Create your first lecture

The introductory lecture is the most important part of your course. It’ll set the right tone and expectations for your students. So it needs to be brief but impactful. Keep it within 2–4 minutes.

In the video, you’ll introduce yourself, and explain why you are the best person to be teaching this course. You’ll also set the right expectations, telling your students what they’ll learn from your course and what they’ll be able to do by the end of your course.

This article will help you create a successful introductory lecture for your course. Whether you’re building a new course or updating an existing one, follow these instructions to inspire more students to engage with your course.

Know what your students want

If you’ve taken courses on Udemy, you can probably relate to some of the questions that the students might have when they start your course. In your introductory lecture, try to answer most or all of the following questions for your students.

Is this the right course for me?

As an instructor you need to reassure your students that they’ve made the right choice by enrolling into your course. Describe the target student you had in mind when creating your course. Ask yourself, what does this student already know? What are they looking to learn? In your introductory lecture, address that primary target student and tell them how to get the most out of your course. You can begin by saying: “I built this course for…”.

Is this course going to cover the right stuff?

Students need to know how the topic you cover in your course is going to help them achieve their goals. Explain how the sections and lectures you’ve created will help your students gain the knowledge and skills they are looking to acquire. Focus on what your students will learn in the course and how that is relevant for them. State your course goals, describe where your course fits in your target students’ larger goals, and give a brief overview or walkthrough of the curriculum to demonstrate the value that your course will create.

Is this the right instructor to learn from?

Students need to know that they can trust you because you are their source of knowledge. Your introductory lecture is the best place for you to demonstrate that you understand your students, their frustrations, and their aspirations. Connect with your students by recalling what it was like to grapple with the concepts you’re now teaching, and that you know how to help them learn effectively. You don’t have to be too serious. It doesn’t hurt if you can make them laugh a little and just be relatable.

Is this going to be worth my time? Is it going to be fun or boring?

Online learning can feel isolating and monotonous. But it doesn’t have to. Inspire them, and they’ll be hooked. Share your passion and enthusiasm for the topic that you chose to make a course on. Remember, if you enjoy teaching, your students are likely to enjoy learning. So have fun! And your students will too.

Write your script

Since your course introductory lecture will be a video, we suggest writing a script first, rehearsing, and then presenting with enthusiasm in front of the camera. That way, you can time the video and make sure you cover all the questions above.

Record your video

There are several things you need to decide for the first video of your course. From whether you want to appear relaxed or energized and eager, to what background you should choose for your shot, will set the right tone for your course. Learn more about setting up your filming studio.

While we would want you to get it right the first time, we suggest you plan some time for re-making your introductory lecture video. As students enroll for your course and view the introductory lecture, they might start giving feedback. Be open and look for student feedback to improve the video, if needed.

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