Should you include a video in your investor presentation or sales presentation? "Video" is a very generic term for different types of videos. Whether you need them depends on your specific situation.

  • An quick capture of a spontaneous 1-2 minute pitch can be a great way to convey your idea in a conversational style. In front of the camera, people are much more focussed and to the point than in a regular presentation setting. In case of an investor pitch, a short video can give a potential investor a good first impression of the management team without the need to schedule a face-to-face meeting
  • A 1-2 minute cartoon or product commercial is a lot more expensive and time consuming to make. If you use talented cartoonists and/or actors, a video can be a much more effective way to get your message across than via slides. Consider it when you can use the video for multiple occasions, your presentations, but also online to share it with a very large audience. Unlike slides, videos are very hard to change, so you need to have your messages completely nailed before you commit your investment. Some videos however make a point that could easily have been made in 2 simple slides. These types of videos give the best ROI when there is an unexpected twist or slightly or a slightly more complicated story to tell.
  • Costumer feedback is great to capture on camera. A "live" reaction of a real person is so much more impactful than a boring quote full of buzzwords on a slide. Customer interviews are not very expensive to make.
  • Some technologies require complicated 3 dimensional visualisations, very hard to do in presentation slides, very easy to do in a video. In many startups, these videos get used over a long period of time. To protect your investment, make the video as clean as possible without audio, or text and typography. You can still use your video when the story changes a bit. I use these clean videos a lot as sources of high resolution screenshots. Instead of showing the full clip, I take 3-5 screen shots and add comment boxes on slides.
  • Videos can be great to explain a problem and the corresponding solution if the props are a bit hard to bring to a meeting (nuclear reactor cleaning material for example). 

I have not mentioned in this summary the spectacularly animated product introduction video. A lot of noise, a lot of moving effects. Movie trailers are good to promote movies, but might not be the best investment when it comes to pitching business ideas.

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