9 things NOT to do in a demo @NYTM #NYTM #jglanz

January 5, 2012 . . Comments
Tags: news

All, last night we demoed at NYTM and while thankfully people “got” what we were saying at the very end (mostly thanks to Nate, the MC, for helping us out) the way the message was delivered was not so good. In order to ensure that no one makes the numerous mistakes we did, I figured I’d author this list of “What not to do.”

1. Don’t be worried about a short time limit; you should be able to highlight the basic functionality of your product in a very short amount of time. You can explain the complexities and technical details to the people who are interested after your presentation. 

2. Don’t assume everything is going to be configured properly, even after a tech check.  Make sure you have a backup plan for every possible snag.

3. Don’t let someone take you away from your standard configuration in ANY WAY. Usually we use our own setup 100% for these demos and if you have a hardware solution as we do; NEVER vary your setup for a demo no matter how comfortable you are.

4. Don’t give up! Utilize the question and answer session to explain things the audience didn’t understand during your demo. 

5. Don’t get caught up wiz-bang; focus on communicating clearly to your audience. 

6. Don’t assume that everyone has the same amount of technical knowledge. Find ways to explain complex ideas and processes to your audience using terms and examples they can grasp and understand. 

7. Don’t listen to everyone! Evaluate the advice you receive from friends and partners before you go into the demo, and avoid showing the audience things that you are not capable of demonstrating clearly. 

8. Don’t ever get down about your demo, because it usually isn’t quite as bad as you thought.

9. Don’t throw in the towel. If any or all of the items above went wrong; learn form your mistakes, listen to feedback from your audience, and strive to make a more effective presentation in the future. 

Next time will knock it out of the park.