Five Tips For Creating a Better Video for Your 2014 PanelPicker Proposal

Written by Hugh Forrest | July 23, 2013

Cat Camera

Guest post by Noah Kuttler

After watching hundreds of PanelPicker proposal videos for SXSW 2013, I am now even more convinced that a great video can sell voters on your proposal in the same way that a poor video will turn them away.

If you are looking to do a classic “speaking to camera” video, I put together five tips that will help you showcase yourself, your presentation skills and your panel topic.

Get in and get out: When planning your video, think like a commando. You need to sell attendees in three and a half to five minutes. Any longer and you’ve lost them.

Be creative and have fun: it sounds obvious, but so many of the videos I watched looked like hostage “proof of life” footage. The creativity and energy you show in your video will resonate with the attendees. That said, humor is very subjective (think “The Aristocrats”), so unless you are paid to be funny for a living, it’s risky.

Be careful with possible music selections: Music can do a lot to help set the tone of your video, but don’t forget that the majority of attendees will be watching this in the future and the perfect song choice today might be the most annoying thing in the world in March 2014. Like humor, music can be risky.

Script your dialogue, do multiple takes and watch your video playback: It’s most likely that your first take will have a lot of “umms,” “ahs” and a few “likes” so do a few takes and watch your playback each time. Check for your audio/video quality and how you’re showing up on camera. Adjust as you go until you feel comfortable with your final recording.

Have your ex watch your video before you post it: In truth, it doesn’t have to be an ex boyfriend/girlfriend, but consider asking people who will give you honest and direct feedback to critique your video before you post it.

I hope that these tips help you make a more effective video for your PanelPicker proposal. And don't forget to get all of your materials into the interface before the end of the day on Friday, July 26.