Resources for ESL Teachers by ESL Teachers ! x
18th October 2020 By EslBoards
How to Make a Great Self-Introduction Video

An online English teaching job ad catches your eye. You click the "Apply" button, fill out the application form, and upload your headshot.

Then, just when you think you are done, you see that it requires a self-introduction video and realize you don't have one yet.

If you have ever been stuck in this kind of situation, don't panic! We're here to help you craft an English teacher introduction video that will dazzle not only your potential employers, but also your future students!

What is a self-introduction video?

Have you ever wondered how these online companies hire people without even really conducting a live interview? Nowadays, when you apply to an online language company, you may be asked to introduce yourself through a self-recorded video.

This recording, which usually runs for not more than two minutes, is a quicker way of showcasing your qualifications, skills, and even your personality to your potential employer.

This video helps you stand out among a multitude of teacher applications

Take note that there are some companies who will not require an intro video from you during the application process. However, you may still need it to upload to your teacher profile when you begin teaching online.

In order to increase your online bookings, you will definitely need to engage students and parents to take classes with you. For this goal, the intro video in your teacher profile will be your top marketing tool!

Why is an introduction video important?

Teaching virtually means that it is almost impossible for recruiters and students to know a new teacher in person before the beginning of a course.

With this, the most effective and quickest way to give an idea of who you are and how you teach is through an intro video.

When it comes to screening applicants, an intro video is a real time saver. Instead of conducting interviews, many online companies these days simply review candidates’ intro videos. This, in turn, hastens the hiring process and could get you started teaching online sooner.

Meanwhile, an intro video is a great way to spark the intrigue of your future students or their parents and make them feel connected with you, whether it's for your class activities, your fun teaching background, or even just your amazing personality!

Some pointers before you start

Truth be told: many English teachers have no clue how to make a self-introduction video. People often wonder “Where can I shoot?” or “What should I say?”: You don’t have to be a tech expert or stage a huge production to create an effective intro video.

Secondly, you can get creative with it as much as you want! While online companies set some rules on shooting your intro video, how you want to appear and what you want to say are up to you.

Before you get rolling, here are some pre-recording recommendations:


Dress the part. 

While it’s not necessary to wear corporate attire, choose clean, comfortable clothes that make you look presentable. As a rule of thumb, dress as you would for an online class. If you’re going to teach kids, go for bright or pastel colors.


Use good lighting. 

You could either use natural daylight or quality lamp lighting. Also, make sure that you are facing the light source, not sitting in front of  it.


Use props and decorate your background, or don’t. 

There are two effective approaches to your background. Some teachers like to go super minimal and clean, opting for something like a totally plain, clean white wall. Others like to go the extra mile by adding an alphabet chart, colorful posters, finger puppets, and other trinkets to make their teaching space look more fun! If you decide to go minimal, make sure it is very clean and well lit and that you can’t see other distracting things in your room. If you decide to use more decorations, be careful to not make your backdrop look too cluttered.

Film in a quiet environment

Settle on a place where the mic won’t pick up distracting background noise such as traffic, people, and phone sounds.

Use a quality camera

You could record in high definition or 1080p resolution using a digital camera, a smartphone, or a quality webcam.

Use a quality microphone. 

You don’t have to go out and purchase some expensive podcasting mic, but you should use a headset with a built-in microphone. This could be as simple as the headset that comes with your phone. Using an external mic will give much better results than recording the audio with with the built-in mic on your computer or phone.

Shoot your video horizontally. 

Most online English teaching platforms have the teacher video feed in horizontal mode, so shooting horizontally will allow you to use your video with multiple applications. Some platforms (such as PalFish and Cambly) are specifically designed for tablet or mobile, in which case it may be best to record vertically.

For extra points…

Running out of time to accessorize your teaching background? Do you often teach in different locations and are unable to set up a permanent teaching space? 

No worries! You can simply jazz up your introduction video using ManyCam, an easy-to-use webcam software that offers a plethora of options to enhance your videos and presentations.

You can use ManyCam to add creative backgrounds to your teaching space, transform your look through its wide variety of filter masks, or give exciting digital rewards to your students.

If you are looking to add some fun in your digital classroom, ManyCam does the trick!

Tips for making an excellent introduction video

Speak clearly and slowly. 

Your audience will mostly be non-native English speakers who may not have strong listening skills yet, so make sure that your pronunciation and the words you use are easy to understand.


Making your students feel welcome in your online class starts when they see a warm and friendly face. You don’t have to be fake or over-the-top.

Be energetic and radiate a friendly vibe. 

Creating an inviting positive class environment always makes your learners feel more comfortable and motivated.

Just be yourself. 

Don’t feel compelled to mirror the intro videos you’ve watched on YouTube. Just let your personality shine through – your students will love you for it.

You can write a script in advance to guide you. 

However, don’t read from it while filming your video.

Practice, practice, practice! 

It may take you a few tries before you produce the perfect introduction video.

Be clear and concise

Remember that recording should be between one and two minutes long. Time yourself as you read or practice your script and see if you can cover all the important points within the time frame.


What should you say in your intro video?

A brief self-introduction

This should include your name, your nationality, and where you come from. You can also mention the languages you speak.

Qualifications and teaching experience 

Obviously, you don’t need to say all the jobs listed in your resume. Highlight the most important teaching or education-related experience in a couple of sentences, mentioning where and which types of students you have taught.

Your educational approach

Provide a brief answer to the question, “Why do you love teaching English?” Got a teaching or learning philosophy? Feel free to share it, too!

Talk about your teaching style. Give your prospective learners an idea of what your online classes are like. You can also say, or even show, some of the materials/resources you use in class.

A call to action

If this video is for an interviewer, tell them you look forward to speaking with them soon.  If it is for your online teacher profile, invite your potential students (or their parents) to book classes with you! You can mention why they should book your lessons, or simply end with, “I hope to see you soon in my class!”