Online teachers we’ve worked with often wonder why they struggle to get bookings or short notice classes. If you’re looking at getting started with VIPKID, iTalki or even Fiverr for that matter you’ll need an introduction video. It is usually the lack of a good video and paragraph that result in parents not being interested in you which results in not getting bookings or short notice classes.
To correct this, read and bookmark this page (or pin it) as it contains practical information to help you make a good VIPKID self introduction video and paragraph.
On most online teaching platforms, an introduction video is usually NOT required. It’s an optional thing you can do. But with that said, if you’re looking to standout it’s a good idea, particularly if you’re a current or prospective VIPKID teacher to make an intro video.
What exactly should you include in your introduction video? Easy!
1 – Introduce yourself.
Something as simple is “hello, I’m teacher David and I am from America!” Also consider introducing any stuffed animals or show props that you will be using in class. Something like “and this is Dino the dinosaur and we want to teach you English.”
Keep your language to short simple sentences and make it fun and engaging. DO NOT drone on about how you have a masters degree, a TEFL certificate, experience teaching and that you love dogs.
No one cares.
You’re hired already, now is the time to sell yourself to the parents. You do that by looking like a fun and engaging teacher who took the time to make a proper video and was not lazy about it.
Intro videos do not need to be that long either. Just 15 seconds, up to a minute. My personal video is me holding a stuffed animal, speaking slowly and clearly in a room with good lighting. I’m smiling, I introduce myself, say a few lines and end the video with “see you in the classroom.”
2 – Have good lighting
Your intro video does not need to be in the room where you’re teaching class. You could introduce yourself from the beach, a park or your living room. The most important aspect however is to make sure your video is well lit with good lighting.
Too many teachers for some reason think they have to record where they are teaching. You really don’t. The video part of this introduction is your chance to show a little bit of your personality. So record in a place with good lighting.
3 – Dress well
In Asia, looks matter be it China, Japan or Thailand. They expect teachers to look the part. This does not mean you need to wear a suit and tie. It does mean however that you need to look presentable. No scruffy beard, no baseball cap on backwards, no mini skirt or excessive makeup if you’re a woman.
Just look presentable and dress to impress. I personally wear a sky blue shirt in my video as it’s what I wear in the actual class. You’re going to want to be wearing kid friendly colors, so try to avoid black and red t-shirts.
4 – Show Your Personality
There is no rigid formula you have to follow. Show your personality and try to standout as a teacher. The point of online teaching is for the students to have a variety of different teachers with different teaching styles and personalities. Don’t waste your time trying to be being something you’re not.
5 – Speak Slowly and with Confidence
A happy, positive demeanor is what parents and their children want to see. Make sure to smile, wave and give off a good attitude. Also make sure to speak slowly. Not too slowly in an unnatural way, but slowly enough to make sure you’re understood correctly by parents and students of varying levels.
6 – Pick a Quite Place
Common sense would have you think this would go without saying, but some intro videos we have watched have dogs barking in the background, loud trucks driving by and one person had chickens making noise in the background.
While you can make the video wherever you want, pick a place where it won’t be distracting from a sound perspective.
7 – Clean, Simple Background
Record from the waist up and make sure your background is appropriate for children. Again, prospective students and parents are going to be watching this. Make your background clean and simple.
No messy bed, clothes, random rock band posters. Simple, clean, thoughtful. You may also want to consider creating a dedicated teacher background.
Visit 7 teacher background ideas for inspiration.
8 – Use a Good Camera and Have Good Audio
You have a lot of options with this. Your webcam is a terrible idea (unless you choose to upgrade it) to create your intro video. Grainy, poor audio and it’s what everyone does. For most of you reading this, your phone is actually good enough to record a proper introduction video (depending on the phone).
For video, the video quality is important but the audio is just as important, if not more important. Don’t stress though, if you have an Iphone you already have an excellent camera. Here are your options:
- Point and Shoot
- External Webcam
Your phone – The easy solution
Using your phone is probably the best option for most. Again, it depends on the phone and the quality of the built in camera. Most phones today are 24 mega pixels which is fine. But if your camera is 16 mp or less I would consider using something else.
The IPhone has the best camera on a phone around so if you have or know someone who has an IPhone consider using that.
G7X Mark ii – Great vlogging and video camera
I used a G7X to record my introduction video. If you’re wanting an excellent vlogging and travel camera that can produce high quality video in an easy to use, beginner friendly form factory that camera is the G7X Mark ii (avoid the Mark iii as it has terrible auto focus).
The G7X is a simple point and shoot that just works out of the box. No need to buy microphones or lenses.
Logitech C922 – High Definition Webcam
Yes your laptop already has a built in webcam, but a good external webcam is a dramatic improvement over your built in webcam in terms of video quality, sharpness and audio.
The C922 webcam is made for professional use and is a must have for online teaching. It records at 1080P and has a built in microphone.
See our guide on the best webcams for online teaching.
Put a little effort in
I know not everyone is keen on making videos, but it’s part of being a teacher online. It’s a skill you need to learn. Be it a travel vlog or a VIPKID introduction video. Remember, you’re competing with other teachers. You need to step up your game and not be lazy about this.
Example of a professional introduction video:
Teacher Mike’s video is a bit on the long side. You really don’t need to produce something that is a minute long. But Mike created this video using a proper camera, a good microphone and an hour of time.
If you’re looking at this video and thinking “I can’t do this” then don’t worry because you don’t need to.
You just need to follow the steps outlined here and make a nice 15-20 second video with a good camera like the G7X and a good, positive attitude.
Your Bio Paragraph
Now it’s time to write a quick bio. This part is equally easy too. Introduce yourself, give your background, education, experience and throw in some personal facts about you as they relate to teaching.
For example if you volunteer somewhere as a teacher or your a teacher and a coach. The paragraph is where you want to talk about your professional experience NOT your introduction video.
For example, I start off my bio with something like “hello parents, my name is _____ and I’m an experience teacher working in the ESL space. I have x amount o experience and degrees and I understand the challenges language learners face. I’m excited to help your son or daughter improve their English.”
Something like that is all that is needed.
VIPKID Profile Pictures
You’ll have a chance to have multiple pictures you can upload to your profile. Your main picture should be cropped in a bit, but not too cropped in. Be wearing something that is a kid friendly color and it should be a picture of you smiling. Also, don’t select a picture where you’re wearing sunglasses or a hat.
If you’ve never taught ESL abroad, you need to understand that profile pictures in Asia should be pleasant but conservative.
For your other additional pictures I would add full body shots. You on vacation with family and friends, teaching an actual class if your a teachers and just conveying that you’re living a good life.
You went through all that effort to get hired in the first place, now make the last little bit of effort and create a great teacher profile for yourself so you can get bookings and short notice classes with ease, with VIPKID.
These tips can also be applied to any online teaching platform where parents book the teachers.
Hope these tips help! If you enjoyed this, consider sharing this.
Not a VIPKID teacher yet? If you’re a qualified American or Canadian you can make 25$ or more teaching online from home. Click to learn more.
Editorial StaffThe editorial Staff at Teach and GO is a team of teachers with a broad range of experience led by David Unwin. We have been creating helpful advice, guides and tutorials for teachers since 2018.
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