Over the weekend I watched 11 different companies demo or discuss their products at DreamIt Ventures' Kickoff Event. These are brand new companies many of whom have never demoed or pitched their concept in front of a large audience. Without any guidance or coaching, they did a very nice job.
Watching their demos reminded me of a trend I often see where people completely miss a great opportunity to showcase their solution and really connect with the audience. Often when demoing a new product (software, hardware, device, physical product, etc.), the person giving the demo misses the boat on getting the right message across effectively.
Too often, I see demos where the person just goes through feature after feature, but never "brings it home" to show the value that those features bring. Remember, during a demo, you are selling benefits, not features.
So, for your next demo, think about the following demo checklist:
- What are your top 3 key messages / benefits you are trying to show/prove/sell? During the demo make sure to hit your "top 3" multiple times.
- Think about using "use cases." Talk about the problems your target customer typically has ("use cases"), and use those problems to drive the demo making sure to clearly demonstrate how the problems are solved using the product. Once you show how a problem is solved, wrap that up by saying something along the lines of "... so, the benefit is ____."
- What are your core differentiators? Make sure to demonstrate them clearly. Often demos don't clearly show what truly makes your product unique and different. Make sure to highlight what makes you special.
- Make sure to connect with your audience as you go through the demo. Don't talk TO them, instead have a "conversation" and pull them into the demo. Ask leading questions like "Do you have this problem too?" "What are your top problems?" "Would this work for you?" Generate buy in by having a conversation.
- When you are done the demo, what do you want your audience (whether it's an audience of 1 or 1000) to think, say, do, or ask? Create a list of answers to those in advance, and create your demo to drive your desired outcomes.
Let me know what works for you and add to the conversation in the comments below.