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I'm Kristi. I'm the artist behind At the Dot Design.
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I recently launched my very first Skillshare class called: Potato Printing: Design and Create Custom Printed Cloth Napkins. Now that I’m on the other side of the class building process I thought it might be helpful to share a few things I learned along the way.
Skillshare really wants their teachers to succeed, especially the new teachers. After I submitted my application to teach and got my congrats email I was also offered the chance to participate in an upcoming Teach Challenge. Here’s how Skillshare describes the challenge:
The Teach Challenge is a 6-week program designed specifically for first-time teachers that walks you through every step of the class creation process, with support from our team, feedback from fellow teachers, and reminders to keep you on track. Every teacher who successfully completes the Teach Challenge receives a free Skillshare membership for one year.– Skillshare
I was also offered the option of working directly with a coach throughout the challenge. My coach Patricia really helped me along the way. She read through my class planning documentation, watched really rough versions of my introduction and lesson videos, and offered lots of great feedback along the way. I can’t speak highly enough of her. If you are considering making your first Skillshare class my number one recommendation would be to join the teach challenge and if you are offered a coach to help you along the way say yes.
Admittedly when I wrote out my class planning document I listed out tons of extra camera angles, b-roll, and graphics that I wanted to add to my videos. I did manage to include some of those things in the final product, but not nearly as many as I had planned. I blame watching too many YouTube videos for making all of that work look so easy.
In the future, I would love to add more camera angles, but for this first class, I ended up keeping it pretty simple. I had a few talking-to-camera shots, took advantage of a few b-roll shots I had, and mostly filmed from above looking down at my desk. If you are making your first class I would recommend keeping things simple and being willing to use it as a learning process.
This one may be a little controversial, but hear me out. If you save your talking head shots for the end you will have had lots of practice setting up your camera and mic and talking off-camera. You might even be feeling a bit more comfortable and confident with the whole filming process.
More importantly, by the end, you are going to feel really ready to be done filming your class so you will be super focused as you hit record on your talking head shots. I didn’t intend to save my talking head shots for the end of my filming, but that’s how it turned out. On the day I needed to film those segments setting everything up felt like clockwork and I was so ready to be done filming that I was able to really focus and get my shots in significantly fewer takes.
Of course, I learned lots of other things as I made my first Skillshare class, but these are my top tips. Making your first Skillshare class is a big task and it’s going to take you longer than you expect, but with the help of Skillshare’s resources, keeping it simple, and being strategic with your filming order you will get through it.