YouTuber Internet Shaquille On Instructor Generosity

These are some points I wanted to keepsake from How to Make an Internet Shaquille Video

The video is exceptional and worth watching. The points I jotted down were for my own reference, you will likely find many other gems in the video.

Background on Internet Shaquille

  • Went to school for design, got a master’s with a focus on instructional design
  • Worked for five years at a public university setting where I was an instructional designer
  • Did instructional video-based design for a private construction company for four years
  • Now: YT channel that teaches cooking; 500k+ subs


00:00 Who Cares?

02:24 Biases

05:12 Why Video?

08:28 Common Mistakes

10:14 Get Started

14:32 Script Tips

21:15 Specifics for Formal Education

24:17 Specifics for Youtube

27:53 Technical Tips


A lot of this content is not about how to be successful on YouTube or how to create a popular online course. I believe there’s enough information out there about that, about how to chase the algorithms and such. So, this is more of a Seth Godin head’s perspective, not so much a GaryVee hustle, rise and grind culture type of video. I think that a lot of attention is paid to gaining notoriety, and this is more focused on applying generosity. That’s the word I use the most when I talk about this sort of stuff, and I wish it wasn’t because it sounds like I’m canonizing myself, like I’m this huge saint for making five-minute long YouTube videos. But generosity really is the only way I’ve found to frame this sort of content, like this video that I’m making.

The more generous you can be, the more successful you stand to be as well. I think there’s a direct correlation, if you want there to be.

If you see somebody doing something cool and you say, “Oh, that looks easy. I could do that,” that’s not a very generous interpretation of the cool thing that you saw. However, if you said, “That looks cool. That looks rewarding. I should try that,” I think that’s somebody who’s more likely to produce work in a generous way. And when I say produce work, it’s not about how to make “content”. Content” was always a word for companies like Procter and Gamble to populate their Instagram. You should not aim to make “content”, you should aim to make work that matters for people who care. There’s my first of what will probably be many Seth Godin references. I think that once you start to see your work as a body of work, you’re less likely to write it off as just “content”.

The generous work is anticipating your learner’s actual questions and needs.

Narrowing Your Audience Allows You To Produce Better Work

Try to be specific about who your learner is. What are their fears? What are their biases? What are their goals?

When you’re in the YouTube space, it’s really tempting to say, “Well, my audience is everybody.” But what ends up happening if you’re trying to reach as many people as possible is that you have to adopt the GaryVee, Mr. Beast aesthetic or mindset. This involves simplifying your information into very basic English to cater to those for whom English isn’t their first language or who can’t read. You’re using vibrant emotions and universal symbols, like showing someone winning money and jumping up and down, or using sound effects like “ding ding ding.” I don’t think these tactics really apply to the style that I hope you’re trying to achieve. So, after you identify your learner, you really do need to identify what it is that they need to learn. This is similar to establishing your learning outcomes.

He doesn’t use the word empathy but this is what an empathetic instructor looks like:

  1. Establish prerequisite knowledge.
  2. Don’t layer all this information that doesn’t necessarily need to be conveyed. Be honest and explicit about what the learner needs to learn before you finish writing your script.

Script Tips

    1. Criticize your beginning and end of the script mercilessly. The beginning obviously needs to grab your attention, and at the end, you really need to put a bow on things.
      1. In the video space, the goal is to make someone crave more information or to conclude in a way that they feel accomplished for finishing it. Therefore, you should really invest a significant amount of time in this. When I write a script, it takes about 50% of the time to write the actual material and maybe 40% of the time figuring out how it’s going to end. I aim to conclude things in a way where you feel energized and glad about what you just learned, and happy to have learned.
    2. You need to be building and resolving tension.
      1. If I make a video about how to make hummus, the person who clicked on the video is already interested in that. So, you can resolve that tension immediately. That’s why I get so many comments that are like, “Three minutes in, not even like 45 seconds in, and this guy’s already given us three different recipes for hummus.” That’s because you can resolve the tension from clicking on the thumbnail immediately, and then build more tension on and resolve that later. You can be doing this sort of rapport. I don’t know if that’s the right word even. You can do this back and forth where it’s like building tension and resolving it. So in the hummus example, I might say, “Oh, how do you make hummus? Here’s three different ways. But what if you really like buying it?” Then, you’re posing an argumentative point. You’re sort of arguing against yourself. You’re saying, “Well, what about the naysayers who just watched that and still aren’t convinced?”
      2. Going back and forth, building up tension and resolving it with the hummus example is a way of building tension and resolving it with new ideas and counter-arguments. You can also build tension by introducing a very big, weighty, complicated topic, and then resolve it by untangling that topic or explaining it away.

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