What Should I Teach in a Video Tutorial?

Start at the End

Your goal: transfer your skill to the viewer.

So pick the skill you want the viewer to take away from the video:

  • Write a Dynamic Route in Next.js
  • Connect a Bluetooth Controller to a Lego Boost Kit
  • Adjust White Balance on a Camera

Determine the Context

How does this skill apply to their life? Think of the viewer. Think of their situation. Make a story where they might apply the skill:

  • Building a Shopping Site with Inventory
  • Driving a Lego Car Through Obstacles
  • Filming Yourself for a Conference Presentation

Separate the Skill From the Story

“Where do I start?!?!?”

At this point, you have a skill and the context in which they’ll use the skill. Think of the story in the context and separate the skill.

  • A Shopping Site with Inventory, But No Router
  • A Lego Car Built and Type of Controller Already Selected
  • Camera Set up and Pointing at Your Face

Write Commands for the Steps

Tell your viewers what to do. Use an Imperative Sentence. Write down the steps of adding the skill to the context as instructions. Each step is an action with the before and after context.

Think Lego assembly or Ikea furniture.

Show your work. The viewer wants to see you perform the skill. This is new to them and they’re lost without you.

  • Install router. Add Link component. Write link syntax.
  • Press bluetooth button. Click sync. Select bluetooth id.
  • Hold up sheet of paper. Open settings. Pick white balance.

Shrug Off Imposter Syndrome

You have the skill. You’ve done this before. You know the steps.

The viewer does not.

The skill is the only qualification you need. Academic doubt around unknowns doesn’t apply if you stick to demonstrating a skill.

Know When to Stop and Recap

Once you have demostrated the skill, stop. If the before/after of applying your skill has a piece that moved in each step (data, a setting, a physical object) recap by walking that piece through the steps with words, but focus on that piece:

  • A route part
  • A bluetooth setting
  • A white balance dial

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