Add Critical Dates and Events to “Situation Slides”


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To prepare for demos I recommend generating Situation Slides for each key member of a prospect’s team (those who will be participating in the demo). Previously, the element of time or time-specific constraints was not explicitly included on the slide – I’m now suggesting that this be added:

1. CBI (Critical Business Issue): What is the major problem he/she has?
2. Reasons: Why is it a problem or what is the problem due to?
3. Specific Capabilities: What capabilities are needed to address the problem?
4. Delta: What is the value associated with making the change?
5. Critical Date or Event: When does the change need to take place (and why)?

Here’s an example:

Job Title/Industry: VP of Sales, Mid-size Software Company
Critical Business Issue: Concerned about achieving quarterly and annual numbers
Reason: Too many opportunities falter or fail as a result of demos
Specific Capabilities: Make the presales team’s demos crisp, compelling and effective
Delta: Close 10% more business in the second half of the year
Critical Date/Event: Field training event scheduled for October 4

Critical Dates/Events place a time-based boundary on when a solution needs to be in place – and enables you to walk backwards from that date to define other key activities that need to be completed first (implementation, training, assessment, agreement completed, etc…).

Copyright © 2009 The Second Derivative – All Rights Reserved.

For more tips and articles on demonstration effectiveness skills and methods, email me at [email protected] or visit our website at For demo tips, best practices, tools and techniques, join the DemoGurus Community Website at or explore our blog at

Peter Cohan
Have you ever seen a bad software demonstration? Peter Cohan is the founder and principal of Great Demo!, focused on helping software organizations improve the success rates of their demos. He authored Great Demo! - how to prepare and deliver surprisingly compelling software demonstrations. Peter has experience as an individual contributor, manager and senior management in marketing, sales, and business development. He has also been, and continues to be, a customer.


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