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Make or Break It: Scripting Your Introduction Lecture

A 3 Step Guide to Structuring your Intro Video for Success

Just because someone enrolled in your course, doesn’t mean they’ve committed to taking it. We’re here to help. Your introductory lecture is one of the most important ways to grab your students’ attention and keep it! Best of all, it’s never too late to update your existing intro or even to create an entirely new one.

Whether you’re creating an introduction for your first course or revamping an introduction for your tenth, follow the instructions below to ensure that your students have an engaging learning experience.  We’ve also included steps at the very bottom of this article to create your own sample script and share it for feedback from the instructor community.

Step 1: Know what your students want

Put yourself in your students’ shoes. If you’ve ever taken a course before, it’s probably pretty easy for you to relate to the questions students are asking when they start your course:

  • Is this the right course for me?
  • Is it covering the right stuff?
  • Is this the right instructor?
  • Am I going to be bored?

Even if you have a promo video, you’ll want to address these concerns again in your intro lecture, ideally in this order. In the next 2 steps we’ll go over exactly how to address these concerns as well as how to craft your intro video script for success.

Step 2: Address each question

Now that you know the questions your students are wondering about after they’ve enrolled, let’s talk through how to address each concern.

Question #1: Is this the right course for me?

How will your student know that your course is the right course for them? As an instructor you want to reassure your students that they’ve made the correct choice in enrolling in your course. To do this, imagine completing the sentence: “I built this course for…” Think about the target student you had in mind when you created your course.   The intro lecture is the place to describe that student.

Question #2: Is this course covering the right stuff?

Students don’t know what they don’t know. They are looking to you to tell them what they need to know.  Students need a plausible explanation of how the material you cover in your course is going to help them achieve their goals. You don’t have to make a case like a lawyer (unless your course is on becoming a lawyer!), but you do have to articulate how the sections and lectures you’ve created are going to step your students through the knowledge and skills they are looking to acquire.

To achieve this in your intro lecture, state your course goals, describe where your course fits in with your target students’ larger goals, and give a brief overview or walkthrough of the curriculum to demonstrate that it covers all the needed material.  Focus on the most important things your students will do in the course and how what they learn is relevant to their lives.

Question #3: Are you the right instructor to learn from?

Students need to know that they can trust you. If they can’t trust you, they can’t learn from you. But this doesn’t mean they want to hear your whole life story or be told about every qualification on your resume. Instead of justifying why your students should listen to you, show them you can listen to them.

Your intro lecture is the best place for you to demonstrate that you understand your students, their frustrations, and their aspirations. Don’t put distance between you and your students by describing all of the accomplishments you’ve made that they haven’t. Instead, demonstrate that you remember what it was like to grapple with the concepts you’re now teaching, and that you know how to help them learn effectively. This will earn you all the credibility you need.

Of course, it doesn’t hurt if you can make them laugh a little in the process, so you don’t have to be too serious here, just relatable.

Question #4: Am I going to be bored?

Let’s face it, sometimes learning feels boring. But it doesn’t have to be! That’s where you come in.

After addressing the 3 questions above, it’s time to inspire your students. One of the easiest ways to inspire students is to share your enthusiasm for what they are learning.  You don’t have to sing and dance (unless your course is on singing and dancing!), but you can’t drone on. Find the joy you have for the topic you chose to make a course on, and share it with your students. If you find something puzzling, express your curiosity. If you think something is particularly noteworthy, make a big deal about it and share your perspective on why. If nothing else, remember one key fact:

If you enjoy teaching, your students are far more likely to enjoy learning.

So have fun! And your students will too. Are you ready? Let’s put it all together and…

Step 3: Write your script

By now you know that your intro video is important. And while you don’t want to just read from a script (see #4, above!), you do want to have one written down to make sure you’re covering all the questions above. Making a script first will also give you a sense of timing. Are you spending too much time on establishing your credibility? Too little time on addressing student/course fit? Writing the intro script is a great way to make sure you cover all the key questions above, and it’s a way for you to remind yourself just how cool your course really is!

The other reason why you should write an intro script is because you want to make a live action video for your introduction. Establishing credibility and trust is really hard if students never get to see your face.  Nothing says: “I believe in this course” like putting your face on screen and describing why, so let’s get started!

It’s Your Turn: Ace your Intro Lecture

Step 1: Write your Script.  Follow the steps above and use our Intro Lecture Template to script out your first lecture.

Step 2: Share your Script in the Udemy Studio or the How-To Course discussion board for feedback from the community.

Step 3: Film your Intro.  It’s time to put these skills to use!  Film your introduction lecture (after practicing, of course) and submit this as a test video for feedback from Udemy’s Review Team.

26 thoughts on “Make or Break It: Scripting Your Introduction Lecture”

  1. Ian Usher says:

    Great advice! Thanks.
    Spurred me into action this morning.
    I’m already at work on the course and progressing well, but this post has given me the push I needed to make a start on the Intro.
    I have posted a link to my Google doc on the course discussion forum, and look forward to seeing what you think.
    Best wishes,

    1. Udemy Instructor Team says:

      Glad that this challenge was helpful, Ian! What’s your course topic? What step of course creation are you at?

  2. Susan Marais says:

    Dear Udemy Team,

    Thank you for all your help and guidance.

    Kind regards

    Susan Marais

    1. Udemy Instructor Team says:

      You bet, Susan! Is there a specific type of help resource you’d like to see more of?

  3. Tim O'Leary says:

    This is helpful for me to set up my first training seminar. I probably will not have it ready in time for the critique due to other deadlines, but hopefully this intro will give me the push needed to get started!

    1. Udemy Instructor Team says:

      Hey Tim, the deadline is less important than making sure your intro is well-crafted to your students’ needs! What’s your course topic?

  4. This is great, I have now reworked my intro and promo script. I would like to submit it to a non public site, how do I do that, my Facebook is also not going to work.

    Thank you!

    1. Udemy Instructor Team says:

      Hey Jacquelyn you can submit it directly to the form linked to above! That goes straight to our Learning Science team.

  5. Jerry Stumpf says:

    Glad to have received the email.

    I have a program on the drawing board to encourage husbands to be more wife centered romantic. Most men misunderstand the dynamics for their wife’s interest in keeping the relationship strong despite life’s trappings.

    I have written another 10 week course for individual study and will enjoy getting this course aimed in the correct direction.

    Thanks for the help.

  6. Eleanor Hoh says:

    As a wok cooking teacher and entrepreneur for over 15 years, it’s different “pitching” to an online audience rather than a physical audience, so I’m looking forward to the challenge. This template has been very helpful. Kudos to Udemy for all the tips and course creation guidance. I hope to be one of the 30 picked to get feedback!

  7. Catherine Lam says:

    Thanks so much for throwing down the gauntlet for this intro course! It was exactly what I needed to get moving, and organized. I had my draft (most of it) course script, but this really helped me organize it into lessons.

    I too have posted my intro script in the course discussion forum, and also via the googledoc submission form.

    Looking forward to hearing your feedback!!!

  8. Adam Mahama says:

    May I know whether those who met the deadline but were not among the first 30 scripts will still receive feedback. Thanks for the desire to see us through.

  9. Dhebi DeWitz says:

    Thank you for sharing this 3-Step Guide to Structuring your Intro video for success. This was very helpful and I have reworked my intro based upon this instruction. I realize because of my own schedule I am a day late for submitting it for your view and feedback, though please know I found it very helpful for me personally. Thank you for your support!

    1. Udemy Instructor Team says:

      Glad it was helpful, Debhi! Check back here for more advice and guidance for creating your course.

  10. Eleanor Hoh says:

    I submitted my intro script and would like to know if mine got in to be reviewed. Do we get a confirmation email? If we don’t get reviewed, are we still able to send in for some suggestions prior to me shooting the intro? Thanks

    1. Udemy Instructor Team says:

      Hey Eleanor, everyone will get an email! Even if your script is not reviewed by our Learning Science team you will receive an email with some feedback from our Instructor Team

  11. Leo Parvis says:

    The video by Adam was very helpful to me to write my script. I answered all four important questions as he suggested. I wrote the script simple and to the point; it is ready for some tweaking and editing before I film it. The process was not as hard as I thought. I am getting more confidence to start the first steps in Udemy teach. I am thankful!
    Leo Parvis

  12. Great info to start. This is my first time writing a course.

  13. This is very helpful. Thank you very much. I have never done this before and am looking forward to the challenge. How long should the intro be?

  14. Alan Boyer says:

    This came at just the right time. I have had a second video started for some time, but this will set me a goal of publishing by July 1, and hitting each of the steps along the way.

    Thanks, was what I needed.

  15. LeTonya Moore says:

    Great information and advice. I will certainly utilize all of the advice.

  16. Barbora Hastíková says:

    Thank you for great advices, it makes all process easier and more understandable. I have signed for a challenge and in a couple of days I´m about to start producing my course. Your advices are really helpful 🙂

  17. Eva says:

    That was a great help and can’t wait to get started on it when I get home. I can already tell this course is all I will think about during the next 28+ days and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for this amazing support! Eva :)))

  18. Natalie says:

    I read this months ago, and then built my course and am now finishing and publishing my course once my great intro video is completed ;-)—- and this was a perfect to-the-point article/reminder that described exactly what I need to do! Thank you!! Tomorrow I shall tackle this challenge!!

  19. Adalgisa says:

    Thanks so much for the support. I’m studying the challenge and the intro .and the sections.:-):-):-)

  20. Anthony Straeger says:

    I read this last week and have been trying to work through all of the Udemy advice – And I never realised ho much there was and how good it was.

Comments are closed.