Stunningly Awful Demos: “Conjunctionitis” and Other Debilitating Demo Diseases


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In my next several posts, I’ll offer a compendium of debilitating demo diseases that commonly afflict sales, presales and marketing teams when preparing for and presenting demos. I’ll identify the major symptoms for each disorder, provide one or more examples to aid in diagnosis, and suggest steps to a cure for each.

Here’s the first one…


Symptoms: Chronic overuse of “and” and “or” in the midst of demos.

Examples: “…and the next thing I want to show you is…”

“…and another really cool thing in our software is…”

“You can do it using our wizard, or this second way, or you can do the same thing using the menus, or…”

Cure: Breathe… Pause… Summarize after each demo segment. Hold back from showing everything; ask first before presenting additional capabilities. Peel back the layers in accord with customer interest.

Copyright © 2008 The Second Derivative – All Rights Reserved.

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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