Pitch PracticeTechnology

An experiment with Pitch Practice

In 2016, I started “The Pitch Practice Podcast” in order to spread the knowledge of all the lessons we continually learn at the weekly meetup at ATV. That was my first go-round at podcasting, and, while the podcast got some solid early traction, my process for creating the actual content was clunky. Ultimately, I did not have time to produce, edit, and publish everything myself. You know what they say, “to go fast, go alone; to go far, go together.” I needed help. A few weeks ago, I relaunched the podcast and also the Pitch Practice Youtube Channel. So far, so good. Yesterday, we setup for and tried an experiment to see if we could up online content the game a little.

Current Status

In January of this year, I started recording each pitch at Pitch Practice on my iPhone. The video quality is passable, though not great. I’ve recorded nearly 200 pitches since January. I also take notes during the Pitch Practice sessions. Now, I’m going back to the video recorded pitches, and recording commentary from my notes and any fresh thoughts I have on each pitch.

That process is much more efficient than the previous attempt. Then I send these recordings off to my video/sound editor. A few days later, Voila! An mp4 and mp3 file appear in my inbox for publication. I’ve just scheduled episodes 16-20. I recorded the commentary for episodes 21-30 last week. I’ve found that, once I get my notes together, following the Pitch Practice Structure, I can record 5 – 10 episodes in a couple of hours.

Not Perfect

I’m ok with the current content, but honestly not completely excited about it. We hear a pitch. The audience can now learn some of what was discussed at the actual session, but it’s still not an accurate reflection on how much fun Pitch Practice really is. Plus, it’s just me, and while I’m very comfortable giving the information, most of the wisdom in the room each week comes from other entrepreneurs in attendance.

They also say “done is better than perfect” and “the 1000 mile journey starts with a single step.” That’s what I’ve done here is to get started. Neither the podcast nor the youtube channel is anywhere near what I’d like it to be, but it’s out there and it’s a start.

The Experiment

Yesterday, I rented 3 GoPros, a professional video camera, and two conference room microphone recorders, and set them all up in the Pitch Practice Boardroom at ATV before Pitch Practice. As I was chatting with my friend and successful YouTuber Ed Bolian (he’s about to hit half a million subscribers!), I lamented that I had no idea whether this experiment was going to work or not, and that this would be one of those times that just a handful of people show up for Pitch Practice.

Yup.

We had a solid crowd, though not huge. Probably for the best for a first try at an experiment. The video camera captured the pitches nicely. Much better than my iPhone 8. All three of the GoPro cameras died at about an hour and 10 minutes in, but the meetup lasted about 1:30. Finally, the 2nd mic, the one closest to the entrepreneurs who were standing up delivering their pitches, did not record anything.

My Bad

Pretty sure that last one was user error. That’s what happens when you use a piece of gear for the very first time. With the ZoomH6 recorder, you press the “record” button once and it sets it to ready mode. You have to press it a second time to start recording. I never pressed it the second time. I had the GoPros set on 4k, 30 frames per second. I’m sure that caused their battery life to be shorter than required. Next time we’ll try a lower resolution setting.

The Goal

What I’m trying to do with all this setup and gear is to capture the entirety of each Pitch Practice session so that anyone can “attend” by watching the videos on Youtube. We’ve tried FB Live, but that was a very poor experience because of all the different people talking at different times. Very hard to pick up from one camera (iPhone).

Some lessons learned in this little experiment on the way to our goal. I’m sending off the video and audio we captured to my editor to see what he can do with it. If not, it’s ok because I learned a LOT about what will and won’t work. And how to operate some of this gear.

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