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How to Add Text to Speech to Videos: The 6-Step Process

Need narration for your videos, but don’t know the first thing about audio recording? No problem. Find out how to add text to speech to videos here.

March 9, 2023 by Jean-Rémi Larcelet-Prost
How to Add Text to Speech to Videos: The 6-Step Process

The question isn’t whether or not to use video as a marketing tool—86 percent of businesses do, and 92 percent of marketers call the channel “important” to their overall strategy. The question is: How do you make your videos more engaging than your competitor’s?

As anyone who’s ever tried to create an industry explainer video can tell you, narration—yes, the humble voiceover—is an indispensable tool for getting your messages across successfully. Used correctly, it can make your content that much more digestible than the competition’s.

But don’t start shopping for mics just yet. Text-to-speech (TTS) technology allows you to create quick video voiceovers directly from your script. Keep reading to learn how to add text to speech to video content—and all the ways it enhances the final product.

What does that final product sound like? Here’s an example of marketing content with a TTS voiceover:

How to Add Text to Speech to Videos (and Why You Should)

Why use TTS when you could record narration yourself? Well, unless you’re a trained voice actor, it’s surprisingly difficult to create audio content that sounds anything but amateurish—and hiring a voice actor, plus studio time, is both expensive and time-consuming.

Text-to-speech also has the advantage of being extremely flexible. If you need to update the content of your video, you can simply type out the new script and generate the audio from your own computer. That’s a lot faster—and infinitely more affordable—than tracking down your voice talent and booking another recording session.

Text-to-speech production tools let you swap out video narration on the fly. Contact ReadSpeaker to learn more about turning those scripts into speech without the hassle.

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In addition to the ease of use and flexibility that TTS provides content creators, a TTS voiceover helps your content connect with broader audiences. Create a video with text to speech to:

  • Make your video content more engaging. Viewers can’t absorb your message unless they’re paying attention. A blend of TTS spoken content and on-screen text gives viewers two ways to engage, drawing them in and conveying your ideas more effectively. Speech is more engaging than text for many consumers, and the combination of both will serve the broadest viewership possible—without anyone’s eyes glazing over. Clickable videos let viewers play TTS narration themselves, further improving engagement.
  • Improve accessibility and usability. With TTS, you can add audio descriptions of your video’s content for people with vision impairments. Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) success criterion 1.2.5 requires audio descriptions for video. The Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI), which publishes WCAG, recommends integrating these descriptions into the narration script. For a dramatic scene, WAI suggests fitting visual descriptions into spaces in the main audio track of your video (and planning for those spaces if necessary). A TTS voiceover can also help viewers with dyslexia and other learning disabilities—and if someone has low literacy in your language, TTS is a powerful aid to comprehension.
  • Emphasize your main points. Viewers pay attention to speech, especially if it’s used sparingly. Add TTS narration strategically to introduce new topics, hammer home your main point, and highlight the value of whatever you’re discussing. Introduce TTS narration at key points in your video, or create an interactive video experience by allowing users to click on-screen buttons to trigger speech.
  • Localize your content with voiceovers in multiple languages. Text to speech won’t solve the translation challenge; you’ll still need to hire translators in all your markets. But with synthetic voices in more than 50 languages, ReadSpeaker TTS allows you to quickly generate audio files for each of these translations. That makes it faster and easier to localize your videos for audiences across the globe.
  • Create more effective corporate training materials. A combination of visual and audio content improves learning outcomes, while multilingual materials improve inclusion. Both of these benefits make TTS ideal for corporate training videos. If that’s not enough, consider that TTS lowers production costs while reaching more diverse audiences. That’s just what virtual training provider Jutten discovered when the company began using TTS for its retail simulation training programs. “With text-to-speech technology, we eliminate the set-up costs and the variable costs decrease significantly,” said Edward Bosma, technical director at Jutten. “And because Jutten’s strategy consists of doing more international business, text-to-speech technology makes the company much more flexible.”

Most of all, TTS narration is easy. It really only takes six steps to add TTS to a video.

How to Add Text-to-Speech to Videos

Text to Speech Video Integration in 6 Easy Steps

There are two schools of thought on when to introduce TTS into the video production process:

  • TTS first: If you’re organizing your video entirely around TTS narration, generate the TTS content first, then edit to match. Similarly, if you can’t integrate your audio action descriptions into the narration, plan scenes with enough silences to add this accessibility feature later. That requires creating TTS files prior to shooting or assembling scenes.
  • TTS last: Usually, adding TTS will be one of the last steps before launching your video. If you’re using voice to introduce a video course, emphasize a central idea, or provide a translation, don’t worry about TTS until you have at least a rough cut together.

Regardless of when you add TTS to a video, follow these six steps to get the job done.

1. Write your script.

If you’re creating information-heavy content that has a lot of text on the screen, you might not have to write a word; instead, remove some of the on-screen text and add it to your voiceover script instead. That’ll give you more room for images and create a more engaging experience. If you’re using TTS for emphasis, identify your key points and write them down. Whatever you have to say, you’ll need to write it down before converting it to speech.

2. Choose your TTS voice.

Choose a TTS voice like you would an actor: What tone, accent, or performance style best expresses your theme? Listen to a few of ReadSpeaker’s TTS voices. To truly differentiate your brand, though, invest in a bespoke branded voice. The ReadSpeaker VoiceLab uses the latest AI technology to craft custom TTS voices, tailored to your brand traits. Use a unique branded voice to narrate your videos, smart speaker apps, digital assistants, interactive voice ads, and more: It’s like a brand logo for audio content.

3. Enter your text into a TTS production tool.

With your script in hand, generating audio voice files is as simple as pasting text into a ReadSpeaker production tool. ReadSpeaker speechMaker is robust, cloud-based TTS creation software. (For offline TTS generation, choose speechMaker Desktop.) For all options, batch processing makes it easy to produce conversations between multiple TTS characters, or simply produce a whole video’s worth of short clips with a single upload.

If you plan to generate lots of video voiceovers, your best bet is speechMaker Desktop. See boxed text below to learn more about this TTS tool for video production. Or, if you already have your TTS production tool picked out, skip ahead to Step 4.

ReadSpeaker speechMaker Desktop: The Ideal Tool for Adding TTS to Videos

With speechMaker Desktop—a full-service, self-contained TTS-production application—lifelike, synthetic voices and a simple, user-friendly interface finally meet. After a quick installation on your Windows operating system, the application is ready to use—even when not connected to the internet. Contrast that with cloud-based TTS production tools (like our alternative offering, speechMaker) which are online-only.

The intuitive interface of speechMaker Desktop feels very similar to Microsoft Word. A blank screen greets you, ready for your video script. Once you insert the text, the fun really begins: It instantly converts your voiceover script into audible speech in the natural-sounding voice of your choice.

ReadSpeaker speechMaker Desktop - Text to speech video tool

And with 110+ voices in 35+ languages, you’re sure to find voices that are perfect for your video. Here are just a few of speechMaker Desktop’s TTS voices:

With speechMaker Desktop, you can create unlimited audio files, then save and export them for video production (see Step 6 below). You can always fix mistakes or edit older files, which helps save time and resources. Instead of hiring an expensive voice actor or recruiting an employee to re-record a message, you can quickly make the changes yourself within speechMaker Desktop, using a voice, or multiple voices, that feel familiar to your audience.

These capabilities make speechMaker Desktop perfect for video production, whether you’re creating corporate training content or your next big marketing campaign.

Ready to create video voiceovers with speechMaker Desktop?

We’d love to help you with your audio needs! Contact ReadSpeaker and someone from our team will be in touch with you as soon as possible.

Plus, we offer a free trial so you can experience speechMaker Desktop first-hand.

Get your free trial.

4. Adjust pronunciation.

ReadSpeaker’s production tools—including speechMaker Desktop—give you full control over pronunciation and performance. An integrated SSML editor (it’s like HTML, but for TTS) allows you to change emphasis at the word level with a point-and-click interface. Add pauses for dramatic effect or to simulate the breaths of a human speaker. Adjust speed, pitch, and volume. A custom speech dictionary allows you to specify pronunciation for acronyms, industry jargon, proper nouns, or regionalisms.

5. Download completed files.

Once the script sounds just right, download audio files in the format of your choice—MP3s are usually fine for text-to-speech video applications, but ReadSpeaker supports uncompressed and lossless file formats, too.

6. Import audio files into your video production software.

The end result of the top four steps will be a handful of audio speech files, ready for your editing timeline. Simply upload them to the video editor of your choice, mix with the existing soundtrack, and your narration is ready to go—without recording a word. That’s all it takes to add text to speech to video content.

Ready to start producing TTS for your videos today? Contact ReadSpeaker to discuss the TTS production tool that’s right for you.

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