ESL Video Guidelines — Create A "Lifelike" Experience For Your Audience


Hello content creators! Welcome to our weekly blog series on video creation tips! In this new series, you will find tips from each article on creating videos for different topics and/or making great ESL videos in general. Hopefully, this will give you some inspirations and help you with any questions you have in mind!

What makes a video watching experience "Lifelike"?

Either you are a current Video Content Creator at BlaBla, or you just applied to become one, you probably know that we want you to create videos that are lifelike. Wow, I get the reaction, "Lifelife" sounds a little vague doesn't it? What does it mean exactly?

If you Google the synonyms, you'll see "authentic, true-to-life, and realistic". So basically, it means to create videos that are authentic, true-to-life, and realistic, to your help audience learn and enjoy English as a second language. "Now, how exactly am I gonna do that?" Glad you asked! Because I have the guideline and video examples just for you to understand the concept a bit better.

1. Interactive

When recording, imagine seeing your students right infront of you. Even though you are talking to a camera, talk like how you normally would to a friend or family when explaining a concept or telling a story. How do you normally talk to your friends about something? 

  • Keep genuine eye contact by looking into the camera.
  • Use appropriate body gestures to delivery content in an entertaining way.
  • Add questions and discussions (Rhetorical questions can be powerful).
  • Incorporate short activities, quizzes, or games to facilitate learning and to make videos fun and interesting to follow.

2. Engaging

Audience will come back for more if your videos are engaging. Here are a few ways that you can do it:

  • Try using a casual and dynamic speaking voice suitable to the video context.
  • Use a conversational, enthusiastic, encouraging style.
  • Control the speaking speed. Try speaking much slower clearer than your normal pace by adding in brief pauses.
  • Consider showing some humor.
  • Be yourself. Students find it most engaging when the video is authentic.
  • Use audio and visual elements to convey an explanation signal important ideas  or concepts; make them complementary rather than redundant.

i. Visual Elements

  • On screen text
  • Colorful highlights
  • Arrows and circles
  • Diagrams and charts

ii. Audio Elements

  • Intro sound track
  • Background music
  • Special sound effects

3. Unique Content Planning

Content planning is the most important. Great content that are interactive, engaging, and educational sets you apart from others which goes a long way. Here are a few ways to create qualiy content with mindful planning:

Design content with a purpose.

When content is purposeful and effective, rather than ordinary and simplyexist for the sake of having a content, it creates value and provides a positive,helpful experience for the end user.

Design content that creates value.

The experience should help users gain newperspective on something new and unique. Keep in mind the age, type, andEnglish proficiency of your audience when designing your content.

Make it educational.

Teaching an English concept is the top priority and try incorporateit naturally throughout the video. The video content should inspire and educate users to speak and write English in a native way,and broaden their horizon with knowledge about the world through the context of English.

Break video into mini-segments if needed.

Even though the video is short tobe less than 1 min, you can still break down the content into mini-segments to keep it rich and purposeful. Make sure to smooth out the transition in between the segments.

A good amount of ESL videos with great content can also be found on Mystery Science, a website that offers "open and go" video lessons on sciene for kids. Although the audience are aimed for younger ages, their content and delivery are extremely inspirational. You simply need to register with your email to access all the great videos of various topics.

I hope you find this article helpful, and keep an eye out for more tips to come featuring more topics! In the meantime, check out 8 Tips on Making Great Videos for more ideas to make your videos interesting and unique.