Are you preparing for a presentation or just want to hone your #demomaster skills? Whether you are presenting to your local user group, creating video content, or getting ready to present at a conference it is important to keep your audience engaged, focused, and inspired with your demos. With over 7 years experience at salesforce, and hundreds of Salesforce demos I have been involved in some of our biggest launches and presentations. Along the way I have learned a lot and I want to share 5 tips that will help you rock your next demo.
5. Know Your Formula
When I first started at Salesforce one of our amazing Sales Engineering directors gave me the formula for a successful demo:
That’s it. Even outside of a sales demo, this formula holds true. Know WHY you are showing a feature, articulate why your audience should care, and how this is impactful to them. Just because you think you found an awesome, shiny, exciting new toy does not mean everyone else will see it that way. Was this a feature filling a previous product gap? Does this feature solve a painful business need? Will it save your users countless hours? Think about why they would care and talk about it. If you can’t come up with a good reason for your audience to care about something, then it may not need to be included.
4. Rehearse, Rehearse, Rehearse!
Yes, yes, I know many experienced presenters who can deliver a stage presentation or a technical demo with little to no preparation. Ask your colleagues, friends, family to watch your demo and actually click through the entire thing. Do you get a lot of questions about “Why is that XYZ on the company page?” well, maybe XYZ is a screen distraction and should be cleaned up.
3. Clean Your Screen
Go into presentation mode. Hide the bookmarks bar. Hide distracting chrome extension buttons. Remove fields from your demo screen that aren’t relevant to your presentation. This is valuable visual real estate with your audience, if there isn’t a good reason that something is on your screen it probably shouldn’t be there. Think about your audience and what you are trying to showcase. I like to leave the browser address bar visible during a live demo to showcase that we truly are navigating around a live environment, but for video recordings I tend to go into full presentation mode so the focus is on the technical features. Be protective of your screen real estate and use it wisely.
2. Dummy Data Is Your Friend
Blank fields are distracting! When you leave fields blank on a record page, the audience may spend time looking at those blanks and wondering why there isn’t any information in the “description” or “shouldn’t there be an expected amount” on that deal? After you have removed all the fields not relevant or supportive of your presentation, fill in the blank fields with dummy data to keep the eye moving across the screen and support the “believability” of your page. Check your search results if you are showing search, are there blank values in the results? The related lists? What about your dashboards? Keep the pages balanced, logical, and believable with solid dummy data.
1. SLOW DOWN!
Whatever you are showing, go slower. There is no award for showing the most screens during a demo, but it is incredibly easy to lose your audience if you are just blowing through screen after screen. Your audience is doing a lot! They are likely multi-tasking on their smartphones, they are watching a speaker on stage, they are listening to you tell them why they should be excited, and on top of that they are following visuals on a screen projected in a large room or over a webcast. Take your time on each screen, it’s ok to pause and let the content sink in for a moment before going on to the next item. In a Salesforce demo, it can be near impossible to get your audience back on track once they lose connection with your click path. One last note, when you are taking these valuable pauses to verbally engage and explain the screen remember to take your hands off that mouse or touchpad! Mouse shaking and trying to draw invisible circles around your fields on screen is not how you connect with your audience, instead use spatial orienting language to direct their eyes to the right place on screen.
There you have it! A few tips to get you on the path to delivering even more amazing Salesforce demos for your audience! Do you have any advice for presenters? Share it in the comments!