by pat

A client recently asked me how to make their software product demos more interesting. It’s a pretty common question for people working to improve their presentations or technology demos so, I thought I’d do a quick post on it. Here are 5 key tips to make your demos more interesting:

1) Know your Audience

The most common cause by far of boring demos is too much detail; in other words your demos are too long!

Your product has a ton of killer features, but if our prospects don’t care about them they will make the demo look confusing and bore your audience.

The only way to avoid showing too much is to use Discovery Skills to learn who will be there, what their role is and what they care about.

Armed with this information, you can pare the demo down to 2 or 3 key things and keep your focus on the decision makers in the audience.

If you are not able to get complete discovery information before the demo, be sure to do discovery during the demo to make sure that you are covering exactly and only what is important at the right level of detail. In our classes we teach two concepts called “Know Before you Show” and “Adaptive Discovery” to help you to uncover exactly and only what is important to the prospect and the sale.

The key thing to keep in mind is as you demo, do I know if the prospect is interested in what I am about to cover. If the answer is no, then ask if it is important before you spend valuable time on it!

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2) Be Enthusiastic

Enthusiasm is contagious. Don’t be afraid to smile and enjoy yourself. If you are on a web meeting be sure to turn on your camera. You want to make a personal connection so don’t be afraid to show a bit of the real you. The key is to keep it professional. Some even find that it helps to stand and even walk around the office as you present. If you are able, do try to establish a connection with the audience using eye contact and body language.

3) Have a Strong Opening

The opening is crucial to an interesting demo. This is the best time to draw the audience in and grab their attention. In addition, this is when the prospect is formulating their initial impression of you. You want to be sure to establish credibility with them and allow them to relax knowing that you are the right expert to lead the demo. 

Here are a few ideas for a great demo opening:

  • If you have done Discovery, you must recap what you learned and how you plan to address it.
  • Give them a bit about you and your background as it relates to their needs (We use a technique called a CRC Check)
  • Open with an informed, thought provoking question perhaps asking for additional detail or clarification.
  • Offer up insights based on your experience with similar prospects in similar situations
  • Make a provocative statement
  • Tell a short customer success story that relates to your prospects needs

Regardless of the opening you choose, be sure the opening is relevant to the unique needs of your audience; you want to engage them without distracting them.

4) Show a Day in Their Life

To keep prospects engaged, you need a demo that shows them how your product solves their unique problems. The closer you can come to their situation in your demo, the more interested they will be.

I find that a time-compressed demo that reflects the typical tasks they need to accomplish works best. To keep things as streamlined as possible, be sure to focus on the decision makers in the room and their needs first. Remember, relevancy is the key here so try to customize as much as possible so that your demo depicts the prospects processes, environment and issues.

5) Add Some Spice

Once you have a demo that you are comfortable doing, you can begin to improve it. Try adding a little spice to sections of your demo such as:

  • A bit of humor (related to their needs)
  • A prop that shows a complex topic in an easy to understand way (perhaps a schematic, a block diagram or a 3-D model)
  • A question, designed to bring home a point
  • A story about other customers like them that you and your team have helped 

Have any tips on making software demos more interesting? Let us know in the comments section below. If you want to improve your demos, you may want to check out our Demonstration Skills Training.

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