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almost 11 years ago

How to make a great submission video

Aside from your product design itself, your submission video is one of the most important (and exciting) elements of your submission! In fact, it’s often one of the first things that judges and voters review.

That said, don’t be intimidated. A polished video is great, but the story behind your product is what’s most important.

You’ve already heard from IDEO on how to tell a great story. Now learn how to translate that story into a great video!

Tips on making a great video

  • What’s your elevator pitch? Be sure to explain why your product is awesome in the first few seconds. You can get into the details of how it works later on in the video, but treat the opening seconds of your video as you would a movie trailer or TV ad: pique your audience’s interest.
  • Include some use cases. Explain what your product does and how others would use it. Demonstrating such functionality helps judges and voters understand and appreciate your product design.
  • Keep it simple. Per the official rules, your video cannot be longer than five minutes. As Thomas Jefferson once said, “The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.”
  • Don’t wait until the last minute to upload your video. Keep in mind that the time it takes to upload/process a video on YouTube or Vimeo varies greatly depending on the format of your original video, file size, upload traffic and Internet connection speed. As such, uploading your video could take anywhere from a few minutes to several hours or more.
  • Get organized. Write out a script of what you’ll say/show in your video, rehearse it before recording and keep in mind all of the above!

Don't know much about making videos? Check out these helpful screencasting tools.


As always, we’re here to help. If you have any questions about video requirements or the challenge in general, feel free to shoot us an email at with "Next Top Makers" in the subject line.