Brainshark is widely-used in sales organizations – in part because it allows users to create slide presentations, add and synchronize voice-over recordings, and even create interactive content. As multinational sales teams adopt it, we’ve seen many more requests to localize in this platform. And, as is the case with all new multimedia technology, Brainshark presentations are tricky to localize if you don't know what you're doing.
This post will list the 5 things you must know to successfully localize the voice audio, slides and other elements in Brainshark presentations.
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The rise of Brainshark multimedia localization
Brainshark is great for creating customer-facing presentations, as well as e-Learning courses for internal teams. The tool is powerful – it can be operated manually as part of an in-person presentation or webinar, and it can also turn presentations into interactive multimedia videos. Best of all, its content plays seamlessly on desktops, phones and tablets.
|Brainshark app listing in the iTunes Store.|
Because it’s used by multinational sales teams, Brainshark-hosted content often requires localization. Here’s what you need to know about it.
1. Brainshark presentations and courses start in other formats
Keep this in mind for any Brainshark presentation – they almost always start in a format that gets uploaded to the hosting site. Usually this is PowerPoint, but it can also be videos that require dubbing, or even PDFs. Brainshark can also host SCORM-compliant courses created in Articulate Storyline, Adobe Captivate, and other authoring software – which means that some projects require full e-Learning localization.
Remember – whenever you get a request for Brainshark, ask how the content was created and try to get the source files. They may have to be sourced from previous design teams, so allow time for this during quoting.
2. Voice audio is often recorded and synchronized after Brainshark upload
Brainshark allows users to record voice audio using various methods – a computer microphone, or even a phone line – and then synchronize it to animations, slide changes, or any other time- or user-based element. These tools are commonly used to record the source English voiceover.
However, this also means that the source files and the final Brainshark presentation may be different – often drastically so.
3. The audio recording options don’t work in most foreign-language recording contexts
The source audio is often recorded by a subject matter expert – usually the author of the presentation. A lot of clients therefore assume or even expect the localized voice-over to be recorded similarly, directly into the translated presentations.
However, foreign-language voice talents are not subject matter experts of the particular text they’re recording. They'll need guidance on how to pronounce company-specific terms, colleagues’ names or brand terms. That's why these sessions require a bilingual director, and a full quality assurance review – both of which are provided by JBI Studios on all recordings.
4. Brainshark can add interactive elements like polls and quizzes
Yet another way that content developers can introduce differences between the source content and the final presentation. Remember that these elements must be extracted for translation from Brainshark, and then manually inserted or recreated in the localized versions.
5. Brainshark has multilingual player templates
Thirty languages supported in total, including major business languages like FIGS, Mandarin and Japanese. Best of all, the player language is set automatically according to each user’s default browser settings – very convenient for large international teams. However, the language support isn’t exhaustive, and the players don’t support right-to-left languages like Arabic or Hebrew.
Track the English-language workflow & alter as needed
In short, localizing Brainshark projects requires tracking down the initial source files, then logging and replicating the modifications made after the upload, and developing a workflow that addresses the unique needs of each project. The localization process may not match the English workflow exactly – for example, if a Spanish voiceover project has no animations in the slides, it may make sense to incorporate the localized audio in PowerPoint (even if it the English audio was added in Brainshark), and then upload.
As with all complex e-Learning translation, the key is to isolate the different media in the presentation, develop a workflow that translates each one, and then seamlessly integrate it all into one deliverable. Make sure to allow enough time to create this workflow before production starts. It’s the only way to ensure your project delivers on budget and on time.