If students don’t think of you as a credible, confident instructor, they won’t enjoy learning with you. You delivery is important because if students can’t follow along with you they can’t learn from you! In this article we’ll go over how to self-diagnose your course for credibility, confidence, and delivery. We know that appearing on camera can be tough, so we have lots of clear, actionable steps for you to make the process seem easier and more manageable.
We’ll then go over some strategies for updating your credibility, confidence, and delivery -- we’ve broken down that section into The Quick Win and The Full Treatment. Quick Wins are just that -- quick ways to dramatically increase the quality of the student experience in your course. For those dedicated instructors who want to go all-in and take their course to the top tier we’ll go over larger updates in The Full Treatment.
Your Credibility, Confidence, and Delivery
|What Students Appreciate (quotes from actual students)||What Students Recommend (quotes from actual students)|
|"Instructor has a friendly tone and clear explanations"||"Instructor needs to get to the point faster"|
|"I love how genuine the instructor is. I love hearing his personal stories and experiences!"||"Presenter needs to slow down to let you digest the information. Also, I think a couple of questions at the end of each section would be useful, as I find answering those helps reinforce what I'm learning."|
|"Excellent conversational delivery and presentation"||"Pacing is a little show and the voice is a bit dry..."|
|"The instruction is clear and easy to grasp. The instructor has a good personality and presentation skills"||"The instructor is a bit difficult to listen to because of his monotone voice. He also repeats himself to an unhelpful level"|
Successful Instructors do This:
Here are some best practices that instructors have used to project confidence, deliver strong instruction, and generate trust while engaging students:
- Speak clearly and avoid mispronouncing words. When students struggle to understand an instructor, they will leave negative feedback. Avoid student misunderstanding by speaking clearly with careful and accurate pronunciation.
- Demonstrate genuine curiosity for the topic. Whether it’s your first time explaining something or your 20th, students appreciate instructors who can convince them that a topic is truly interesting and worth diving into. Don’t be afraid to show your passion for the topic!
- Demonstrate enthusiasm for helping people learn the topic. Do you enjoy teaching? Let your students know you want to help them learn by identifying their main concerns and addressing them whenever possible.
- Edit out all uhms, pauses, or verbal mistakes. Keep your videos clean and free of mistakes. Edit out any verbal miscues, long pauses, or other mistakes that might distract students. These can be small (“ummms”, “ahhhs”, slight sniffles) or they can be large (blowing your nose, dropping a prop, leaving the frame).
- Opt for closed captioning. Some students really appreciate being able to read an instructor’s words while they’re being delivered. While this is totally optional, it is something to consider to make your content more globally accessible.
- Answer questions in the discussion forums. Students report higher satisfaction when instructors take time to answer their questions or spark conversation in the Q&A.
If you’re already doing these, great job! If you’d like to try them out or make improvements to your course in this area, here are some next steps for you to take to ensure an amazing learning experience for your students.
The Quick Win (2 Hours or Less)
Go through your lectures and edit out any obvious mistakes, long pauses, or non-relevant information.
- Starting with your first section, watch your lectures and look for long pauses, obvious mistakes, or non-relevant information. Wherever you find an instance of any of these, make a note of the lecture and the timecode in that lecture.
- Using your video editing software and the master video files for each lecture, edit out any of the mistakes you found above.
- Replace the lecture videos on Udemy with the ones you just re-edited.
The Full Treatment (Address the Majority of Student Concerns)
If you really want to make sure your course is as clear and organized as it can be, here’s what you can do:
- Magnify your enthusiasm. In addition to editing out mistakes (in the Quick Win), identify where the topics you discuss could use more context. Are there any places where your enthusiasm, natural curiosity, or sense of humor could be more present in the lecture?
- Update your lectures. For anywhere you think you can make your lecture more engaging, either re-record or add in some "color." Also, include a list of key terms you use in your lectures and links to their definitions for more context and to help explain any jargon your students may not be familiar with.
Getting a Head Start on Your Next Course
Want to make it easier on yourself to engage students in your next course? Use our Instructional lecture tutorial to help you craft awesome lectures that students appreciate.