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 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.