Debilitating Demo Diseases: “Rambleitis”


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Rambleitis – Run-on Demo (aka Demo Diarrhea)

Symptoms: No pauses, no breaks, no interaction with audience – often compounded by Conjunctionitis, fits of Whooping If and Zippy Mouse Syndrome.

Examples: “…and the really cool thing about this is…”

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

Cure: Inject pauses at least once per segment, at the end, and repeat as frequently as needed. Treat commensurate Conjunctionitis with the use of Biased Questions, designed to give the audience the opportunity to interact (e.g., “Many of our other customers have found that the ability to ____ saved them hours every week. Is this something that might also be of interest to you?”) Turn the demo from a unidirectional, fire-hose-delivery presentation into a bidirectional conversation.

An older cure, still applicable in extreme cases, is to place the patient in an ice bath until unable to speak…

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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