Creating the Perfect Self-Introduction Video – TeacherTee’s Guide
Browsing TeacherTee’s Job Board for online TEFL jobs, you just came across the TEFL job of your dreams – it’s just exactly what you’ve been looking for. Absolutely thrilled, you create your TEFL CV, already imagining everything you want to say in your job interview. But what is that? Your new ESL job requires a self-introduction video? You are an online English tutor, not a movie star, how are you supposed to… Don’t panic! Just as always, TeacherTee has got your back!
Teaching ESL, a self-introduction video always comes in handy. Some employers use them to make an informed decision on whom to invite to a job interview. But even if you are freelance teaching, a self-introduction video might help you show students that you are just the perfect teacher for them. Overall, a self-introduction video really is a great way to catch the eye of employers and students and to present yourself in a personal way. Employers and students get an idea of what you look like and how your voice sounds, which makes connecting on a personal level a whole lot easier. Plus, you get to convey your message quite quickly in a time-saving and entertaining way, thus making yourself memorable to both your future employers and your future students. And please don’t worry if you are not a tech expert. Putting together a one- to three-minute video is not that hard, especially if you follow TeacherTee’s guide on how to actually create a self-introduction video – So grab a friend to hold the camera, and let’s go!
Don’t worry, filming a self-introduction video is not exactly rocket science – although it will skyrocket your career! Photo by Jodie Cook on Unsplash
Before you start filming, please make sure to check whether you are expected to follow certain rules or guidelines. This does not only hold true for the setting, but for every other aspect as well. You don’t want to spend two days filming a video that you cannot submit because it does not meet your future employers requirements.
The first thing you want to consider is the setting. Make sure that you film in a quiet place with no background noises. Remember to check the lighting (because obviously you don’t want to have awkward shadows all over your face) and make sure that you record yourself from the waist up, so everybody gets to see your hand movements and gestures. Choose nice, bright clothes that you would also wear for teaching, and make sure your overall appearance is presentable (though we know you’re looking bomb anyway!).
Concerning background, there are basically two approaches: either go for a plain, well-lit background, or decorate your background with teaching material/ your last green houseplant/ the certificate of the online TEFL course you took/ whatever you consider suitable. It is up to you! Once you find a setting you like, make sure to take a shot or two to check whether it actually works out according to your expectations. It’s perfect? Well, then let’s go on!
What to say:
This is probably the hardest part, but also the one you can be most creative with. In the beginning, you should give away some basic information like your full name, where you come from, where you are living right now, etc. What you should definitely include are your qualifications (maybe you already have a TEFL certification?), your work experience, and your specialisations (maybe you are an expert in business English?). Tell your audience what your classes are like and which teaching tools you employ, to show both your employer and your students that you are a professional, fun and entertaining teacher.
Include any additional information about yourself that you think is relevant, but keep an eye on the length of the video – keep it short and to the point. Always finish with a call to action. Tell your audience why they should choose you and that you are looking forward for them to call you. This way, you will create an open and inviting atmosphere within seconds. The more interesting things you tell your audience, the more likely you will be invited to that job interview – here’s how to ace it!
What To Do:
Get comfortable, but not feet-on-the-table kind of comfortable. Whatever you do, make sure to look into the camera lens and smile at it. It might feel awkward to you, but it will feel like inviting, personal eye contact to your audience (and yes, you are allowed to blink). Talk slowly, clearly and, most importantly, naturally. You might want to write a script to not forget any information, but please don’t just read said script to the camera. Also, it is always a good idea to reflect on your body language: Are your hands visible? Are they casually and calmly moving along as you talk? Although this is a lot to think of, and it might feel a little unnatural in the beginning, please remember to not just play a role in front of the camera. Don’t try to win an Oscar for acting, just be your authentic, professional self. Your personality shining through is just what your audience wants to see!
Looking at your video, you are just not happy with the result? Be patient – filming a perfect self-introduction video takes time! Take a few shots and maybe ask a friend for feedback. Not getting it right on the first try is perfectly normal! It really doesn’t matter how often you try again. Keep in mind: people will only get to see the final version of your video. Whether it took you two or two-hundred attempts to get there, will forever remain your sweet little secret!
Get yourself some (honest) feedback from family and friends – maybe they notice details you have been missing! Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash
Now that you know where to film, what to say and what to do, some words of advice concerning technical aspects: Store your video as either .MP4, .MPEG4, or .MOV and make sure it has a minimum of 480p (this really is the bare minimum – always go for more if you can). In most cases, filming horizontally will serve you best, but if you want to upload your video to a platform optimised for smartphones or tablets, filming vertically might do the job. Use a quality camera and microphone for filming so that you don’t have to wear a headset while recording. And finally: We can understand that you are very proud of your new video, and we at TeacherTee are too! But never – we repeat: never – send it to your future employer by email. It is probably way too big for that. Instead, upload it to YouTube, a cloud of your choice, etc. and send your employer and students the link to it, thus making it easier for everyone.
As you can see, creating the perfect self-introduction video isn’t that hard. Just follow our guide and don’t give up if it doesn’t work out the first time – so many have done this before, and you can do this, too! For more tips and tricks on teaching English online and travelling follow us on Facebook and Instagram, and please feel free to contact us directly. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!
Written by Johanna Brand 🙂