “call drop” complaints have largely disappeared over the years. Remember the popular question, “Can you hear me now?” But there is still one drawback inherent in current cell phone noise cancellation technology…It cancels what it “thinks” is noise…and that noise is usually anything that’s not a human voice. Thus, one of the problems with only having music on hold.


Telephone music on its own can be a struggle to hear via cell phone because that technology is geared to mute anything NOT perceived as voice. That’s potentially troublesome for businesses relying solely on hold music without custom, professional voiceovers.


The best way to minimize interruptions can be achieved simply by adding a voice. If your hold music is flying solo, even the greatest tracks can be subject to dropouts and wavering ins and outs. A professional voice announcing a more personalized custom message helps keep the cell phone connection strong…and you can bet callers will get more from their time on hold because of it.


If you are utilizing messages on hold but have long musical intervals between each custom message, you might want to consider shorter intervals for your next production. 30-second music intervals were once common. Today, hold times are generally shorter and noise cancellation more common. So, keeping hold music intervals to 10 seconds helps ensure custom messages are expressed clearly.


Pleasant hold music can sound fantastic…and still be subject to annoying interference when heard on cell phones. Switching to a more comprehensive on hold marketing program complete with scripting and voicing offers a truly effective alternative. IAP studios ensure ALL callers are having a pleasant hold experience with clear messages describing your products, offers, specials, hours, and more. Utilize your phone system to promote your business and you won’t have to worry about the solitary music wavering in and out any longer.

Learn How Hold Messages Can Increase Your Sales

Many companies have budgets for E-commerce marketing and/or budgets for advertising campaigns trying to get customers through their doors. However, On Hold marketing offers a uniquely more direct approach — because the customers have already “arrived!”


Used the right way, professionally and carefully produced messages on hold can effectively appeal to callers. After all, they’ve already taken that first step by calling. If you think of every phone call as an opportunity, then each caller has already walked in.


Short, succinct, impactful messages matched with the right licensed hold music delivers an even greater advantage with repeat customer upsells. Reward their loyalty with timely, exclusive offers and you have a win-win: your customers appreciate the value and will be back again while you’ve just increased sales revenue.


Putting monthly promotions on hold also keeps the custom message sounding fresh for repeat customers who know better than anybody when something sounds new. Using on hold marketing services in conjunction with other campaigns reinforces the spotlight and makes an effective tool in cross-promotions. Lifetime oil changes? HVAC wholesale rebates? Dental discounts and pet wellness plans? Advertise them with a professional phone message to a receptive audience that already expressed an eagerness to call you.


The best way to get results from a custom message? First, remember that the intended audience is never going to SEE your on hold marketing campaign, only HEAR it. That means there’s no room for wordiness. If a word or phrase has no particular impact, get rid of it.


That leads to the second reason. Your audience is in a holding pattern and likely anxious to move on. Don’t bore them with statistics or, even worse, self-congratulatory fluff. That doesn’t go over well in messages on hold. Don’t make callers memorize a lot of numbers or complicated directions, either. The power of retention is better served with cross selling and calls-to-action.


*Use words and phrases that benefit the caller and speak directly to each. “Snoring keep you up last night? We can help your sleep apnea during this call.”


*Speak conversationally. Consider the announcer of your custom message as a customer service representative talking one-on-one. Unless, of course, you’re going for a stylized piece directed toward a specific audience.


*Use immediate calls-to-action. You already have their attention…there’s only one step left!


*Avoid sounding like a legal brief. Lengthy details, lists, and overly technical explanations can make callers tune out…what may work in print advertising does not always catch the ear!


There’s much more to the formula, made simple by IAP. Mixed with catchy hold music, inspire your callers with IAP’s professional phone message producers, the masters of on hold marketing services!

Holiday Recordings, On-Hold and Overhead!

Safe to say, we’ve never experienced a year like 2020. It’s also hard to believe that this long, tumultuous year is finally winding to a close and the Holiday Season is coming!

The 2020 Holiday Season represents a critical time to connect and re-connect with customers. Especially organizations who’ve had to deal with COVID-related disruptions. Closing the year on a positive high note will likely be more than welcome at your place; both internally and in reaching out to your demographic.

On-Hold Marketing, Messages, & Music

Let’s start with Messages-on-Hold. Busy phone traffic skyrocketed in 2020, a byproduct of productivity while social distancing. Medical offices, car dealerships, retailers, suppliers, restaurants, and a myriad of other operations adjusted to phone ordering as terms like “curbside pickup” entered our daily lexicon. Increased phone traffic has also resulted in longer hold times and that is not likely to let up through the holidays.

Consider the many topics of discussion you can share with callers and potential approaches to your next on-hold production.

*Motivate Sales for an end-of-year push. For many, holiday sales will help offset an otherwise down year.

*Changes in procedures, protocols, and hours. Using hold time productively this way can help inform callers who have already reached out to you.

*Reinforce branding. A topsy-turvy year and uncertain economy have created an unintended disconnect between many purveyors and their customers. There’s no better time to reestablish that identity.

*Build a bridge, extend compassion. It’s what the holidays are all about, right? If ever there was a season where wishes of peace and good will should be well received, 2020 has to be it. Words of reassurance will not hurt in that regard.

IAP writers can help you find your voice and develop a script. The Holiday Season is traditionally a time for changing MOH productions anyway. This year’s Holiday On-Hold Audio can be an extra special opportunity to shine.

Overhead Music

If you already subscribe to IAP’s Overhead Music, now’s a perfect time to change up the audio and reflect the season. If you’re not a subscriber, today is a great time to inquire and get started. Either way, here are FIVE new and different channels of music, geared just for the season.

*Christmas Carols…Classic Carols and Hymns of the Christmas Season.

*Christmas Peace…Instrumental Christmas and Holiday Favorites, calming and relaxing.

*Christmas Swing…Throughout the Holidays, Swing is King!

*Festive Instrumentals…Instrumental background music geared for the Holidays.

*Holiday Hits…Holiday Hits of the Modern Era.

Need a few elegant phrases to accompany your OHM? Just like Messages-on-Hold, custom writing and standard Holiday greetings can be blended into Overhead Music/Messaging for a seamless, classy sound customers, visitors, and patients appreciate.

Don’t Wait!

Turnaround time is always fast with Illinois Audio Productions. In a year where so many have been slowed down in ordering and delivery, there is no slow down with IAP’s technology and experience. We advise getting your order locked-in as soon as possible, whether on-hold, overhead, or both. Show your audience how much they’re appreciated and build momentum for a brighter new year ahead!









Could YOUR Business be at Risk for Thousands in Fines for Music Licensing Violations?

In case you didn’t know, hold music and overhead “waiting room” music are subject to licensing fees…and what falls into the category of “rebroadcast” can be confusing. The bad news is violations for using non-licensed music can potentially cost thousands of dollars. There’s no fighting it in court, either – music licensing companies have total legal control and rarely lose.


What’s considered a rebroadcast violation that could cost your business thousands?

For example, if your business has overhead music and/or telephone on hold BUT uses


–personal music libraries

–music collections on your electronic device


–other music sources where you don’t pay for specific business licenses

(and just because you bought a song for your library doesn’t mean you bought the licensing rights)

you could be sent a bill to pay for all the time you’ve used the music AND where you’ve used it AND how big the facility is where the music was played.


Fortunately, you can protect yourself and your business from all this – by using licensed music from a production house like IAP. We can protect you from fines and harassment. It’s a simple remedy that also gives you more freedom in your music choice options. Plus, you can add messages on hold or overhead announcements that make money for your business AND there are many music genres to choose from in our overhead music package.


Choosing the smart option of licensed music from IAP, also gives you the ability to choose your music bed by genre AND gets rid of extraneous fluff. Let’s use radio as a comparison. Would you like your callers to hear random tunes on the radio (where some might be offensive), selected by a DJ who says things out of your control? Even worse, there’s commercials advertising for others! Once, I was at a chiropractic’s office waiting for my appointment when his overhead music channel advertised for a different chiropractor in town!


The ability to control your business’ audio marketing cannot be understated. Using specific music from Illinois Audio Productions for your messages on hold AND for overhead music gives you peace of mind –

1) knowing you won’t have to deal with music licensing issues in the future


2) assuring you have good music geared specifically for your business


3) eliminating distracting vocals that can end up competing with the voiceover of your custom message


4) controlling your audio branding with personalized messages


5) Matching genres (Country, Smooth Jazz, Easy Listening, Rock, Classical, and even holiday!) to the season and current marketing strategies



Don’t take chances with music licensing. Contract with a vendor like IAP and avoid the possibility of costly financial penalties.

4 Easy Steps to get Custom Hold Messages

If you ever thought about putting messages on hold to work in your phone system but figured the process would be too cumbersome or time consuming, we’d like to illustrate otherwise! Hold music and effective on hold marketing is simple…IF you have the right vendor with professional phone message experience. IAP makes the magic happen for you in four easy steps.

Wondering if and why you need on hold marketing services? Done properly, a professional phone message can engage a captive audience in otherwise dead hold time. In the transfer process, silence on hold can seem infinitely longer in the caller’s mind. And forget radio. Even if you have rebroadcast rights from ASCAP or BMI, radio’s music selection has limited appeal at best, not to mention commercials that could be promoting a competitor!


A solid, effective telephone on hold message system helps alleviate the seemingly slow passage of time associated with silence and the annoying, costly aspects of radio. IAP on hold marketing delivers personalized messages with broadly appealing telephone music. The overall sound can be geared for your clientele’s call-to-action…all we need is a little input and we’ll do all the work!


*STEP 1: Fill out a quick and easy questionnaire, then e-mail it to us. We’ll write a custom script based on the info you provide. Our writers are highly experienced at creating a professional phone message, written specifically for the messages on hold format. We’ll take your answers and transform them into attention-grabbing, inspiring custom messages that get results! We work with many industries and know how to appeal to your callers in the spoken word.


*STEP 2: Choose a voice. Listen to the voice demos on our website. We have an excellent selection of male and female voices. Professional and versatile, our voice artists know how to appeal to all demographics, young and old. Need a special accent? Kid’s voice? What about messages on hold in a foreign language? IAP has you covered.


*STEP 3: Select music. You’ll find many music choices on our website. Easy Listening, Jazz, Oldies, Classical, Country, Rock…we have all kinds of licensed, instrumental hold music. Every time you freshen your hold messages – whether monthly, bi-monthly, twice a year, or whatever your needs — you have the freedom to select new tracks/genres with every production. Your telephone music can also capture the holiday spirit when the time comes.


*STEP 4: Determine delivery format. Your telephone on hold message system will replay custom on hold message audio via MP3, wav file, from a USB drive, burned to CD, even mixed to tape.


That’s it! Using your business telephone to market and upsell customers can be done in 4 easy steps with Illinois Audio Productions. You’ll see right away that we’re an easy-to-work-with company where you always get one-on-one answers from a real person. Give it a try!  We’re glad to answer any questions.

IAP introduces new eRemote Message On Hold Playback Technology

The next generation of Messages-on-Hold (MOH) playback technology has arrived at Illinois Audio Productions (IAP).  The IAP eRemote player offers a number of new benefits, starting with how it’s programmed.  Each unit is assigned a specific email address, which IAP programs initially before shipping.  Once installed, the player itself periodically checks for new email and then follows its commands.  This is the foundation of many eRemote advantages.  Changing audio is as easy as sending the player an email!

Using IAP eRemote technology, you no longer need to burden staff with the responsibility of downloading an MP3 via USB drive.  No more loading tapes or CDs.  IAP can remotely load the unit directly from the studio!  This is a key point especially for multiple locations across many cities, states, or even countries.  No employee ever needs to be on-site to physically load MOH audio.  Plus, the unit can be scheduled to play specific files for designated time periods at multiple locations.

Here’s a recent real-life example.  This past holiday season, a group of six automotive dealerships each had IAP eRemote players in place.  Each had custom messages designed to run from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day.  IAP completed the recordings in-studio well in advance, then “instructed” all six individual units to play just those designated messages…all by a simple email generated centrally from IAP.  On the scheduled “stop” dates, replacement audio was directed toward the group and worked flawlessly at every stage.  All done automatically without any end user involvement and no dealership staff or time required!

This ability to remotely add, replace, or delete messages offers distinct advantages, obviously.  But eRemote units also offer flexibility in other ways.  Volume level too high or low?  Output to the phone system can be adjusted remotely.  Have special recordings to play only during scheduled times?  IAP can email your eRemote unit accordingly.  Need to check the status of what’s playing and what’s scheduled to play?  eRemote makes both possible…and easy to do.

Also easy?  Installation.  IAP includes an Ethernet cable, audio cable, and AC power adapter.  Plug them in and the unit typically begins playing in 90 seconds or less…true plug-n-play convenience!  Since every eRemote unit has been pre-programmed with its own email address, issues with firewalls and direct network access are minimized or never enter the picture at all.  The player actually “checks” its own email for audio so you don’t have to manually load it.

Giving your business a competitive edge requires great attention to a million and one details.  MOH is a proven method for boosting revenue…after all, your phones are the front door to opportunity.  But during the course of a busy work day, it’s easy to overlook when your staff is focused on other priorities.  With your new IAP eRemote unit, you get all the benefits of MOH without any manpower expense.  From one location to hundreds, imagine the possibilities!  Put IAP’s outstanding MOH quality to work in your operation remotely with the dynamic new eRemote unit…no matter how many locations you have or where they’re located!