Demonstrations are one of the most powerful ways of truly showcasing the capabilities of your product. When done correctly, your customers will feel the impact the product will have in their business growth.
Over the past many years we have met numerous customers and demonstrated a variety of products and features. Based on our experience, we have compiled 6 tips on how to deliver an impactful demo. Let us know if it works for you.
- Visualization is the key
Visual effects captivate the audience. Skimming through the logs or having a presentation filled with text is a sure shot way of putting your audience to sleep. Before delivering a demo, spare significant time to ponder on the best way to put visuals.
Many products may come with very good graphics – Use them as much as you can to put your point across. Many others (especially enterprise softwares) may not have such striking visuals built into the product. In such cases search for any tools that may help you in making it easy for your customers to understand the product – find some 3rd party tools, may be ask a close developer to develop a demo tool for you or even build a tool yourself!
- Thorough knowledge of the subject
One of the most essential requirement for a good demonstration is speaking with confidence. Most often, demo is delivered by people who haven’t coded the product themselves like the Technical Marketing or Sales engineers. Such people generally possess a very good understanding of the operational and management aspects, Nevertheless, it’s equally important that they collaborate with the developers and architects to have a deeper understanding of the architecture of the product
In-depth and thorough knowledge of the product and domain will not only boost your confidence but also helps you build stories and use cases from a much wider angle.
- Rehearse well
How many times have your thoughts been so very clear in your head but you mumble incoherently as you start speaking? No matter how easy you think the demo is or how well informed you are at that topic, speaking in an easy-to-understand way by choosing the most appropriate words requires quite a lot of practice. Rehearse your presentation and make sure you are able to convey everything you want in the allocated time.
- Customise to your audience
One-demo-please-all hardly works. Every customer has different needs, goals and expectations out of the same demo. Some may want to see the demo to understand deeper about the product while others may want to evaluate your product against your competitors.
Knowing your audience is very important. Die hard techies do not really care how fancy your demo looks, they are more interested in the finer technical details. Upper management and people new to this domain/technology would want a high level overview of the product and understand it’s capabilities . To such audience it’s best to demonstrate various use cases of the product.
Talk to sales representatives and customers to figure out what exactly are your customer’s interests and customise the demo accordingly.
- Have a backup plan
Remember Murphy’s law ?.
No matter how many times you may have run the tests before, something has to go wrong during your high profile demo :).
Always have a back plan. May be have another setup with same configurations that you can fallback on, or ask you colleagues to fix your setup while you show other use cases to the customers. Plan in advance for something that will keep your customers engaged while you quickly fix things in the background.
- Remote vs Face-to-Face demos
Face-to-Face demos are usually more impactful. Your audience’s body language gives you a regular feedback on how the demo is progressing. You can keep the engagement more lively and interactive when you can see how your customers are responding. On the flip side, it’s likely to be more stressful as the margin for error is quite less. You need to have rehearsed the demo multiple times and make sure everything works exactly as expected. You do not want to be debugging your product in front of the customers.
Remote demos are relatively easier in that respect. You can read directly from your notes and your audience will not know a thing.