If this is your first time joining a hackathon, then you most likely have quite a number of items on your “to-handle” list. Things like updating your resume, creating a list of potential events to register for, learning and reviewing winning solutions—various puzzle pieces are integral to the success of your application.

However, there’s one particular task that you shouldn’t overlook: creating the best video demo.

Why a Compelling Hackathon Video Matters

High-quality video demonstrations are on top the list of materials that have proven to be especially effective in making the cut for any hackathon.

Compared to mere interviews and powerpoints, videos are essential to any try-out strategy for this type of event because they intrigue organizers enough to take a chance on a contestant. Once you create a compelling video demonstration for interested companies to see, you’ll be able to:

  • Demonstrate the skills that you’ve honed over the years
  • Give yourself an edge over other potential winners
  • Best assess what you need to refine just in time for the event
  • Prepare your game plan during the event once it’s time to demonstrate your solution

Video Demo Tips to Follow

In any kind of hackathon, contestants are required to prepare videos of themselves demonstrating a solution that they created for a particular problem that a hosting organization put out. Fortunately, creating this presentation to win judges over doesn’t need to be difficult—especially if you use these tips:

Tip #1: Review the Judging Criteria

This is one key practice that many contestants overlook, and it can cost them greatly come game time. By simply reviewing the submission requirements for the hackathon you’ll be competing in, it will be easier to ensure that you don’t overlook key details that may make or break your effort. 

Beyond ensuring that your output is as complete as it needs to be, a quick rundown is absolutely crucial to avoid a technical disqualification at all costs!

Tip #2: Use Good Equipment

It may not seem like much, but making your demonstration video with more than a standard smartphone and fuzzy voice-overs will show the value of your solution in full force. While you may not necessarily need to buy the most expensive and professional equipment on the market, using a DSLR and good editing software (or even just borrowing from a friend or family member) can go a long way!

Tip #3: Be Straight to the Point

One thing that can turn judges off and take away from the value of your demonstration is creating a video that drags on. In this case, remember the KISS acronym: keep it short and sweet. Instead of a long-winded introduction, it’s better to begin your video by immediately demonstrating your project so that judges can immediately understand what you’re proposing!

Creating a demonstration video for a hackathon can be tricky because of the details and factors that you need to account for. These tips will certainly make a world of difference, and you can ensure that your output has everything it needs to give you a winning advantage! 

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