A good online English teaching introduction video can be 50% of what gets you hired teaching English online. Why? Well, with a good script, a few pieces of budget technology and a bit of planning – you’ll be showcasing your skills and personality in the most professional and captivating way. Keep reading to find out how.
WHAT TO SAY
Write a script (with bullet points).
As a general rule, it’s best to include (some or any of) this information:
- Name and country of origin or location;
- Education (brief and relevant is best);
- Relevant experience;
- Languages spoken;
- Teaching strength/s or specialties and how you can help students with these (concrete examples are best);
- Showcase teaching props or materials;
- Examples of how you’ve helped past students;
- Showcase your teaching style – fun, energetic etc.
Practice a few times in front of a friend (or the mirror). Remember, it will be watched by non-native speakers so keep the language simple, clear and speak slowly. Try and talk 50% about you and 50% about how you can help your students. Especially for private students, remember the WIIFM principle – students are asking “What’s in it for me?”.
Treat the camera lens like the eyes of the student. Look at them. It makes a world of difference. If unsure, try and keep your video short and concise. Research the company and include what’s relevant to the learners that target. If for private students, focus on a particular area of teaching or student and try not to be too broad. End your video with a call to action (CTA) asking them to book a class with you or to send you a message.
Whatever your budget, buy a few items of technology to improve the way that you are seen. Camera, microphone, headset, adapters etc. can make an enormous difference to how the recruiter and student will hear you. Read the post below for our guide (on a budget)!
A well lit teaching space makes you instantly look more professional. “The more lights, the better” is a good general rule but mindful that lights pointed directly at your face can wash you out. Lighting at 10 and 2pm (clockwise) is recommended by experts (read more here) so two covered lamps on the table or desk in front of you can work as well as a ring light, which is what I use and recommend. Avoid overhead or ceiling lights. Natural/window light is best when behind your camera and shining on your face in the middle of a fine, non-cloudy day.
Add subtitles, if you can.
Free programs exist to add subtitles to your video. This is worth the extra step. Remember, your audience is not fluent in English and this particularly appeals to parents, young learners and beginners. Search for “add subtitles + program” or get a freelancer to add these.
Shoot your video horizontally (phone turned sideways). Record in the quietest place you can – preferably inside. If it’s really noisy you can record your video on Zoom with background noise suppression turned on. Use a headset or microphone if you can for the best sound. If not specified, the most common video formats are .mp4, .mov or mpeg-4.
Use TPR if appropriate.
Total Physical Response (TPR) is a popular modern technique. If you are working with younger learners, you may need to demonstrate that you can implement TPR strategies. If you can’t – you may need to study a TESOL or TEFL certificate before teaching a class. A certification with Premier will set you up for success.
Your teaching introduction video is your opportunity to showcase your teaching talent. Don’t worry about how you will be perceived. You cannot know that, no matter what that anxious voice says is true. Relax, take a deep breath and speak naturally, following a brief outline. Edit until you have a concise video that displays your strengths. Take note of any size/length specifications from your hiring company.
If you follow the steps from our article today, you will be able to make the ultimate online English teaching introduction video. Creativity and personality make up for technical know-how much of the time, so let your imagination go wild.
What tips or tricks can you share about introduction videos? Comment below.
Kate (GradCertEd TESOL) studied a TESOL certificate in 2010 and has been teaching English ever since. Tutoring ‘freelance’ for many years before starting an independent teaching business, she began Teach English Online to support Australians and New Zealanders to do the same. Just starting out, want to apply to one of the 300+ global companies or build your own small independent teaching business? She can help.