The one-minute pitch: Make every second count
6th June 2016
I wish I had £1 for every person we interview who says “I wish I’d said …. ” as I turn the camera off.  It often doesn’t matter.  In most cases the piece works well with the footage we’ve captured, and viewers don’t miss the forgotten message. But of course it does matter to the person in front of the camera. They feel that with a bit more preparation they’d have got all their points across. If you’re an entrepreneur with a good story, a one-minute video is a great way to tell it.  The production doesn’t have to be complicated; a simple piece to camera can be very effective. The key to success is proper planning and preparation to ensure you get all your messages across and make every second count Want to give it a go? At Venturefest Oxford, on 29 June, we’re offering entrepreneurs the chance to give a one-minute pitch to video, to be booked in advance with us so participants will have time to prepare. If you’d like to take part, get in touch with us.  For now, here are some simple guidelines to get you started:
  • Speak to one person: Have one viewer in your mind when writing your script and speak to them.  You’ll be more focused this way. Try reading your script out loud when you’re working on it, making adjustments to ensure you sound natural.
  • Keep it simple: You can’t say everything, so think carefully about what your viewer would love to hear.  Avoid jargon and complex language - you want your message to be clear, simple and memorable.
  • Make it personal: Your viewer wants to hear from YOU, so make your personality come across.
  • Visualise: Your viewer will be listening and watching.  Support your words with simple visuals and, if there’s no budget for cutaways, use some props.
  • Make your brand stand out: Ensure your viewer remembers your name and your brand.  Don’t let them confuse you with someone else.
  • Repeat and summarise: Make your key points several times in different ways. Get the message home.
Suppose you have a new product and are speaking to a potential customer.  You’re giving a piece to camera with cutaway shots and graphics.  Here’s an outline sketch for a 60-second piece:
  • Introduce yourself: Who you are and why you are in business. 5 secs
  • What is it that people need? Explain, in simple terms, the problems your idea will solve. 10 secs
  • What is your solution? Describe what your idea does that wasn’t possible before. What opportunities does it open up for the buyer or user? 10 secs
  • Why is your solution better than anyone else’s? What’s the compelling reason to buy from you? 10 secs
  • Why should anyone believe you? What makes you capable, what are your credentials, your passion for this idea? 10 secs
  • What’s your plan: Your next landmarks. Capture your viewer’s imagination about the future possibilities. 10 secs
  • Finally … summarise your business in one simple sentence.  Tell them why it will make the world a better place. 5 secs.
Book your One Minute Pitch with us If you’re attending Venturefest and would like to give a one-minute piece to camera, email Sam Cooper [email protected] to book a time slot.  We’ll only have a few available so get in touch as quickly as possible.  The video will take place on our stand (Number 13) during the show. See you at Venturefest!

About the author

Oxford Digital Media
James Tomalin is founder and Managing Director of Oxford Digital Media (ODM). Since 2005 it has grown to become one of the city‰Ûªs leading video production houses. Based in central Oxford, the facility features a green-screen studio, post production suites and has full capability to shoot in 4K. Led by James, the ODM team has a reputation for expert visual storytelling through professional media production.

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Wednesday 11th September 2019
Oxford Brookes University,
Headington Campus