How to Prepare a Lesson Plan

Salman Khan: When you’re preparing for a video, especially if its being delivered online, I think the first step is really just to prepare the core point.  Know what you’re going to deliver in that 10 minutes and just focus on that. 

When you produce these videos, what I found is the less that I start with and the more that I do during the video the better, but some videos I do start off with images that I’ve taken from Wikipedia that are in the public domain, or maps or some timelines just to make sure I got the dates right or the names right.  And I’ll put those out there.  And it does structure your thought even as you’re going thought that process.  But then once it’s up there, I try to leave as much as possible to happen spontaneously during the video. 

Instead of scripting out the video, in order to make the video as natural and thought-provoking as possible, I think it’s important to prepare your brain for the video.  Make it so you are conversant in the subject, but don’t prepare your actual words, let those come out during the video.

One thing you’re going to find, I know this happens to me is when you’re about to do a video on a topic, you can get into this paralysis in your brain where you’re like, "have I got it perfectly right?  Am I going to say something that’s going to make myself look like a fool?  It’s going to be watched by so many people."  And if you do that, you could end up over preparing and never record the video.  And what I’ve found is, just press “record.”  And once you press “record,” and let yourself go and you say, look I’m just going to do it and put it up there and see what happens, you’ll produce a better product. 

 

Sal Khan is the founder of the Khan Academy, which offers free online lessons on a wide range of subjects. One of the key factors that has made Khan Academy so successful is the preparation that Khan puts into each lesson. Khan walks Big Think through a lesson he just created on the Cuban Missile Crisis.

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