Remote Demos – the role of the “Active Conduit”


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I note that the (very) best practice for Remote Demos is to split your forces – to have a representative from your organization at the customer site to serve as the eyes for the person presenting the demo remotely. The person at the customer site needs to be an active conduit of information to the demonstrator – he/she needs to be the demonstrator’s “eyes” on-site. Here’s a brief list of the items that need to be communicated by the person at the customer site to the remote individual:

Before the demo:

1. Arrive in the customer conference room 15 minutes before the formal meeting is scheduled to begin…
2. Start the collaboration tool (e.g., GoToMeeting, WebEx, Live Meeting, etc.) session on the customer side.
3. Help test and confirm screen resolution issues – “Yes, I can see your mouse across the full diagonal and we’ve maximized the screen here on the receiving end”.
4. Help test and confirm audio – “Yes, I can hear you fine… Here, let me move the conference phone microphones to better positions so that you can hear us better.”
5. Help test “latency” – “Looks like we have about a 2 second delay right now…”
6. Plan for managing questions – “Can you please plan to capture questions in a Word document from your laptop during the session?”
7. Review any other pre-meeting plans or issues.

During the demo:

1. Alerts regarding “latency” – “Looks like you are about 3 seconds ahead of what we are seeing here…You may need to slow down.”
2. Somebody new – “Before you go on, we have a new participant in the room…”
3. Somebody leaves – “Just to let you know, Bob had to leave the meeting….”
4. Unspoken questions – “Hang on, it looks like Jennifer has a question [furrowed brow, raised hand, look of confusion, etc.].”
5. Inability to hear – “John, let me repeat that question for you…”

Any others?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

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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