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Lesson # 90 Distractions Can Hurt Your Inventions Success

rogerbrown's Avatargold

Having had the opportunity to review a large amount of videos made by Inventors hoping to get a company interested in licensing their idea I wanted to give some advice Inventors may find helpful. Many Inventors have great ideas but allow distractions to hurt their chances of success. They don’t consider how they come across in a video presentation when your audiences focus is not on the actual product but the background you are in, the background sounds, your actions, what you are wearing or your language.

I have seen videos where the Inventor is explaining or demonstrating the product where they had dogs in the room barking as they were describing the product or kids running through the room screaming as they pass by their Mom who is trying to explain the product.

I have seen people do a great job explaining their product in a video but the T-Shirt they were wearing at the time had a number of highly vulgar words in big bold print on it. This is not something you can show to a prospective client looking for a children’s product. Have seen a Dad doing a video of his exercise product and yell off camera for the kids to “Shut the _ _ _ _ up!!!” and then calmly go right back to his presentation. Do you want to show that video to a prospective company for licensing?

Saw a video where the person was shooting it in their den area and all you could do was keep staring at the huge holes in the sheet rock where you could see into the next room and the Police Caution tape in the background. You wanted to know what the heck happened there.

Had another video where the person picked their nose while demonstrating a kitchen utensil. And another where in the background you see the Mother was helping her child on and off the toilet and wiping their butt as the Dad is demonstrating the product. Granted this is an everyday function when you have small kids, but should it be in your video promoting your product?

Some people like to use music as an overlay as they speak. This is fine unless it is a song with words that would make a sailor blush. Or the volume of the music overrides your talking. And you have to remember just because you like a particular style of music does not mean everyone does.

Superimposing large scrolling words across the video screen as you demonstrate the product may be a distraction especially if they are totally different than what you are saying at the time. The viewer may not know which to focus their attention on and miss an important point you are trying to make. Or the words are so large they can no longer see the product demonstration.

Having your video showing your product in action and seeing your product fail to perform as you described is not the time to look at the camera and say “I’m sure you guys can fix that problem”. Or filming your product so far away from the camera that it is hard to make out what is happening as you describe it.

Had one Inventor show himself in a video just talking about the product for 4 minutes and then at the end tell the viewer if they wanted to see the product in action they would need to do it in person and fly him and his wife to their location and pay for a hotel and all their expenses. This was on a product that had no patent, no PPA and a prototype he stated was in need of repairs.

Having a video that is 18 minutes long and the first 12 minutes are you talking about how you came up with the idea, the ones that didn’t work, how you used your cousins garage because your wife kept complaining about how much space your project took up in your garage are all things the viewer does not care to hear.

All any company wants to know is if the product will make them money. Make your presentation short, concise and to the point. You want it to grab their attention so they “GET” the idea and can see its market value. Inventing is a business, treat it like one.

Tracey Kennedy
Mark Bartlett
Robert Pontius
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rpontius's Avatarg8_badge

Excellent points. I will say that I feel that those of us with young kids (I have 3 kids under 8 years old) are severely disadvantaged when it comes to making videos. There's almost no time and no place in my house that is "safe" to make a video and when the kids have *finally* gone to sleep it's dark and I'm exhausted after a long day at work and struggling with the kids. Plus, despite almost constant effort, the house is *always* embarrassingly cluttered, which does not make for a good backdrop. When I do make a video I often resort to a no-audio on-screen text narration to exclude ambient noise (like "The Wiggles" blaring in the background) when the kids are awake. When the kids are asleep I'm afraid my loud voice might wake everyone up if I try to narrate my video.

I do edit my videos to remove any unintended noises, visuals, etc. and to make the video more concise, but this of course takes yet more time, which is another thing parents of young kids are not blessed with in abundance.

it's not an excuse for the the wacky and inappropriate stuff mentioned above but I have to say it's not an easy thing to make even a simple product demonstration video when you've got kids in the house!

Mark Bartlett
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aubreyavila's Avatarg8_badge

Thank you Roger for the reminders and the good laugh as I picture each of these videos in my head!!

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rogerbrown's Avatargold

Wish there was a way to post some of the videos next to some of the really great ones so people could see what some people deem acceptable or don't realize what is in their presentations. But I don't want to expose their ideas publicly along with embarrassing them showing who they are.

Take the time to review your video and look for things that might be considered a distraction and edit them out. Make it look as professional as possible. I agree finding time with kids is hard, been there myself. I had to do certain things early in the morning or late at night. You can find a way you just have to be creative.

Robert Pontius
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rogerbrown's Avatargold

Eduardo, I agree the more you can just talk in your video the better. That is tough for many people that don't do  public speaking. Everyone needs to do what feels most comfortable to them. Yes, in many cases you can tell the person is reading off a script, which is fine as long as they are staying on point and "Getting" the advantages of their idea across.

Having a parrot squawking loudly the whole time you are talking is a distraction. Having a room so dark you can barely make out the person talking and can only make out the shape of the product being demonstrated is not good.

Here is another issue you might want to watch out for when making your video. Have had several videos where during their demonstration the Inventor actually stated another product already on the market was better than their product they are trying to gain interest in from the viewer. That doesn't speak well for your product.

Everyone needs to do their best to make the video clean, show off their idea/product, make sure there are no distractions in  the background and keep it short and to the point. These items will help you "Get" your point across and increase your chances of success.

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rogerbrown's Avatargold

Make sure when you do a video or sell sheet it concentrates on the product you are pitching and not another product in a totally different market.

Had an inventor pitching a dog product and had his homemade weedeating attachment beside him. During his pitch he stopped to show off the weedeating attachment for two minutes before getting back to the dog product. This is a distraction, especially since the people he is showing it to have no interest in this market. Stay on target and focus on the product you are pitching.

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rogerbrown's Avatargold

Watched a video form an Inventor that had an outside toy. So he filmed the toy in use outside. He was to far away from the camera for you to hear him speaking so everything sounded garbled. He also filmed it next to a very busy highway so all you saw  was cars and trucks whizzing by along with the noise. These are all distractions taking away from your product.

He should have looked for a park, football field or any other area where he was outside but more secluded. And once he had finished the video and looked at it he should have seen it needed more privacy to get his point across.

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