Looking to differentiate your startup’s story from the thousands of other static slide decks out there? A video pitch deck could be the advantage you need to secure a fundraising check.
When creating a standard pitch deck for investors, you want to efficiently guide them to the story, stats and people that make you different. You’ll feature the same information in video form, while adding some personality and human emotion. Plus you — not the reader — will control the narrative.
The 30th class at Alchemist Accelerator recently celebrated their graduation from the program with a virtual demo day at the Amazon Web Services Startup Lofts in San Francisco. Twenty-three companies — specializing in everything from payments to ecommerce to aerospace — pitched investors with short videos.
Let’s explore the basics of the video pitch and some strategies that these startups used to separate their pitches:
Why Make a Video Pitch Deck?
The average venture capital firm spends about three minutes and 20 seconds reviewing a pitch deck from a seed-stage company. You could argue that’s not enough time, but you can’t control how long your potential investor is engaged. It’s also difficult to guarantee that a VC focuses on the parts of your deck that you think are most important.
If you only have three minutes, why not take control of how your pitch deck is perceived?
Think of a video pitch deck as a three-minute commercial for your startup, including the following information:
- who you are
- what you do
- why you’re different; and
- how to get in contact with you.
Most video pitches involve a founder or co-founders walking the viewer through the basics. You’ll sometimes see a green screen effect, with the founder’s profile appearing in front of the slides. Graphics and animation help capture and maintain the viewer’s attention.
Video Pitch Deck Tools
Thankfully, you don’t need to be anywhere close to a video expert to ace your video pitch. There are plenty of software platforms and apps that can help:
CloudApp is a video recording platform that allows users to share screen captures and screen recordings. You can use CloudApp to talk through slides while keeping your face and profile on screen.
If you’re looking to achieve professional graphics without professional help, Powtoon could be of use. This software lets you create short videos and graphics animations to include in your video pitch deck.
While a founder usually leads the charge, it’s OK to have a buddy help enhance your video pitch. Vyond helps you make short videos with animated characters.
Pitchtape is an all-in-one platform built specifically for video pitches. You can create online pitch portals and host pitch events.
5 Tips to Enhance your Video Pitch
Now that you’ve got some software to help, it’s time to focus on the content of your video.
Include Customer Testimonials
Founders and leadership should be the stars of your video pitch deck, but a cameo from a loyal user can communicate your company’s commitment to your customers. Even a 15-second selfie video can act as a powerful case study. Plus, it breaks up the monotony of having one speaker on screen for three minutes.
Don’t Read Off a Script
Speaking on video can turn even the best public speakers into nervous wrecks. Nonetheless, it’s easy to tell when a founder is simply reading notes off a screen by their monotone voice or stolen glances off screen.
Resist the urge to rely on a script. Consider the cookout rule: You should talk to your audience like you would to a family member or friend at a cookout. Don’t start throwing expletives around, but it’s better to talk like a well-rehearsed, normal person instead of a robot who’s reading off a teleprompter.
Wear Company-Branded Clothing
It’s a small thing, but don’t miss a chance to show off your logo and branding. Wearing branded clothing helps keep your company name and logo on the mind of the viewer, and it adds a little more personality than standard formal wear.
Bring Up Your Competitors
Remember that an investor pitch is about proving that your company’s approach is different. While you don’t want to waste too much time on your competitors, it’s important to frame the market landscape. Use your market and competitive intelligence to show you’ve done your research.
Say What You’re Looking For
Investors should leave your video knowing whether or not you’re a potential fit. Some VCs only invest in certain industries or at specific growth stages. You don’t want pre-seed specialists reaching out if you need a Series A, or vice versa. Make the connections as easy as possible by clearly outlining what you’re hoping to achieve in the next six to 12 months.
You’ve got all you need to succeed, including the right tools and some tips for success. Throw on your startup sweatshirt, fire up your equipment and start making your video pitch deck.