Here are ten top tips to make your technology demonstrations more interesting and more rewarding.
1. Ask your audience what they would like to see.
Demonstrations don’t have to be a one-way affair. Ask your audience what they are particularly interested in, this will make them more involved and more likely to pay attention.
2. When they come back with a generic response, find out what problems they are currently experiencing.
If they don’t know what they want to see, ask them what problems they have with their current system, what aspects cause them most trouble, or what their ideal systems would do for them.
3. Do not show them how your technology works, very few are interested in how it works!
Don’t fall in to the trap of showing people how your system works. You may be impressed by the technology, you and your colleagues may have spent many hours developing the neat bits, but your prospective customers don’t care. They only care about how it will make their lives simpler, easier or more profitable.
4. KISSS – Keep it simple, short and slow
If you don’t know what your audience are interested in there is a temptation to show them everything in the hope that they will see something of interest. This scattergun approach rarely works and is more likely to kill your audience through boredom. The best demos are short sharp and to the point. However don’t go too quick, you may be familiar with all the screens and know where to look on each page, but your audience have never seen them before and will take longer to understand exactly what each page is for and what the important aspects of each page are.
5. Sit where people can see you, and where you can see them, don’t hide behind your equipment.
Even though your technology is displayed on a massive screen, you are still the most important visual aspect of your demonstration. Make sure you can be seen and that you can see your audience so that you can judge from their body language the level of interest in what you are demonstrating. Eye contact is as important in a demo as it is in a stand up presentation.
6. Show them solutions to their problems.
Assuming you have found out what problems your audience are facing the best thing you can do is to show them how your technology solves those problems, This creates a vision of success which they can buy into and which will be of enormous help when it comes to establishing the value of your solution and closing the sale.
7. Grab their attention, do your best bit first.
Don’t build slowly to a climax, some people will get bored and stop listening before you get there. Start with the best bit of your demo, the most impressive part, so that you really grab the audience’s attention. You can then go back and show the build up if need be.
8. Demonstrate the benefits, don’t show them features.
I have a simple rule if you mention a feature, you MUST always accompany it with the benefit that that features provides to your prospective customer. Never leave it for them to assume the benefit of a feature themselves, they may not make the right assumption.
9. Make the data topical and personal
Make sure all the data in your systems is up to date and relevant to your audience. Do not type random characters into fields, use personal info relevant to the people who are watching you. In particular do not have “names” like demo1, demo2, test1,test 2 or dates that are 4 years old from when you first created the demo.
10. Never demo anything you haven’t tried in practice.
No matter how well you know your software and technology, never show something you have not tried in the rehearsal. Any untried course of action may not work as you hoped, which may lead to confusion of your audience or worse failure of the demonstration.
Finally a bonus tip:
11. Ask them at the end, if the demo has helped them to see how your technology would have a positive impact on their business / life.
When you have come to the end of the demo, always ask if the demo has helped them to see how your technology could help them in the future and ask if there are any other aspects of the technology the would like to see. Never assume, always ask, not only will you gain valuable feedback for future reference, a positive response will help establish a positive impression in the minds of your prospects.
Has this helped you?
To learn more about how to give an effective demonstration why not run my one day Effective Demonstrations Workshop in your office for you and your colleagues.