Pitch 3: Live Pitch Events

Pitch 3

Presentation and Live Pitch Events

Reminder: Before proceeding, be sure to check in with your mentor if you have any questions about whether your team will be presenting at a live pitch event. If you are, then we hope that our suggestions that we have gathered for you from experts in the field and former Technovation finalist teams will help you set the stage for success at this event!

Learning Objectives:

In this module, you will...

  • Learn how to prepare for your pitch
  • Create a presentation for your pitch
  • Discover techniques for delivering a memorable pitch
  • Learn how to respond effectively to questions that judges may ask your team

Congratulations, you have submitted your source code, pitch and demo videos, along with the other Technovation Challenge deliverables. If you happen to live in an area that is having a regional pitch event, your team will present your mobile app to a panel of judges in the first round of judging. One team from your regional pitch event will proceed to the semi-final round of judging, so it is important that you deliver a persuasive pitch to the judges.

 

Why Pitch?

The general purpose of a pitch is to get investors interested enough to have a second meeting. In a way, a pitch is like a short trailer for a movie that highlights all the essentials and piques your curiosity so that you are inspired to go see the feature length movie.

Your live pitch will be up to four minutes long, just as it was for your pitch video, but pitching live will require a different set of skills. Your pitch will be followed by a brief question and answer session with the judges. We strongly recommend that your team create a set of slides to go along with your live pitch. A slide deck with imagery will help make your presentation more memorable and help your team stand out. You will also need to know how to respond to questions that the judges may ask during their Q&A time with each team.

A slideshow (or slide deck) is a standard tool to use during a pitch. A pitch deck is a brief presentation, often created with PowerPoint, Keynote, Google slides, or Prezi, and is used to provide a quick overview of your business plan during meetings with potential investors or customers. Are you wondering how long your slide deck needs to be and what you should focus on? Here are some suggestions.

10/20/30 Rule

The 10/20/30 Rule is quite simple and goes like this: The presentation should have no more than 10 slides, last no longer than 20 minutes (except that in your case it will be 4 minutes), and have no smaller than 30 pt. font so people can easily read the slides.

This rule comes from Guy Kawasaki, who is a venture capitalist and marketing specialist who worked for Apple as an evangelist. He popularized the term “evangelist” in marketing and technology and has listened to hundreds of entrepreneurs pitch their companies.

You may be thinking that you want to get as much information as you can into your pitch because you only have a certain amount of time, right? Well, actually, no! The point of having what seems to be an impossibly small number of slides is that you will be forced to focus on only the essential information.  

Below are the topics that Guy Kawasaki thinks venture capitalists are interested in (1 slide per topic):

  • Title Slide. Include your app logo, your team name, and the names of your team members. Describe who did what on your team, and who helped youProblem/Opportunity. Describe the problem and your solution. Try to do this through images and not a lot of text. You may want to tell a story here, or find a good hook (more on that to come). Explain why your team’s solution is unique and helps relieve the problem.
  • Underlying technology. Describe the technology that is being used. Show images or schematics.
  • Business model. Who are your users and how will you get them to pay for it? Senior Division only
  • Market Plan. How will you reach your customer and get the word out?
  • Competitive Analysis. Provide a complete view of who your competition is and how your app is different from theirs.
  • Projections and milestones. For the junior division, you can focus on what your milestones will be for getting the app published and improved. For the senior division, focus on both the financial projections (try to have a 3 year projection) and your production milestones. You can also share your accomplishments, where you are to date with your app, you near future needs, and how much and how you would use the money you’re trying to raise.  Use this final slide to get your message across one last time.

For more information about pitch decks, take a look at this.

Activity

You can start by reviewing your pitch and demo videos and by taking notes on what you would like to get across to the judges before you begin work on your presentation.

Next, we recommend that you view two 2016 Technovation finalist live pitches, and take a look at their presentations. Think about:

  • What stood out about both of these live pitches?
  • What techniques did they use to deliver their pitches?
  • What was effective about their slides?
  • What would you do differently in your presentation, in terms of slide content and delivery?

Team A OOL, 2016

OOL connects would-be volunteers with local organizations that most need help. Here is the presentation deck.

California Coders Loc8Don8, 2016

Loc8Don8 simplifies the process of finding donation centers for a variety of materials. Here is their presentation.

“An entrepreneur is anyone who is willing to risk it all to change the world. You can still be entrepreneurial-minded, even if you are not a CEO.”

Nathan Gold, The Demo Coach

Deliver a Memorable Pitch

Nathan Gold has delivered over 15,000 presentations and co-authored a book about Giving Memorable Product Demos. He has coached people around the world for high stakes opportunities and funding, and he volunteered to coach our Technovation finalist teams in 2016 as they were preparing for the World Pitch Event. Here was some of his advice to our teams.

First and foremost, you will need to work on standing out because the judges will be hearing pitches from other teams, and your pitch is their primary takeaway.

The Opening, or the Hook

One way to stand out is by how you open your pitch. Here are a few different techniques that you can try in your opening:

  • Question. This is effective, but try not to ask obvious questions. Try to ask the audience a question that will really get them to think.
  • Imagine. For example, ”Imagine for a moment that you are sitting on Mars and staring back at Earth…” Be careful though. Using “Imagine” is okay, but try not to overuse it.
  • Statistics. If you start out with a statistic that is related to the problem you are trying to solve that gets your audience to think, you can grab their attention. But try to find information that is new and interesting, or use some information that people have not heard before so they will be curious.
  • Quote. You can use a good quote by someone famous, or not-so-famous, to encapsulate a point that you are going to bring across to your audience.
  • Story. This is a very effective way to engage an audience. Humans are natural storytellers. People relate to stories, remember them, and retell them. Is there a story you can tell that illustrates the problem you are trying to solve with your app? Why are you passionate as a team about solving this problem? Try to avoid using bullet points and use imagery instead.
  • Value proposition. What is the benefit your users will get when they use your app? Sometimes starting out with your value proposition is a good way to get people engaged. Very basically, you will want to say, “We help X do Y by doing Z.” You fill in the X with who you want to help, the Y with what you do for them, and you fill in the Z with how you do it.

Tip! When it comes to talking about your value proposition, realize that you are probably doing something greater than what you think! Find a way to very quickly summarize what that is.

There are some more examples here, or you can watch Nathan’s webinar from 2016 with Technovation here.

Create Your Presentation

Make a First Draft

Make a first draft of your presentation. You can use PowerPoint, Keynote, Google Slides, or Prezi. Don't worry about formatting when you begin. You can start with a white background and black font on your slides to begin with. Do not get caught up in anything but the information for first version. You could waste a lot of time trying to get it to look good, only to realize that you need to change your message or information.

Remember to keep your time limit in mind. The average person speaks 120-140 words per minute. You can try writing out what you would like to say during your presentation and if it exceeds 560 words, then you will risk going over your 4 minute limit. Remember to boil your idea down to its bare essentials, and focus on piquing the interest of your audience.

Make a Second Draft

For your second draft, add graphics and quotes to reinforce your message, and start focusing in on the visual elements of your presentation. Themes, images, colors etc. will come after the information is set. Find images that show your app and help to tell your story.

Refine your hook, or your opening. The first 10 seconds of your presentation are really important because that is when people decide whether they’re going to listen to the rest of your story or presentation. You will want to use imagery to help get your story across in those first few seconds.

Here is an example of how the information can look in the first draft of the slide on the left, versus the second draft of the slide on the right.

businessweekmarymeekers

Good luck! Here are some other presentation resources that focus on visuals and what some pitch decks looked like for a few startups, to inspire you:

Rehearse

You have created a second draft of your pitch deck and are ready to try it out. It’s time to rehearse and practice pitching in front of different audiences. You can start by pitching to your mentor.

If your team is working with a virtual mentor, don't worry. You can rehearse by video, like Google Hangout or Skype.

Here are some techniques you can practice and use:

  • Stand up straight, relax your shoulders, and take a deep breath
  • Look squarely towards your audience, and try to maintain eye contact throughout your presentation. You may need to glance at notes periodically, but avoid reading them word for word
  • Hold your hands in front of you naturally. When making key points, use your hands for emphasis, pointing to visual aids or raising and lowering them slightly in time with key points
  • Do a dress rehearsal after you feel comfortable presenting, and wear what you plan to wear on the day of your live pitch event

Be sure to have your audience ask you questions, so that you get an idea of what kinds of questions the judges may ask your team. Ask for feedback each time, and incorporate this before you practice your pitch to another audience.

 

“For preparing for the live pitch, I think it's most important to practice a lot to build confidence. I was at a summer program during the weeks leading up to the World Pitch and Allison and I would use Google Hangouts to practice our pitch together, which is a good option if the teams have difficulties arranging meeting times. It's also important to describe the app and all of its functions clearly so that the judges can really understand why it is new/special/exciting.”

–Jennifer John, 2016 Technovation Finalist

Responding to Questions (Q&A)

This informal Q&A part of your pitch could make an impact on your judges when they are considering which team should go on to the next round of judging. You will want to be prepared for this, and will want to ace it. Here are some more tips from Nathan Gold.

  • Maintain control. Remember, your team is in control! Don’t let your team get overwhelmed by questions. It is probably a good idea to have one person on the team decide who on the team will answer particular questions. Did one or two of the team work on the prototype? Then make sure they are the ones answering that kind of question. Did someone else come up with the logo? Allow that person to respond to a question about the logo. Any response should not be longer than about 30 seconds. Slow down, take a deep breath and pause before responding. That will show that you are confident about responding.
  • Listen. Too many times, people think they already know what people will ask, or they are not paying attention to what was asked. You could risk answering the wrong question this way. Don’t just answer the question you want to answer. If you are unsure about the question, you can always repeat it back to make sure you have it right. Also, do not interrupt the person asking the question, even if you have heard it many times before.
  • Don’t get defensive. Even if someone asks you a question that you know you covered in your presentation, please respond in a polite way. The judges have been listening to many presentations and they may not able to retain all the information. If you don’t agree with something the judges say, you can respond by saying, “Yes, and…” instead of “Yes, but…” Saying, “Yes, but...” creates an adversarial situation and negates what they have just said. Show them some respect when you listen to their question and let them know you care about answering it. You want to be dancing, not battling, right? You will see a big difference in how people react to you.
  • Respond to tough questions. There may be times where you are not able to answer a question. It’s okay to say that you don’t know the answer right now, but you should try and build a bridge to something you do know. Here are some examples:
    • I don’t know, however what I can tell you is…
    • I don’t know. Let me put that in perspective…
    • I don’t know. It’s important to remember that…
    • I don’t know. What I want to emphasize is…
    • I don’t know. Here is the key point…
    • I don’t know. What really matters is…
    • I don’t know but the most important issue is…
    • I don’t know. And an interesting question is…
  • Be mindful. How you respond to a questions and criticism matters. For example, if a judge says something very general like, “I think your product is too expensive.” You can say, “I appreciate that you think it’s too expensive. What are you comparing it to?” If you hear what they are comparing it to, you can better answer this comment.
  • Anticipate questions. Make a list of all the questions you think you will get. You can make a video recording of yourself or your team responding and then sit down and discuss whether you thought you responded well or what you could do differently. Here is a list of 40 of the top questions that investors ask during pitches that Nathan Gold has put together on his website

Attitude Check

Your team has worked hard, you are understandably tired, and you may be a little worried about your live pitch event. Have you thought about how you will cope with constructive feedback and questions?

Remember to pause and take time to process the questions you receive. By taking a moment to fully listen, checking your immediate reaction, and practicing different ways of responding, you will be able to be in control of the situation. You may also interpret some questions or feedback as criticism. Here is more information on that.

During the pitch event, your team will either be selected to advance to the next stage of judging for the competition, or it will not. Let’s take a moment to think about how you can respond to either scenario.

What if your team lost at school for a sports event and the other team gloated about winning? How would that feel? Not so great, right?

If your team lost, would you storm off of the playing field  or refuse to accept  a second place trophy? Even if it feels good to be angry for the moment, it can have longer term, negative effects. What do you think some of those effects might be?

Whether or not your team wins or loses, we hope you don’t lose sight of all that you have accomplished! Not many people can say that they have programmed a mobile app to solve a problem in their communities! You can hold your head high for all of these reasons and thank all the people who are there on the day of your pitch event to support you, like the judges, your mentors, your family, and your friends.  

Here are more tips on how to cope with winning and losing.

Reflect

Are you getting excited for your pitch yet? We hope so! You have created a presentation, rehearsed, thought of questions that your team may get asked, and are pretty much ready to go. Here are some questions you may want to consider between now and when your team presents live:

  • How is your pitch deck different from your pitch video and demo video?
  • What makes your solution and your team stand out? Why are you passionate about solving this problem?
  • What have you learned along the way and who can you thank on your team for that? Even though you may be trying to spend every last minute perfecting your pitch, we hope that you can take some time out to celebrate each other.
  • Who will you invite to the pitch event?

Additional Resources

Pitch 2: Make a Demo Video

Pitch 2

Make a Demonstration Video

Learning Objectives:

In this module, you will learn...

  • What makes a good demo video
  • How to develop an outline for demo video
  • Practical tips on how to create a demo video

What is a demo video?

A demo video is a product demonstration—you are showing off your mobile app and all its awesome features you created! The demo video should let the viewer experience the app as if they were a user, so they understand how the app works, how they might use it, and how it can help them. You will want to walk them through how to use the app, so they can get started on using it themselves!

“Ideas are easy. Implementation is hard.”

Guy Kawasaki, American marketing specialist, author, and Silicon Valley venture capitalist

Demo Video Requirements

Before you start making your demo video, let’s review the deliverables that you’ll be judged on:

  • Video can be up to 2 minutes long. A demo video should be short—even shorter than a pitch video. It should be able to stand alone and be primarily focused on the features on the app.
  • Clearly demonstrate the functionality of your app. You can get as creative as you want here! Use a variety of methods to tell your story. Some examples are: skits, slide presentations, testimonials from users, or interviews. You might even want to add some text, arrows, or images to the video to clearly demonstrate what you are talking about.
  • Highlight the unique features of your app. Show off all the awesome things you developed. These features will help you stand out from the crowd! If you can show them off in an original way, even better!
  • Focus on the user interface. Many judges will be using this video to understand how your app works and how a user will experience the app, so it’s important to show how and why your app would solve the problem in your community.
    • Show how the user navigates from screen to screen on the app. Judges will want to see that there are no bugs and that the user has no difficulty figuring out how to use the app and navigate through it.
  • The video must be uploaded to YouTube or Vimeo. Your submission should be accessible to the judges through a link on the Technovation submission platform. It should be uploaded and the link should be shared; we recommend using YouTube or Vimeo, but you can use other applications as long as the video can be accessible to the judges. You can make the video private or unlisted, so that only people with the video's URL can see it.

Activity

To get a better sense of the what a demo video is, we’ve added a few videos from previous Technovation seasons below. As you watch them, take note of what you like and want to incorporate into your own demo video! Here are some questions to consider while you watch the examples:

    • How should your video start?
    • How should your video end?
    • What features should you emphasize?
    • What methods should you use to convey your message?

Team AMEKA Safe Guard Driving, 2015

This gives a thorough walkthrough of the app, speeding past tedious footage where data is being entered so more time is allowed to explain the app functionality.

Northgate STEM Unwind, 2014

This video explains its features only using visuals and very little written explanation. This is good if your team is concerned about language barriers for users and judges.

.comPote Active Citizen, 2016

The narration is concise and the video efficiently covers all the app features.

Outline Your Demo Video

Now that you've seen some examples and have started thinking about how you want to explain your app's features, it's time to start putting all the pieces together! As with anything, it's best to make a plan before you start diving into producing your video. Follow the steps below to break the planning process into manageable steps, and set yourself up to make a great demonstration video that will wow judges and users alike!

Step 1: Storyboard.

In order to make a good demo video, you can take a similar approach that you used for your pitch video by creating a storyboard or outline. Decide on how you will walk through and show off your app features. You can try using the Storyboard Creator app or you can use your own method. Do whatever works best for you and your team! Here's an example from Groove HQ.

  • Introduce the app. Quickly demonstrate what the problem you are trying to solve, and how your app solves it. Try doing this in only 1-2 sentences!
  • Introduce the solution your app provides. Explain what your product (your app) does. You should show off the end product after all the coding you did.
  • Prove that it works. Show that your app is functional and provide a demonstration of how it works. Walk through the app's features in the same way that a user would, and describe their functions and advantages.
    • If your app is not complete, that’s okay! Show off as much as you can. You can also present what you plan on building next, or plans for your future features and show what they might look like.
Step 2: Write your script.

Using your storyboard/outline as a guideline, add more information. Write out what you are planning to say, how you will say it, and what will show up on the screen. This document will be the key reference for the rest of your demo video development. Keep in mind, the script is likely to change as you develop more app features!

Tip! Some teams feel more comfortable speaking in a language other than English for their pitch and demo videos. You may do this, but you must provide English subtitles in your video for judges to understand it.

Produce Your Demo Video

Now that you have everything planned, it's time to roll up your sleeves and start making the video! Follow these steps to put your plan into action.

Step 1: Film your video.

Record what you are planning on showing in your video, whether it’s screenshots, screen recording, demonstration, or a combination.

  • Screenshots/screengrabs: Static (non-moving) images that depict what the app will look like on the phone. Make sure your images are high resolution and the viewer can easily see what you are trying to show them.
  • Screen recording: Video recording of the different app functions, which typically has narration. Screen recordings can be done through Screencast-o-matic or just by filming through a camera to show the app in action.


  • Demonstration: Short skit to show how the app is used in life; can include some screen recordings too. More imaginative and relies on storytelling.
    • Tip! Check your video and make sure everything is in focus and easy to see. If it isn’t, try checking your camera and reshooting to get better footage. Don’t be afraid of filming a lot of retakes—it takes time to get it just right!


Step 2: Record your voiceover.

Optional

Narration can be helpful when it comes to video to help describe your app. However, a lot of videos do without narration and even have very little text! It’s up to you to decide. If you do choose to do a voiceover, make sure to use a really good microphone so the sound is clear. Or, you can try using a recorder app on a phone in a really quiet place (closets work well)!

Tip: If your audio is hard to hear or is in another language, try adding subtitles or text on the screen!

Step 3: Edit the video together.

Gather all your footage, sounds, images, screenshots, etc. It’s time to put all the work together! There are a variety of tools that you can use to create your video.

Step 4: Review, edit, and repeat.

You put your video together and now it’s time to refine it. Remember that this video is important to judging, since it is a product demonstration to show the judges how your app can be useful. Keep in mind what kind of messages you are trying to convey and how you want your message to be received by your audience.

You can always ask your mentor or someone outside of your team for a second opinion, since the judges have different backgrounds and you’ll want to be able to get different types of people to understand your message. You can also have them try the app after they watch demo and see if the demo video matches up with what they experienced as a user; ask for feedback on any missing parts not covered in the demo video. For additional help, you can consult the Additional Resources below.

Step 5: Upload your video for submission.

Once you’ve finalized your video, upload your hard work! Just like the pitch video, you can upload in through any kind of application you’d like, but YouTube or Vimeo is preferred. Here are a couple guides that can help:

Reflect

Good job! You finished creating a demo video for your app. This is not easy, you should be really proud! The demo app is really helpful when it comes to letting potential users or investors understand your product. You can use this video to show the world what you’ve been able to create, starting from just an idea to a real app!

As you look back on how you were able to create your demo video, think about:

  • Was it hard to envision how you were going to demonstrate your app?
  • Did your video change from when you outlined or storyboarded it? How did it change, and why?
  • Who helped you the most in developing your demo video? Make sure to thank them!
Additional Resources:

Pitch 1: Create a Pitch Story and Video

Pitch 1

Create a Pitch Story and Video

Learning Objectives:

In this module, you will learn...

  • What are the key parts of a pitch
  • How to create a storyboard for a pitch
  • Tips and tricks on how to film your pitch video

What is a Pitch?

A pitch is a form of words used when trying to persuade someone to buy or accept something. It can be in the form of a video, speech, slide deck, or even a written essay. In Technovation, all teams must submit a pitch video as part of their submission. Some participants might even do a live pitch! Check in with your mentor to see if you will be doing in a live pitch. But, overall your pitch should tell the story of how your app started as an idea and became a business.

A pitch’s purpose is to persuade people to invest in your app and your company, while a demo video's purpose is to showcase the function of your app. You will have up to 4 minutes to make a case for your app in your pitch video. You should cover the 5 W’s + H: who, what, when, where, why, and how in this video. Answering the 5 W’s provide necessary information that convinces people your app will be successful. Don’t be afraid to show some creativity here to stand out from the crowd!

Think back to the Ideation Unit and how you developed the idea for your app. You’ll use some of this information in this video. Your pitch video should be able to answer the 4 problem statement questions and to make it even stronger, we have included a few more elements. Here are the key parts of a pitch:

  • Problem: Identify the problem and community. Give some background and compelling reasons why it is worth solving. You should be able to describe or show the problem you are solving in one or two sentences.
  • Solution: Describe your solution by explaining how your app solves the problem that you previously stated.  
  • Target market: Define who is affected by this problem and give some background on your target market (also known as target customer). Here, you’d want to refer to some facts and figures that you gathered in the Market Research unit.
  • Competition: Explain why your app is the best solution compared to any other solutions. If there are no direct competitors, explain how and why your app will solve the problem. Describe how you did your competitor analysis.
  • Team: Tell us about who is building this business and what role they play. You might even want to explain why the team is passionate about solving this particular problem. Your audience will want to know who is behind all this great work and what motivates them!
  • Financial & Milestones: Briefly review your business model on how you plan on making revenue to support your business and what next steps you are planning. If it is a non-profit, explain how and why you chose that approach.

Activity: Find Inspiration

Below are pitch videos from past Technovation seasons that can help you get started. As you watch them, think about what you like and how you’d incorporate that into your videos. Ask the following questions:

  1. What makes their pitch stand out?
  2. Do they use visuals? Are they well used?
  3. Is their message strong? Is it clear?
  4. Does the team seem knowledgeable? Have they done their homework?
  5. Do they clearly explain why their app solves their problem?
  6. Does the team portray confidence? How?
  7. Does the team make you believe their business will succeed based on their video?
  8. Was their video easy to understand and clearly organized? Why?



California Coders Loc8 Don8, 2016
Clearly defined problem and solution



Northgate STEM Unwind, 2014
Well organized and clear and clear argument that is easy to understand



Dharavi Girls for Change, 2015
Compelling story and illustration of the problem



Nightingale Arrive, 2013
Great narration and explanation of how the app works



Team Ștefănești Apă Pură, 2014
Great intro, smart use of graphics and subtitles



Team Charis Discardious, 2015
Clear enunciation and passion, speaking directly to viewer

Pitch through Storytelling

In order to develop a strong pitch, you will want to tell a story. People respond and grasp a story more easily than a straightforward explanation with figures and numbers. Sometimes it takes showmanship to get your point across. Storytelling is something that gives targeted messaging and emotional power behind your business. Telling great stories relies on eliciting emotions and gives technical information in an elegant way. Here’s a video provided by Accenture that can help you understand what storytelling is:


"Investors invest in stories, not businesses"

–Babak Nivi, Venture Hacks/AngelList

Activity: Storyboard

A storyboard helps develop a strong argument for your app and makes sure you can tell a compelling story in order to convince potential investors to fund your app. It's a tool to help organize your story, just like an outline for a long essay. This will help you organize your thoughts, develop your pitch deck and even your pitch video! The following activity was developed by Brendan Baker.

This activity will require your team to collaborate and brainstorm, so get a space you can work in together with a whiteboard, a large piece of paper, or use this printout. If you are remote from the rest of your team, try an online collaboration tool, like Google Drawings or try a few other options. Here’s a storyboarding app that can also help! Just be sure to set up your template similar to what is shown on this printout.

      1. First you’re going to brainstorm all your ideas in these categories:
        • Core story: overview of the story you want to tell. It should be summarized in a short sentence or two
        • Highlights: 3-5 strong selling points points about your business, so you can show off the cool functions or abilities of your app
        • Hesitations: 3-5 items that investors might worry about if they were to invest in your business, and why your app is still the best solution
        • Notes: any other things that will add to your story

        List all of your thoughts! Write down all the knowledge you have about your app. Fill out the right side of the page as much as you can using the guidelines below. And don’t worry, you can always add to this part later.

      2. To start on your slides, you’ll write a title on top of each box. These slides will cover general topics, like the ones below described by Guy Kawaski, a marketing specialist and venture capitalist. You can always reorder the slides to improve the flow of your story!
        • Problem - identify the issue and make it easy to understand
        • Your solution - demonstrate how you will solve the problem you highlighted (Hint: your app!)
        • Business model - explain how your business will make money
        • Underlying magic/technology - describe the features and functions of your app you developed
        • Marketing and sales - define who your customer is and how you will sell to them
        • Competition - show who are the people you are up against and how you are a better option
        • Team - showcase the people you work with
        • Projections and milestones - give an overview of what you’ve done, what you plan to do, and highlight major things you’ve accomplished
        • Status and timeline - report the latest updates and what you plan to do in the future
        • Summary and call to action - review of what you told everyone and what you want the audience do next
      3. Once you’re satisfied with the order of your slides, move on to draft each of the slide messages. This information will go at the bottom of the boxes. This is the main take away message you want the audience to know after they see this slide. If you need to move the slides around to make sure the flow of the story makes sense, go ahead and switch things up!
      4. Now you’ll want to add content to the slides that will communicate your message clearly. When you develop these slides, remember that the end goal of this storyboarding will be a video. Your slides do not have to end up being just a presentation deck. Your video can include skits, demonstrations, figures, or even interviews. Get creative in how you want you convey your message!

You also can draw rough diagrams or images of what figures you want to add. You want to tell the most concise story possible. By the end your slides should start filling up like this example from Brendan Baker:

Brendan Baker example storyboard

    1. Take a look at all the storyboard slides you created and make sure they are easy to understand for a wide audience. You’ll want to be self-critical—don’t keep anything that doesn’t add to your story or your slides’ message. Ask yourself:
      • Does it make sense?
      • How does it flow?
      • Is the core story being delivered?
      • Are the hesitations and highlights told in an elegant way?
      • Do the different ways of messaging tell the story in the best possible way?
    2. Ask a mentor or someone outside of your team to give you feedback on everything: your flow, the different ways are messaging information, and if it is telling the story you want. You’ll be presenting to a lot of people with different backgrounds, so asking people with different opinions can help you appeal to a wide audience. Remove anything that is unnecessary or extra.

When you are satisfied with your storyboard, you are ready to get started on filming your video! For more tips and tricks on developing a strong pitch, you can check out the additional resources in the reflect section below.

Create a Pitch Video

Once you’ve created your storyboard, you are ready to bring your story to life! Teams who are doing online submissions can develop a pitch video using the directions below.

To get started on your pitch video, you’ll want to first review the pitch video requirements below so you get an idea of what your end product should look like. You might even also want to go back and take a look at some past teams’ submissions to get a better idea of what was submitted before.

Pitch Video Requirements
  • All members of the team are encouraged to speak. Everyone should participate in the filming of this video, so judges can get to know all the team members and their role in the business.
  • Video can be up to 4 minutes long. Pitch videos should be short and straight to the point, but be able to carry its message across.
  • Information can be presented in any format the team wants. You can get as creative as you want here! You can use a variety of methods to tell your story. Some examples are: skits, slide presentations, testimonials from users, or interviews.
  • Cite images and information. Make sure to ask for consent or give acknowledgment to the person who created it. You can learn more about copyright, fair use, and public domain here. If there are people who will be acting in your video, or if you are taking footage in your neighborhood and people are in the footage, please have them sign a release form. Here is a template for a photo or video release form that you can use. Wikimedia Commons is a good place to start when looking for images you can use.
  • The video must be uploaded to YouTube or Vimeo. Your submission should be accessible to the judges through a link on the Technovation submission platform. It should be uploaded and the link should be shared; we recommend using YouTube or Vimeo, but you can use other applications as long as it can be accessible to the public.
 Write your script

Now that you know your video requirements, you can begin working on the pitch script. You can use your storyboard as an outline and start writing on your script. You can always modify and change your storyboard as you develop your script further.

Scripts generally have three main parts:

  1. Hook: You will want to have a strong opening, something that is attention grabbing that makes you pay attention. Is there a story you can tell that illustrates the problem you are trying to solve with your app? Why are you passionate as a team about solving this problem?
  2. Problem & Solution: Present the problem and your solution. Don’t just tell us, but give information to support the problem and solution so it is convincing to the viewer.
  3. Call to Action: You presented an exciting project that you have been working hard on, and what’s next? Let the viewer know what you are planning on doing next, or ask the viewer to do something at the end of your video-- whether it’s invest in your business or join your team.

Once you have a draft of your script, review it and refine it. You might even want a mentor or someone to help you take a look at it. It has to be understood by a wide audience.

Practice, practice, practice!

Rehearse your pitch!

Practice with your teammates and different audiences to get feedback. You want your audience to see you as as knowledgeable, confident, and capable so they can trust that your company is set up for success. You don’t want to memorize your script word for word, since that can come off pretty stale. Here are some presentation tips for you as you practice:

  • Speak clearly and confidently
  • Make eye contact with the viewer or camera
  • Don’t use filler words like "um”, “so”, or  “like"; try pausing or taking a breath instead.
  • Use open body language, large gestures (more tips on body language)
  • SMILE! Be proud of your work

You can also practice with some of the activities provided by Accenture below.

Film your video

Once you and your team are comfortable with your script and know it well, you’re ready to film! For this part, you’ll need to get access to a video camera or video recording device, an audio-recording device, and a computer to edit your video.

When you film your video, keep in mind a few presentation tips:

  • Make sure everyone is loud and clear. Good audio is critical to understanding your pitch. Make sure there is minimum background noise.
  • You can use cue cards to help convey parts of your script and to maintain eye contact with the camera or your audience. Here is more information.
  • Make eye contact with the camera, imagine there’s an audience watching you as you present
  • Don’t chew gum or candy when speaking.
  • Dress for success! Make sure your outfits are appropriate. Avoid wearing busy patterns, since they can look confusing on camera.
  • Pause or feel free to retake some shots-- you don’t have always to do it in one take. You can always edit later.

Videography tips:

  • Shoot using plenty of light so the subject is well lit. Make sure not to film with bright a window or light source behind your subject. This will backlight your subject, turning them into a silhouette on film!
  • Keep your camera or phone stable using either a tripod or flat surface.
  • Shoot videos in landscape mode instead of vertical.
  • Choose backgrounds carefully to not be too distracting (ex: placing items behind someone that would appear coming out of their head in the video).

Think about where you might want to edit to add visuals or use voiceovers to finalize your video.

Edit your video

There are different techniques you can use to create your pitch video. Video editing can take a very long time and will take a lot of edits until you get to your final product. It will help to give yourself a lot of time for this step. You’ll want to revisit this and revise it until you are satisfied with the final product. Remember, the pitch video is one of the most important messages that your judges will take from your project.

Video Editing Resources

Upload your video

Now that you’re done with your video, you are ready to share it with the world!

You can upload in through any kind of application you’d like, but YouTube or Vimeo is preferred. Here are guides that can help:

Reflect

Congratulations, you've created a storyboard and pitch for your app! You were able to develop a story, film a video, and produce an awesome pitch video. What an accomplishment! Celebrate with your team and give yourselves some time to think about all the challenges you were able to overcome. Consider the following:

  • Was it difficult to come up with your storyboard?
  • Did the video come out the way you imagined? Why or why not?
  • What challenges did you face while filming? Or editing?

Make sure to upload your video link to the Technovation submission platform.

Here are some additional resources if you're looking for more tips:

Additional Resources: