Debilitating Demo Diseases: Breathlessness (Demo Asphyxiation)


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Symptoms: No pauses or breaks in the delivery, followed by shortness of breath, flushed face and finally passing out. (Fainting is often an outcome of Rambleitis when compounded by Whooping If and Conjunctionitis.)

Examples: “And another really cool thing about our software is the ability to ____, or ____, and if you want to ____ then you can click here, or if you have to ____ then choose this, and the next thing I want to show you is our new import wizard, which has seven different options, the first of which is ____, which is really great if you need to ____, or ____ or ____, and if you need to… need to…to… uhhhhhhhhh…” *Thunk*!

Cure: Breathe, fer cryin’ out loud! Put some pauses in the delivery; put some theatre and passion in the delivery. Put some dynamics into the delivery (louds and softs). Reciting a Shakespeare play without pauses and dynamics makes for a very boring experience:

But-soft-what-light-through-yonder-window-breaks-it-is-the-east-and-Juliet-is-the-sun-arise-fair-sun-and-kill-the-envious-moon-who-is-already-sick-and-pale-with-grief-that-thou-her-maid-art-far-more-fair-than-she… *THUNK*!

The lines from the play, Romeo and Juliet, are of course to be uttered with deep and fervent passion:

But soft, what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.
Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,
Who is already sick and pale with grief
That thou, her maid, art far more fair than she.

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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