Why and How to Create a Self-Introduction Video for Teaching Online

By Krzl Light Nunes
May 13, 2020
Creating a self intro video to teach English online

As a freelance online English tutor, either on a teacher marketplace platform or running your own business, you may ask yourself, “How can I catch the eye of potential online English students?” Aside from having a professional headshot or a catchy description on your profile, you can also stand out from a sea of online teachers with a well-crafted introduction video for teaching online. This short video is a chance to present yourself to students in a personal way and show them what you have to offer as a teacher.

If you haven’t got an intro video yet, fret not! We’ll tell you more about this marketing tool and how you can create your own – even if you’re not tech-savvy.

What is a self-introduction video for teaching online?

Online ESL classes are different from classroom-based lessons, where students may have a chance to meet the instructor in person before the course starts. Yet, when you promote online English classes, interested learners still want to see what their teacher looks like or hear how he or she speaks, and the best way to achieve this is through a video.

For that reason, on freelance ESL tutors’ websites or teaching marketplace profiles, it’s very common to see a short, self-introduction video. These are 1 to 3-minute videos that English teachers use to market themselves as teachers by talking about their credentials and skills and giving students a glimpse of how their lessons work.

To learn more ways to market yourself as an independent English tutor, check out Bridge’s newest Specialized Certificate: Teaching English Online as a Freelancer.

Why do I need one?

If you’re looking to attract students, an introduction video does the trick.

Showcase your personality and teaching style


It’s a chance to grab their attention by showcasing your personality. The video ideally sparks your prospective learners’ interest in your classes by explaining what you offer in a fun and enthusiastic way.

Convey your message quickly


Moreover, it’s quicker to spotlight your key qualifications through a video – it’s a time-saver for students who may not read through a list of your certifications, experience, and achievements.

Build a connection


Introducing yourself through video is also great for building rapport with your students. Whether it’s because of your friendly persona or your specializations, there are unlimited possibilities for you to connect with future learners!

Tips for creating a stellar teacher introduction video:

  • Smile and be confident! Showing a friendly persona and radiating positive energy makes students feel welcome and comfortable in your online classes.
  • Speak clearly and slowly. Most of your viewers will be non-native English speakers or students who are not yet fluent in the language, so you should pronounce words correctly and use simple language.
  • Body language matters too! Using natural, friendly facial and body gestures while you speak creates a relaxed environment and turns your self-intro video from a simple speech to a warm invitation to students.
  • Make sure you look presentable in the video. Wear appropriate attire, although you don’t need to put on a corporate look. Show up in clothes that you would wear to teach in an actual classroom. Also, if your target students are children, stick to bright, kid-friendly colors and steer away from dark hues.
  • Check that you have a clean background. Record yourself in a tidy room and clear away any distractions behind you. Don’t wear clothes that are the same color as your background.
  • While it helps to write a script beforehand, practice in advance so you don’t have to read it while recording yourself. Try to speak naturally.

Technical tips:


  • Use a quality recorder that can film videos of at least 480p (pixels). A digital camera or smartphone are the best options for shooting videos; the built-in webcam of your computer tend to have lower-quality video output.
  • Film your video in a well-lit environment with good, natural daylight or strong lamp lighting. Make sure that that light is placed in front of you.
  • Your video should be shot horizontally, as most video players are designed in landscape orientation.
  • Place the camera on a stable surface, at eye level, and from a distance that makes you visible from the waist up.
  • Film your video in a quiet place, free from disturbing background noise such as people, traffic, and phone notifications sounds.
  • Don’t wear headphones in your introduction video. Reserve this accessory for when you’re actually teaching classes.


What should you say in my online teacher self-introduction video?

Keep in mind that your recording only runs from one to three minutes, so be brief and to the point! Also, there isn’t any specific structure for tailoring an introduction video, so don’t be afraid to get creative and let your personality shine through!

Your basic information


Your full name, nationality, educational background, and teaching certificates are some of the most important details you should mention in your introduction video. You can also add something interesting about yourself, like your hobbies or interests.

Work experience


If you already have teaching experience, you can talk about how you began as well as where and which learner levels you have taught. On the other hand, if you’re new to teaching, you can share what your previous jobs were and why you’re passionate about being an online ESL teacher.

Languages you speak


Do you speak any foreign languages? You can highlight them in your video, too. Saying a few words in the languages that you know can also make your presentation more interesting!

Tip: Sharing how you’ve studied another lingua franca and identifying with your students’ learning process is a great way to build rapport with potential learners.

What your online classes are like


Underscore what you love about teaching English, the kinds of classes you offer (i.e. grammar-based lessons or conversational classes), and your teaching methods. Also, feel free to bring up some of the activities you do in class and the materials you use – they will surely make your lessons look fun and dynamic!

Specializations


Do you specialize in certain teaching areas, like business English, exam preparation, or teaching teenagers? Many students look for teachers for their specific English needs, so including your specializations in your video gives you an edge.

It’s also noteworthy to mention your previous career or jobs you’ve done in the past. Why? Some learners need teachers who have knowledge or expertise in particular subjects, so you just might be the right English instructor who can help them.

Read more about how your non-teaching experience can apply to teaching English online.

Teaching tools


Students sometimes want to know which technological tools you use to see if they will work for them. Do you teach through Zoom, Skype, or other applications? Do you use any special platforms for sharing your class materials? Sharing these details in your video could be vital. Plus, it also shows how prepared and professional you are as an online teacher.

Why students should choose you


Finally, engage your prospective students by leaving them with a reason they should book lessons with you. Whether it’s for the fun you’ll have in class or a special methodology that you use, point out why you’re the best teacher for them!

Reviewing your video

It’s normal not to create a perfect introduction video for teaching online in your first recording. Before you film your final video, practice a few times, and see if you like the trial output. Check if you need to correct anything and make sure to stick the guidelines mentioned earlier.

It also helps if you show your video to a fresh set of eyes. A family member or a friend could point out something you haven’t noticed or offer advice on improving your video.

Saving and sharing your video

Once you have your final recording, you’re ready to upload it to the Web.

  • First, store your video in the format of your choice. The most popular ones are .MP4,.MPEG4, and .MOV.
  • Then, choose a platform you want to share your video on. Online teachers usually upload theirs to YouTube and Vimeo. Make sure to change your video’s privacy setting to public.
  • After you have uploaded your video, you can now link it to your professional website or your marketplace profile!

Sample self-introduction video for teaching online

Here’s a sample teacher intro video for a freelance online English tutor, if you need some inspiration!


Whether you’re a self-employed ESL teacher or a tutor advertising your services on a teaching marketplace, following these guidelines will help you use the power of an excellent introduction video to market yourself as a freelance online English teacher and attract more students.

In addition to a well-crafted introduction video, a resume specific to teaching English online can also help you stand out to students. Check out our guide on how to write an online teacher resume