Make your demo a “Choose Your Own Adventure” experience
We have found that long, linear software demos with little to no interaction planned in will lead to wandering minds.
Showing the trailer vs showing the movie
One of the easiest ways to lose your audience when giving a technical software demo is to show too much. It’s better to show the highlight reel (of the product features that are most important to them) at their most compelling point, then to spend too much time on build up or walking through a massive feature list. Don’t waste time with setup or build up unless it is absolutely necessary to your point.
Consider a movie trailer. You get no back story, just a big explosion, a passionate kiss and a slap across the face. No time is spent on background as to why these happened, we just see the excitement and, if done well, have a very good idea of what we’re getting for our movie ticket.
Just be prepared to dive in to details if asked to. This will lead to a lighter, more involved audience that will be actively engaged in the demo outcome.
May your software product demos be full of excitement and completely free of slaps across the face!