How I ✨ POLISH ✨ my YouTube Videos in Premiere Pro

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Even the simplest of talking head style YouTube videos need a little extra polish, but who wants to spend more time editing your YouTube videos? If you’re like me, you understand the importance of adding that extra touch of polish to your content without spending hours in the editing room. Well, buckle up, because today I’m going to walk you through the process of polishing your YouTube videos using Premiere Pro. From basic fine-tuning to adding some fancy effects, we’ll cover it all. Plus, I want to show you what happens if you skip the very last step, and it’s not good. So let’s jump in, and I’ll show you my current workflow.

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Starting with a Blank Slate

Before we delve into the nitty-gritty details of editing, let’s talk about setting up your Premiere Pro project. I always begin with a blank slate, but not entirely empty. I have a project file template that I duplicate for each new video. This template includes essential elements like lower thirds, animations, transitions, and frequently used media assets, streamlining my editing process.

Importing and Organizing

Once I have my project template ready, it’s time to import the necessary files. I export my rough cut from Descript as an XML file and import it into Premiere Pro. This ensures that all my edits from Descript are seamlessly transferred into my Premiere Pro timeline. Organizing your media assets and ensuring consistency in settings is crucial for a smooth editing experience.

Related: 6 Things That Would Make Descript PERFECT (again)

Basic Fine-Tuning

With the timeline populated with my rough cut edits, I move on to the basic fine-tuning phase. This involves zooming in on each cut, smoothing out transitions, and eliminating any dead space or awkward pauses. By paying attention to the audio waveform and adjusting audio levels, I ensure that my videos sound natural and engaging to viewers.

Adding B-Roll and Memes

B-roll is a powerful tool for enhancing storytelling and covering up rough transitions. There are two ways that I think about B-roll. One is planned out, where I’m going to talk to the camera and I’m going to show what I’m talking about with B roll. The second way is, while I’m editing, there might be a place where I stop talking. And then I start talking again, and it’s butting up right against each other. So maybe the audio isn’t quite matching up. Or maybe my head starts on one side and ends on the other. We can use B-roll to cover that up. I like to think of it like a B-roll band-aid. I’m not suggesting that you do this between every single cut. But if there is a place that is really weird looking, you can simply cover it up.

Getting Fancy

Once the foundational edits are in place, it’s time to get fancy! This is the last step in my BFF method—Basic, Fine-Tune, and Fancy—which guides my editing process. During the fancy phase, I leverage Premiere Pro extensions like the Gal Toolkit from Premiere Gal to add stylish lower thirds, transitions, and text animations effortlessly. The Gal Toolkit has a massive, massive collection of lower thirds. So this is where you could create a lower third with your logo and your name and have it glitch in if you want. Or there are a bunch of different options there. There’s social media stuff, titles, screens, and it’s all animated. You can change the colors, you can change the font, you can obviously change the words in the titles, but I have a couple of favorites that I like to use.

Related: Which YouTube Editing Software is Right for YOU?

Final Touches and Exporting

Before exporting the video, the one thing you must do every time is review the entire footage to ensure nothing is overlooked. Watch the whole video from beginning to end. Make sure it looks good and sounds good. Make sure it ends when it’s supposed to end. This step is crucial to catch any potential glitches or incomplete exports. I’ve skipped this step before, and it really screwed things up for me. This has happened to me, perhaps maybe three times that I know of, where I’ve exported a video, specifically with Premiere Pro. And as soon as it’s done exporting, I will go and publish it to YouTube. And then I’ll get a comment from someone saying that the video seems to cut off before it’s supposed to. So it actually hadn’t fully exported from Premiere Pro.


Mastering Premiere Pro for YouTube video editing can significantly elevate the quality of your content. From setting up your project to adding final touches, you’ll be equipped to produce polished and professional videos that captivate your audience.