General Question

tonystubblebine's avatar

What are some tips for demoing software?

Asked by tonystubblebine (152points) December 29th, 2007

I’m starting to do more demos of my company’s software and I’m totally lost. I don’t think I’ve ever paid attention to anyone else’s demos so I don’t a model. I did find some good advice online (best was Joel Spolsky) but I’d like to hear from people who either give or listen to a lot of demos.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

4 Answers

andrew's avatar

Short short short short and sweet. If you can figure out how to answer the “How does this help me” thoughts in the shortest amount of time, you’re golden.

Also, one of the most successful way to demo is to figure out how to relate the story of the software to the story of the demo-ees. I’ve found that having a real story (where you use the software to solve a problem) really helps—that way you’re not just talking about features as an abstract milieu.

As an example, one of the best demos for Fluther happened when I walked a user through asking an actual question they had (so the demo was immediately relevant), which Ben happened to see and answered as I was demoing. It really hit home what the site was “about”.

And humor always helps. Good luck!

howbecome's avatar

I agree with the prior response regarding having a story. And that story should be around the relevant benefits of your software, not the features.

Prepare by starting with, “What is it your customer wants to do?”

If you don’t know the answer to that question, you’ll never be able to craft a story on how your software will help your prospect do it better? Nor will you be able to determine the right benefits to highlight.

Also remember that only a fraction of what your software can do will be relevant to the issues of any single prospect. Don’t bore the prospect with details that are irrelevant to their situation or need.

Part of answering the first question is knowing what to highlight in your story. Your homework is to know how all your features work in great detail. This helps you incorporate the appropriate benefits of your features into your story.

Take a mobile phone email software application as an example. It has a lot of features. But what is really valuable for the prospect is that it saves time and avoid surprises.

It saves time by letting you clear out emails: while commuting, while you’re waiting in the dentist’s office, while you’re waiting for your order to arrive at lunch. When you finally get to your office, you’ll be caught up! You can easily build story scenarios around that.

It also helps you avoid surprises by letting you periodically check email wherever you are. If you’re out of the office there will be no ticking time bombs there when you get back to your PC. A story about employee A with the application and employee B without and the consequences of knowing something in advance will bring that message home.

And use “you” a lot when you tell your story. Makes the prospect feel like they already own the software.

tonystubblebine's avatar

One nice thing I just figured out was software for remote demos. I’m using It’s super simple, works on both windows and mac (unlike webex), and just requires that I share a url/passcode rather than requiring people to sign up.

tonystubblebine's avatar

We found a place! We listed on Home Exchange and got good responses but the person we found to swap with was actually an acquaintance. We wanted to go to NYC and emailed everyone we knew that lives or has lived there. Got a response immediately from a professor who wanted to spend the summer out here.

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther