Demo presentations are a powerful tool for running and growing your business. When done well, a demo presentation allows clients, investors or potential customers to see and feel how things will be better for them if they buy or invest in your company or product. Often generic demo presentations do just the opposite, leaving the meeting participants bored and disinterested. Here are seven tips to pull off a great demo presentation.
What is a demo presentation?
A demo presentation is a visual demonstration of a product or service for current or prospective clients. A great demo presentation will grab your audience’s attention right away by clearly communicating what they care about and by using reliable, high quality video presentation tools.
Step one: determine who you are presenting to
In order to deliver an effective demo presentation, you must know your audience. Do your homework and find out all you can about your prospects so you can tailor your presentation to them and be prepared for different meeting scenarios. This is vital in deciding how you’re going to best convey everything you need to get across in your presentation and what use cases you will share that directly relates to them. Here are four common types of meeting participants and how best to deal with them.
Do you know the person you’re presenting to is reserved? The wallflower may need you to prompt them with questions or ask them for their input to really spark a conversation. Having an open dialog with meeting participants will help you connect with them and personalize the presentation. As you continue your software demo, refer back to the participants’ contributions to continue to make them feel included in the presentation.
If you anticipate your audience asking a lot of questions, come ready with answers and customer examples to help back you up. If the questions are not adding value to the demo presentation or become too disruptive, politely ask the audience to hold questions until the end of the presentation.
Going in knowing it’s going to be a tough sell? Do all your research beforehand and anticipate what their push back might be. No matter what, don’t get flustered during your demo presentation. When the audience senses your frustration, it’s likely to be a distraction, and it will not result in a positive outcome. Always remain professional throughout your presentation no matter how your audience behaves. If necessary, ask the audience members to hold questions and comments until the end of the meeting.
Presenting to people who are using their phone or laptop during your demo? In order to grab their attention, start your presentation with a bold statement, humor or question. Continue to engage your audience by making your presentation interactive and relatable to pull them away from their devices.
Three types of product demos
Pitching in your office
This is the ideal place to host your presentation because you have home-court advantage. The Florida State football team won 37 games in a row at home for a reason: it’s an advantage. When presenting in your own office you get to use presentation tools that you’re comfortable with, limit distractions, control the environment and set the tone for the presentation.
Pitching in their office
When you are presenting in an unfamiliar environment, it’s important to know which presentation tools are available so you can prepare in advance. Arrive early to the meeting to get set up, familiarize yourself with their presentation tools and practice a run-through of your demo to make sure everything runs smoothly. Also, arriving early gives you the opportunity to meet and connect with some of the people in the audience to help tailor your demo and customer stories to their experiences.
In order to save time and travel cost, doing a demo presentation over a video conference call is a great option. Make sure you use a high-quality, easy-to-use video conferencing solution. Don’t give off the wrong first impression by having a poor connection or pixelated video. Lifesize’s video conferencing technology will help you put your best foot forward to really wow clients with stunning 4K video quality and full motion 4K presentation sharing.
Three ways sales demos can go seriously wrong
Confidential messages get shared on screen
We’ve all been in meetings where the presenter’s private work and personal messages start popping up on screen and disrupting the meeting. To save yourself embarrassment and major distractions during your presentation, make sure you only share what is relevant to your demo. Silence all notifications on your laptop and other smart devices before the start of your presentation.
Your video software flakes out
Technical snafus in the middle of a presentation is one of the most common ways demos go wrong. This not only looks bad for you and your company, but it has the potential to completely derail the entire presentation. Make sure you use a reliable video conferencing solution and test it out before the start of the presentation. Sometimes issues are outside your control, like a bad internet connection, so have a backup plan for your demo presentation.
Directly reading your notes or slides
Nothing is less engaging than a presenter directly reading from their notes or slides during a demo. Bring notes just in case you need to refer to them, but don't directly read your notes or slides during your presentation. Your slides should contain just a few words or short sentences to set the tone of the topic you’re discussing but ovoid cluttering your slides with wordy paragraphs. Practice your pitch until you can consistently and comfortably talk about your new product without reading from your slides or notes.
Seven tips for a winning demo presentation
1. Prepare a script
Start off by preparing a presentation outline or script that follows a logical flow. Keep each section short, precise and easy to understand. If possible, try to work in bold statements, humor or simple tweet-able soundbites to really capture the audience’s attention.
2. Practice and rehearse
Since you will not be directly reading your script during your presentation, practice memorizing and saying your script until you’re comfortable with it. You do not have to memorize your script verbatim, but you will need to be familiar enough with it that you can speak about each point in a conversational tone. Presenting to coworkers or family members is a great way to practice your demo and you can also record your demo presentation to review the content and get comfortable with the flow.
3. Anticipate questions
Each audience member will come to your presentation with different experiences and backgrounds so be prepared for a variety of questions. Try to anticipate possible questions and how you will respond to each one. When practicing your demo for coworkers or family members, ask them to help you come up with an exhaustive list of all the different questions that may be asked during your presentation.
4. Tailor for specific audiences
Every audience is different, and your demo presentation should be too. The presentation should be built specifically for the prospect to reflect their unique business processes and include data that directly relates to their company. In addition, you should tailor how you conduct your presentation for each audience as well. An effective demo presentation for an HR manager may not go over as well for a CEO. Some prospects may be more interested in the details and appreciate graphs and diagrams while others may get more out of watching a video or live demonstration. Research the company and decision makers you are presenting to and find ways to make your demo engaging for them.
5. Provide use cases
One of the best ways to make your demo presentation relatable to your audience is to find examples of customers similar to them that have successfully used your product or service. Start with the pain points your customer was facing and give specific details of how your product or service solved those issues. Demonstrate how your audience can have the same positive outcome as the customers in your use cases.
6. Have reliable video conferencing
Even if most of your audience is in the same room as you, video conferencing enables remote participants to get access to critical nonverbal communication elements. For virtual attendees, the quality of your video service will set the tone for your presentation. Partner with a solution that makes it easy for remote participants to join the demo presentation without having to download an app or install software.
7. Share slides & follow up
After you’ve completed the demo keep the conversation going by sharing your slide deck and following up with your audience. Don't make the mistake of thinking that, if they heard a pitch once, they understand it. Chances are they didn’t get it all the first time so you must tell them again. In your follow up message, thank the audience for their time, reinforce the value your product or service can provide them and give them an actionable next step.
“Presentation time with potential clients is a precious and limited commodity so it’s important to make the most of it. The more details you know about your prospects before the meeting, the better you can tailor your sales demo to speak to them as individuals. A generic presentation won’t stir up an emotional response.”
— Jeremy Wycherly, Senior Director, Inside Sales at Lifesize
How Lifesize demos products
Face to face
To save time and travel costs, a face-to-face video conference call is a great option for demo presentations. The human element of face-to-face communication provides a more natural experience and helps you connect with the audience. Lifesize video and audio clarity makes you feel like you are in the same room as your audience and lets you present your business in the best light and make an unrivaled first impression.
Wireless screen sharing
From sharing your laptop screen to playing full-motion videos, Lifesize Share™ makes it remarkably easy to wirelessly present in the meeting room. You don’t have to waste time trying to find and pass along the right dongle or cord. Share your screen in real-time, play a video and control your presentation right from your mobile device or laptop with Lifesize Share.
Full motion content sharing
No one enjoys sitting through a presentation with pixelated and poor-quality video. Lifesize’s 4K full-motion content sharing ensures that the quality and fine details of the product or service you’re demoing are maintained during your presentation. Prospects feel more confident purchasing a product or service when the presentation visuals are crisp, clear and realistic. The unmatched Lifesize full-motion 4K content sharing and stunning 4K video quality brings your demos to life.
You can have a great product or service but if your demo is not winning your audience’s attention, then you’ve wasted their time and yours. As you gain experience and become more confident doing demo presentations, you will soon approach them as an exciting opportunity to win new business rather than a daunting challenge. Communicating clearly, focusing on the things your audience cares about and using reliable, high quality video presentation tools will greatly improve your chances of closing the deal. Don’t give off the wrong first impression by having a poor connection or pixelated video. Lifesize video conferencing technology helps you put your best foot forward to really wow potential clients with stunning 4K video quality and ultra-high definition full motion content sharing.