Debilitating Demo Diseases: Pointer Palsy


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Pointer Palsy

Symptoms: Presenter waves pointer vaguely at screen; pointer moves around constantly; use of broad sweeping movements with a laser pointer. In severe cases, the victim circles mouse or pointer constantly around and around and around. When compounded with aggressive tendencies, presenter may use stick or telescoping pointer like a sword, causing audience members nearby to shrink back in fear.

Examples: “As you can see…” wave – wave – swish – swish…

“If you look over here” swish – wave – swish – wave…

Cure: Guide presenter to move right up to the screen and point carefully and deliberately at the item or area of specific interest. Presenter needs to remember that while presenter has seen that part of the software hundreds of times, it is mostly likely the first time the audience has seen it. In severe cases, presenter may need to be tackled, pinned-down, and pointer carefully removed from his/her grasp.

Copyright © 2008 The Second Derivative – All Rights Reserved.

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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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