3 min read

My ideal Skillshare intro, lessons learned from studying three Skillshare classes

I scheduled for us to record our Skillshare class yesterday. While we were setting up, I realized I forgot to buy the lightning to 3.5mm jack connector for the lapel mic, so we had to reschedule.

To make use of the time, we decided to practice filming, starting with the intro.

I kind of expected it... But I was pretty unhappy with it.

Despite outlining in detail, it was too long and not compelling at all. For example, filming just one of the six sections took two minutes! So the whole thing might potentially take twelve minutes. That's ten minutes more than the ideal. Pretty difficult to cut ten minutes out, even with editing.

I felt pretty discouraged. Leslie said, "You're a copywriter. Write it like one. Do it, for the introduction at least." She's right, of course.

But this scared me:

I have to write the whole thing? Then I have to memorize and practice it? That seems like a lot of work. I'm really afraid I will overthink it and end up not shipping at all.

This morning, I decided to study the intro of three popular Skillshare classes.

Compare to my original outline.

Here's what I learned about these intros.

  • 18 to 30 total lines, compared to my 38
  • It takes 3.78s to 5.67 seconds to speak per line
  • My current outline has 38 lines. Since it's not even a tight script yet, I will probably expand on it when speaking, so it will take probably 2 to 3x longer, resulting in a 10min intro 😱

Based on the above, my ideal Skillshare intro:

To do 90 to 170s, write a total of 20 to 30 lines in Craft. Break it down into 7 to 9 sections, writing 1 to 3 lines per section.

Sections Breakdown:

  • Section 1: Surprising statement about why class is important. 2-4 lines.
  • Section 2: Who are you? 1-3 lines.
  • Section 3: What will this class teach you, and why it made a difference in my personal life. Ex 1 – How to edit an intro, set me apart from other online creators. Ex 2 – I can create stunning patterns in Procreate?? Got me hooked. Ex 3 – I learned how to study effectively, which freed up my time to start a business and YouTube, while getting reasonable grades
  • Section 4: How this class is structured. Keep it simple. What? 1 line. Why? 1 line. Ex — 3 parts. 2 lines per part x 3 parts. 6 lines.
  • Section 5: For whom is this class? And if you’re not that person, who else? Maybe 3 lines max.
  • Section 6: If there’s one takeaway from this class…
  • Section 7: So thank you so much for joining this class. Let’s get started.

Breaking it down like this makes it way less intimidating. Sure, I can write, practice, and memorize 30 lines of text.

Wish me luck!

Screenshots above are created by typing into Craft on Mac, exporting as PDF, then annotating with the Apple Pencil in Craft on iPad. The gridded table was done on Notability.

As part of learning visual note-taking, I'm also practicing to improve my handwriting. As I learned in Pencil Me In, the secret is to slow down and focus on the shape of the letters. To make round letters really round, and pointy letters extra pointy.