It has been nearly fifteen years since I first tried my hand at making instructional videos for my students. The first ones were not good. In fact, in response to one of my first attempts I had a student say “Mr. Byrne, please don’t do that again.” But I did try again and again and again. When I finally got better at it was when I dropped the script and just started talking into the camera instead of reading into the camera.
Today when I make videos for my YouTube channel or for my students, I don’t have a script at all. Instead, I just have some bullet points in a notebook (yes, a physical notebook) that I refer to while recording.
I’m sharing this tip today because I’m seeing a lot of people try to make instructional videos for the first time this fall. Similarly, a lot of teachers are using webinar tools extensively for the first time this fall. If you’re reading off of a script, your students will tune you out very quickly and or just try to “get the notes” from a classmate without having to watch your video or webinar. Keeping it short and sweet while talking to your students instead of reading to your students can go a long way toward getting them to actually watch your video.
And don’t be afraid to show some personality and or mess-ups. We’re teachers, not video producers so don’t feel like it has to be perfect every time you publish a video lesson for your students to watch.
If you want some more tools, tips, and instruction on how to make and teach with video, consider enrolling in A Crash Course in Making & Teaching With Video.