Having a good setup and the right equipment is important, but ultimately the thing that matters most is you, the teacher. Teaching with confidence is an essential ingredient in creating a great class.
In this article:
Get Comfortable on Camera
Our most successful teachers are clear, confident, and relaxed in front of the camera. Don't be afraid to smile, speak casually, and show your personality! Students love seeing a teacher have fun — there's no need for your class to feel formal.
Appearing comfortable on camera may not come easily and that’s okay. Here are some tried and true tips and tricks for bringing a comfortable vibe to your class.
- Prepare your talking points or a script ahead of time. You want to have a good sense of what you will be covering in each lesson, regardless of whether you’re appearing on camera or not. While filming, refer back to your Class Planning Document or notes frequently to ensure you’re sticking to your key concepts and not getting off-track.
- Practice. Taking time to do a quick run-through before each take, as well as your film day, will greatly improve your delivery!
- For talking head videos, look directly into the camera as you would if you were speaking to a friend. Better yet, imagine you are having a conversation with someone specific that you know would enjoy learning what you have to teach.
- Speak clearly and naturally. Use a moderate pace and allow your tone to go up and down. Don’t be afraid to show enthusiasm and excitement!
- Avoid distracting “ums” and “ahs.” These often sneak in inadvertently, so just do a quick retake if you notice them or edit them out later.
- Don’t forget to smile! Smiling is one of the easiest and fastest ways to set a friendly, relaxed, and comfortable tone for your class.
- Have fun. Students love seeing teachers' personalities and passion about what they're teaching!
Lesson Delivery Tips
You’ve already done a lot of work planning your lessons, but here are a few things to keep in mind while filming, especially for those lessons that are more unscripted, such as physical demonstrations.
Narrate Your Creative Decisions
Tell students why you make particular choices with certain techniques so that they can really get to know your process and style! Explain to your students why you go through your process in the way that you do and share what other options they could take, if applicable.
Include Your Mistakes
As with anyone, students will make mistakes as they are learning new skills. For this reason, we recommend that you keep any mistakes that might happen when filming your lessons or physical demonstrations. By showing your mistakes and how you navigate through them, it will prepare your students for the inevitable.
Prompt Your Students
Throughout your lessons, find ways to connect what you’re teaching back to your students so they can apply the core takeaways of the lesson back to their own projects. This is especially relevant in physical demonstrations, where you’ll be creating an example using your own style on camera. It’s important to regularly remind your students where and when they can make their own creative decisions.
Add Your Special Spark
We cover this in the article Outline Your Class, but we recommend sprinkling in stories and examples throughout your lessons as much as possible to keep students engaged. Sometimes an analogy, an anecdote, or even a little humor goes a long way in making a concept or approach clearer. This is your class — let yourself shine through!