Whether you are an online teacher or a classroom teacher, there will most likely come a time in your career when you will need to create an introduction video.
While even the idea of speaking on camera can make some teachers more nervous than teaching their first class, rest assured that making an introduction video is not as hard as you think. As always, Dux has got you covered!
Before getting started on the specifics related to creating an introduction video, it is worth expanding upon why teachers need to make one as this will also inform how the video should be made.
Introduction videos can serve several purposes depending on the company you are applying to or working for.
Some companies and schools (online and on-site) require an introduction video as part of their general application process, to get a better feel for the teacher they may hire. A detailed resume can provide a recruiter with a lot of useful information about a candidate but nothing compares with actually hearing a candidate speak.
Not only does it allow recruiters to assess the teacher’s general level of professionalism, but it allows them to evaluate the teacher’s English ability in terms of the vocabulary they use, their accent, the clarity and fluency of their speech, and the general confidence with which they can use the language.
Other (online) companies require introduction videos to upload to the teacher’s profile on their teaching platform. Usually, this is to allow students to watch the video for them to choose a teacher with whom they feel a connection.
In cases such as this, the introduction video serves as a form of advertisement for the teacher to attract prospective students into booking classes with them.
Whether your introduction video is made to help you get hired or to help you receive student bookings, it must be of a high enough standard to make you stand out!
Different companies will have different criteria for their introduction videos but in general, you can expect to speak for around 2-3 minutes about at least some of the following topics:
While there are many more topics one could speak about, this list covers the most common areas requested by ESL companies and schools. In some cases, the school or company will not specify which criteria they would like you to speak on, in which case, it would be best to include as many of these topics as possible, without making your video too long.
As a handy tip, it is worth taking the time to create a generalised introduction video and save it for future use. Very often, you will be able to send a generic introduction video when applying for a majority of ESL positions, so there is often no need to waste your time creating a new introduction video for every job you apply for.
Before you start filming your introduction video you need to make sure that you are set up in a quiet environment with no background noise. Ideally, you also want to find a room that doesn’t have too much of an echo.
Make sure that you have a neutral background (no scattered objects around the room) behind you. Usually filming yourself in front of a white wall is the best option. Alternatively, you could film yourself in your teaching setting, your classroom, or a room used for online teaching (with your educational pictures in the background).
In terms of the actual shot, you want to aim for a portrait view, facing the camera directly, and only including your head and shoulder region. Additionally, ensure that you are not holding the camera and that the shot you are filming is stable.
Many teachers struggle with being able to remember everything they want to say during the filming process which can result in having to perform the take multiple times which can lead to a lot of frustration.
Firstly, it may be worth writing down a few notes for what to include and having them within a glance to help you remember (do not appear to be reading) what to say when you are filming.
Another option is to film each section (name, education, experience, etc.) separately. This does require some very limited editing skills to connect the separate sections, but it can save you a lot of time and frustration during the filming process.
When you are speaking, try to avoid letting your nerves get the best of you. It can be easy to speak too quickly and appear distracted or awkward. Focus on looking into the camera lens as if it were a person whom you were having a conversation with. Remember to smile and present a demeanour that indicates you are in control of the situation.
While introduction videos typically don’t require too much editing, if you have filmed the sections separately, you will need to connect them using some form of video editing software. There is plenty of free software available online if your laptop or pc does not have this type of software already.
From an audio perspective, it may be a good idea to include some calm, instrumental music in the background while you are speaking. This helps remove some of the background noise or echo that can occur despite your best efforts to ensure silence. Just remember to keep the music at a very faint level so that it does not distract from your speaking.
While making an introduction video may seem daunting at first, it is in fact, a lot easier than you think. Having a quality introduction video on hand will help you impress your prospective employers and students by giving you the chance to demonstrate your professionalism and language skills before you even enter an interview or classroom!