Salesforce characters playing music next to text that says "How to Rock Your Next Presentation and Demo."

How to Rock Your Next Presentation and Demo

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Whether it’s to your users, stakeholders, a Community Group, or at an event like Dreamforce, #AwesomeAdmins like you use their communication skills every day to present amazing content. No matter who you’re presenting to or where you’re presenting, there are a few tried and true best practices that can help you rock your presentations and demos.

Understand your audience

First, the key to developing a successful presentation starts with understanding your audience. When you present as a professional in the Salesforce ecosystem, perhaps at a Community Group meeting or at Dreamforce, it’s likely your audience will fall into one of these categories: end users, executives/stakeholders, or fellow Salesforce Admins and Developers. Every audience has different priorities. That’s one of the first things you should think about when you start to develop your content. What you as an admin find important or interesting about a certain feature can be really different from what your end user finds important about it. Knowing this, you can adjust the presentation to tailor content to your audience.

Find your focus

Next, find your focus. When explaining or demonstrating a complex issue or project, it can be difficult to boil it all down to a few slides and a 5-minute demo. Pick one thing you want to focus on. What’s the one thing you want execs to remember about the project (for example, that their reporting will be 10x better)? What’s the one thing you want other admins to remember? This process can save a lot of time.

Once you’ve identified who you’re talking to and what you’ll focus on, you can find the right place to begin your story. Consider what this audience may already know about the subject—and their level of interest. If you assume they have more knowledge or interest than they do, or if you use jargon or get too technical, you’ll lose them. For example, you don’t need to explain what a CRM is to a Salesforce Admin (hopefully, they know this already)!

Build your story

With your audience and your focus in mind, it’s time to start building out your story. Every presentation is a story, and so, to be successful, you want to make sure you include and address key attributes that make every story memorable and powerful. These attributes include:

  • Strong title
  • Key thesis
  • Main character
  • Logical flow of ideas
  • Memorable supporting details
  • Conclusion or call to action

Slide outlining six key story attributes.

Leverage the right framework

The good news is that you don’t have to start from scratch when building out the flow of your story. You can take your story and translate it into slides! But how you do this depends on the story framework you use. Just like in school when you learned how to write an essay or play music and you followed a certain framework, you can apply known frameworks to presentations.

There are quite a few frameworks to choose from: Pain-Solution, New Idea, Outline, Best Alternative, Hero’s Journey, and Springboard Story. If you’re presenting a new solution to stakeholders or users, you may use the New Idea or Pain-Solution framework. If you’re sharing comprehensive enhancements from the latest Salesforce Release, you might use an Outline. In longer presentations, you can even combine multiple frameworks! Frameworks ultimately define the structure that sets the stage for the rest of your presentation.

Create effective slides

Now that you have a good idea of how to structure your presentation to be most impactful, let’s dive into some tips on slides.

Before you get started, think about how and where you’re presenting.

  • Are you presenting on someone else’s computer? Google Slides or a PDF of your presentation may be best.
  • Are you presenting on a large screen with a focus on visuals or complex animations? Keynote can be an amazing resource.
  • Are you presenting virtually? Reduce animation and reliance on visuals.
  • Are you presenting internally and need to collaborate and update in real time? Use a tool that allows for easy, quick edits.

Once you know where you’ll build your presentation, start to translate your story into slide titles. Open a spreadsheet or doc and map out your story. The title of each slide should be strong enough that someone reading them one after another can follow your story without even seeing the content of the slide. By doing this, you effectively create a showflow. Just add a column for time and speaker, and you’ll have a complete overview of your presentation!

Now that you’ve done all this careful planning, you can head over to your presentation tool of choice and start to create your deck.

Don’t forget the details when it comes to slides! Add that next-level polish to your deck. These details all feel small, but when you put a bunch of inconsistent formatting together, it can take attention away from your presentation. In this example, you can see how distracting it can be when text, image formatting, and alignment are not taken into consideration. Poor formatting can distract from great content.

Slide outlining details you should consider when building a slide including text, images, and alignment.

Here’s a handy checklist you can use to review your slides and formatting before you present:

  • Fix titles and make sure they’re in title case.
  • Evaluate subtitles.
  • Unify text treatment so that fonts, font sizes, and colors are all consistent.
  • Align shapes, objects, and text boxes.
  • Resize and crop photos—don’t forget to keep the photos’ original aspect ratios!

Sometimes you may present just slides, but as an admin, you’ll often find yourself in a situation where you’ll present slides and a demo.

Deliver a solid demo

As a Salesforce Admin, being able to deliver a solid demo will give you a huge leg up. Whether it’s to get buy-in from executives on your next big project or to train end users on a new feature or app you’ve built, delivering a successful demo is key. Luckily for you, we’ve developed a demo formula to ensure you build and deliver the right demo for the right person, at the right time!

Slide outlining the demo formula — Business Need + Feature + Impact.

When deciding what to show in your demo, start with a specific business need. Only show features that deliver on that specific business need. Now, you may have multiple business needs and thus apply this formula multiple times, but remember to remove any part of the demo that doesn’t directly tie back to one of the business needs. Then, highlight the feature that solves the business need. And don’t forget to spend time highlighting how the feature will have impact.

Key tips to deliver your demo seamlessly:

  1. Engage the audience
    1. Set expectations
    2. Confirm understanding
    3. Be the tour guide
  2. Execute your plan
    1. Slow down
    2. Pause and reflect
    3. Mouse carefully
  3. Expect the unexpected
    1. Take screenshots/record videos
    2. Back up orgs
    3. Talk through it
  4. Don’t demo in production!
    1. Hide sensitive data
  5. Preload everything you can
    1. Bookmark links
    2. Logins
    3. File paths
  6. Pro tip: Use Keyboard Maestro

Here’s a handy, quick pre-flight checklist of things to do before you demo:

  • Restart your computer.
  • Turn off notifications and turn on do not disturb.
  • Quit all non-essential apps.
  • Clean your desktop.
  • Set up your browser (use Chrome Profiles, hide Bookmarks bar, go fullscreen).

Practice makes perfect

We hope you take these tips and best practices and put them into action. Share with us on social using #AwesomeAdmin next time you rock your next presentation or demo!

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