UT Startup Lab Recommends: How to Make a Good Video Pitch

For the 1st time sTARTUp Lab selected top 10 teams to compete at Kaleidoskoop Finals based on video pitches. Teams were given freedom in production and editing, the only requirement was 3minute length and content keywords. As a result, we received remarkable number of interesting and engaging videos. Since idea presentation in the form of a video pitch is needed skill in the studies and at work Maret Ahonen, Leader of STARTER programme and sTARTUp Lab at the University of Tartu is giving tips about how to be convincing in video pitch.

According to Maret Ahonen, students were very smart and creative when producing videos – each video could be seen as a work of art. „We received videos with rapid scene changes and inspiring individuals talking about their product value and market potential. We also got videos with a white background where presenter looked directly into the camera and delivered carefully structured text. The common features though, were commitment to work done, the desire to attract attention and get to the Finals”, added Maret.

The form in which you put your current state of product development into video matters a lot, since you cannot give additional explanations or answer to the questions. Therefore, you need to plan a storyboard with clear content about product or service.


6 tips to follow when making a video pitch:  

  1. Create interest! 3 minutes is long enough for a simple explanation: what is your product, how it works and how are you going to make money with it. The overall aim is to create interest and generate „tell me more“ and/or „when do you launch“- feeling.
  2. Tell the story that has a beginning, body and closure! You may start with a story of why the problem you are solving is important to you, talk about your solution, market and money. Do not forget to sum-up your roadmap and future plans or if the situation requires, add the call of action.
  3. Show your prototype! Show your product and present strong arguments about its value and novelty.
  4. Keep arguments balanced! Persuasive pitch has emotional and rational arguments balanced. For example, emotional arguments about the problem help listeners to identify with the pain however, ignoring facts and numbers, does not build credibility. Moreover, appeal to emotion does often not leave time to talk about the product, customer or business model. On the other hand, pitch full of data and technical specifications without meaning is also boring for the listener.
  5. Speak from the heart, do not read the text! A good presenter does not read the text. It is so much easier to keep a fluent conversation about your product or service. Besides feeling good and relaxed makes your breathing and voice natural.
  6. Simple and correct technical implementation! Video pitch should have technical implementation and graphics that help the viewer to understand the message and not to confuse them. It is not a product commercial yet, but pitch targeted to gain attention of the judges or potential investors. Appropriate light, minimalistic background, clean graphics and nice looking prototype and the presenter are always a plus.

Excellence requires time! Invest time and patience into your video pitch production – you might not get the desired result with the first try. But the latter is perhaps needless to say as it is the common truth among people with start-up mind-set.


Kaleidoskoop winning teams Sorter and SoulCare share their experience

Record, analyse, improve! Instant viewing of the video pitch shows you quickly your good and bad aspects. Change of text, pauses, volume of your voice or storyboard gives eventually the satisfying result. Ask feedback from not only the team mates but also mentors.

Do not rush! Emotions are high and you want to talk much about what you have done, but this is not the goal.  The goal is to deliver the most essential information and do it by heart. Shorter text leaves space for emphasizing the value you provide and make your pitch more understandable. Speaking too slowly about sophisticated things or using long sentences confuse listeners. The key is to use short and sense-making sentences.

Be open to new ideas and problems that need solutions! Join STARTER programme in autumn to turn ideas into reality. More information: www.startuplab.ut.ee