The Art of the Demo

Mobile Monday is a great networking event for companies in the mobile space, and Airsource regularly attends. Last night I went along to their Demo Night, where instead of the usual format of panel debate and a couple of demos, the entire evening was given over to ten demos.

Airsource isn't quite ready to demo anything yet, but when we are, we'll certainly be taking it to Mobile Monday. You get a pretty much captive audience of up to 200 senior people, all in your industry. What's not to like? Well, for some people, quite a lot. If you're going to hold the attention of 200 busy people for seven minutes, there are a few rules to follow.

1) Explain your product

First off, explain what your product is! If you spend your whole presentation showing what your product does - but without explaining what it actually is - then your audience are simply going to sit there trying to figure out what the big deal is.

2) Explain why we would want to use it

Then, explain why we might want to use it. Again, not what it can do, but why we want to do those things.

3) Explain what unique features make it special

Don't explain why everyone else's products are bad. Explain why yours is good.

4) Explain it audibly and clearly

And finally, and most importantly, make sure we can hear those points.

The best presentations from last night more or less made those points, and we heard every word. Mobyko gave a funny, simple and compelling demo, using a stooge planted in the audience. Personally, it's very unlikely that I'll run into a business need for that product - but I'll certainly remember them. The middle-of-the-road demos got the point across, but perhaps not as clearly or as memorably as they could have done.

As for the rest, in one case I had no idea why I, or anyone else, would ever want to use their product; in another neither my neighbour nor I could figure out what the company name was. The product looked like it might have been quite interesting, but the presenter made far too many points too quickly without stopping to explain the essentials. It looked like it had been practiced in front of engineers who knew the product inside out.

I'm not saying that when Airsource demos, it will be the world's best demo - but we'll make sure we understand our audience.

Ben Blaukopf
in Opinion

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