“How to” Make a “How to” Video

Growing up, I watched Youtube videos instead of TV shows. Over half the videos I watched could be placed in the “How To” video category. I watched makeup tutorials, DIY crafting videos, advice videos, and the list goes on. But by far, my favorite videos were Ryan Higa’s “How to be a _______” videos—just the perfect amount of stupid but funny. This is his most recent one:

I’ve always wanted to make my own parody “How to” video just like Ryan’s and I guess I’m finally going for it! My Youtube video will be titled: “How to be an Attentive Friend”. I’ve chosen to tackle this topic because I believe that the problem of people taking their friends for granted is extremely prevalent in our society today. I know that people, especially teenagers, are often uncomfortable with breaching serious topics, so I hope a parody “How to” Youtube video will make them more receptive to the information.

But wait! I’ve never done this before! How will I ever figure out “How to” make a “How to” video? Have no fear, here is:

This is where you decide basically everything. What are you gonna say? Do you need to do research? What are you going to do in your video? What are you going to do with all this freedom ahhhhhh!

Well, there are two routes you can take:

  1. The “steps”/ “lessons” route- In this route, you break your ideas down into steps or lessons. You can come up with these on your own or ones that someone else has created and plan out how to bring them to life by adding your own flair. Steps are better for simple topics while lessons are better for more complex ones. You can make as many steps/lessons as you want and make them as detailed/simple as you want.

I’m planning on taking this route and using “lessons”. I might look for legit lessons that someone else has written and make a parody of them through my depiction.

  1. The “just do it” route: Since you don’t need to write out steps/lessons because you’ll be creating a continuous demonstration, just write out an action plan for what you’re going to do.

Remember to plan out every section of your video—not just the body! You may want to include a scene in your intro showing why people need to keep watching your video by showing them how the situation is usually a “struggle”. You may also want to include a scene at the end or even the beginning where you display your end product/how everything is “new and improved” after following your guide.

You probably don’t want to be reading off a sheet of paper in your video—unless it’s an added effect for humor. You do you! I advise memorization because it gives you the freedom to make facial expressions and use gestures, allowing you to demonstrate what you’re talking about.

Filming a video without props, other people, and costumes isn’t very fun. But you do you! Really think about how you can make your script come to life and prepare everything you need to so. If you have different characters, you can always drag your friends in or play multiple characters by wearing different costumes and using different voices like Lilly Singh does.

Make sure you have everything you need to film your video before you start filming so everything goes smoothly!

Honestly I’m probably going to use an iPhone camera and have someone else film it for me. But if you have fancy equipment and all that, use it!

Filming is slightly different depending on what route you chose in Step 1:

Steps/Lessons: Film the video in separate sections since you’re going to edit it later—it’ll make it easier for memorization and give you time to change the props/backgrounds for different scenes if you have them.

Just do it: Film the video continuously as you are demonstrating exactly what one needs to do to accomplish the set goal.

Cut. Cut. Cut.










Jk, there’s more than just cutting it down—but cutting is super important because you don’t want to bore your viewers! Besides cutting, you might want to add some pizzazz to your video! You can add pop-ups, links, special effects, sound effects, etc.

Steps/Lessons: During this step you can put in text that says “Step 1: blah blah blah” or “Lesson 1: blah blah blah” so the audience knows exactly what you’re talking about.

Just do it: Make sure you cut out failed attempts unless you want to leave them in for humor. You can also speed through some sections of your tutorial as some steps may be repetitive/take a long time. Including a “voiceover” while you are rolling your demonstration scenes can allow you to be more informative.

Share your content! Be proud of what you’ve created! Whether you make someone laugh, or give them really good advice, or help them accomplish a goal that they’ve set themselves—you need to post it so your audience can see it!

A lot of Youtubers include a “blooper reel” at the beginning or the end of their video. I’m definitely going to include one because I know I’ll have plenty. This is one of my favorite parts of the video because viewers can see the Youtuber’s personality “off-screen” which could make them like them as a person more and increase subscribers.

And that’s it! I’m so excited to make my video because I think I will be able to reach a lot of people with my message. People who typically search for “How to” videos are looking to learn something and are more open to new/contradictory ideas. These people will help spread what they learn to others through sharing links, posting, or even just by acting differently. I can’t wait to get started and I’ll definitely link my video here when I’m finished!




2 thoughts to ““How to” Make a “How to” Video”

  1. I loved the layout of this, Amy! It was so easy to read, and flowed so well. I love the fact you embedded videos and screenshots of the different steps, and was an especially big fan of how you used the blank space when you talked about “cutting.” So multimodal! Also, it’s really nice to see you were able to decrease the word count on this by so much, and still get the essential points across. I’m glad you discussed how to make the videos with the two routes, but I’m curious as to which route you will be using. Are you going to use the just do it route, or the steps/lessons route while making your own video? Or will you mix in both, depending on the step? I know that question is a bit meta, but you are making a “How to” video, after all. Also, for the script, something that might help is once you’re done writing it, have someone else read it. I feel like it helps hearing it from someone else, because you can consider yourself part of the audience at that point, and see how the script can be received. I’m excited to see the video! This is definitely no easy task, and I look forward to seeing what you’re going to do with it 🙂

  2. Hey Amy! You did a KILLER job at transforming this blog post! It was much more condensed, but still full of valuable info on how to make a how to video. The way you played with the irony presented in the title within the blog post structure itself was equally clever and communicative; the screen shots of the steps made the “how to” part of your blog super clear while still letting your conversational tone shine through. I think I missed a bit of your proposal in this, though. I’m curious to see how you tackle your version of a how to video with your topic. I have a sneaky advantage of already knowing because we are group members (groupies?), but you present a lot of different options for variation within each of the steps and I’d like to know which ones you will be using and why it will help your audience get the point you’re trying to make (i.e. I know you said you’ll be keeping it humorous, so will you be using a ton of editing? or playing multiple roles? will you write a completely ironic script or one with more serious explanations after bits of comedy? etc…) That’s a difficult task within a blog word count, but just a thought! I’m super stoked to see this experiment partly, if not fully, realized! As a fellow YouTube enthusiast, I think you would make an amazing YouTube personality.

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