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Harvest Time: The Intro Lecture


In this section, we’ll cover how to take your introduction lecture script and turn it into a fully-formed video. Whether you’re creating your very first course or optimizing the introduction of your tenth, follow the instructions below to make sure you are providing a world-class introduction to your expertise.

Step 1: Decide how you want to film

You already know from scripting out your course that you’re going to appear on camera in your introduction lecture. After all, nothing says that you believe in your material than putting yourself in front of the camera for your students to see! However, there are several other things to also consider when planning out your intro lecture to set the correct tone for your course. For example, do you want to appear relaxed to put your students at ease? Or would it be better to appear energized and eager to get started?

Step 2: Consider your surroundings

The background you choose for your shot, the lighting, the activities you’re engaged in — all these can all help establish the right tone for your course. Or they can set the wrong one if you’re not careful. For example, if your course is for professional skydivers trying to learn some new techniques, you may want to record your intro video in the middle of a dive. But, if you are teaching beginners how to overcome their fear of the first jump, you may find it preferable to record your intro video while sipping coffee on the flight deck to demonstrate your calm approach to going up for a dive.

Other things to consider when preparing to record include:

  1. Time management: Can you say everything you need to say in 3 minutes or less?
  2. Props: Do you need anything besides yourself and the camera, lights, and microphone?
  3. Background: What will help you make a good impression? (For example, don’t use a blank wall when a homey bookshelf would work better, and vice versa).
  4. Other people: Do you need anyone else to help you record or to interact with you on camera?

Of all the videos in your course, this is likely to be the most viewed, so be deliberate about it. Take your time and…

Step 3: Get it right!

After filming and editing your introduction, look at it with a critical eye. Is it something you feel great about? If not, consider reshooting your intro a few more times until you feel really happy with your take. Here are some things to keep in mind when evaluating your intro video with a critic’s eye:

  1. Do you feel like your timing was slightly off? Were you rushed or too slow?
  2. Was your lighting not perfect? Any shadows, or glare on your face?
  3. Was the sound a bit off? Was there loud traffic in the middle of the shot, or a loud appliance’s fan?
  4. Did you seem a bit…timid or boring? High energy and a personable instructor are incredibly important for your intro. It can sometimes be hard to gauge your own energy levels until seeing yourself on the screen!

If you think you could improve in any of these areas, consider reshooting your video. Just a reminder that you can always reshoot your intro video after you’ve created the rest of your course videos, or even after you’ve published and started receiving feedback from students!

Post for Points!

You’ll want to post this back in the Studio so you can get feedback. Follow these steps!

  1. Film your Introduction Lecture. It might be a good idea to also upload this as a Test Video.
  2. Share the link to your Introduction Lecture. Tag your post with #HarvestTime in the Studio.
  3. If you have a partner, tag your them in your post so they can check out your work and give you feedback. Be sure to give them feedback when they tag you. (If you can’t find them, consider adding them as a friend on Facebook if you haven’t yet, even if it’s just for this exercise!)
  4. Use this rubric to grade your partner’s work (you can also use it to grade your own work). Please try to do this within a few days so your partner can benefit from your thoughts!
  5. Post your Introduction Lecture by October 14th to earn 15 points!

Well done! One lecture down. You may already be working on the Instructional Lectures, so be sure to read up on Filming Your Instructional Lecture in the next blog post to make sure you’re on the right track. Keep going!