Stunningly Awful Demos – As Epic Poems


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Have you ever heard phrases such as, “Show them the demo…”, “This is our demo…”, or “We’ll need 2 hours todo our demo…”?
These are phrases that suggest that the vendor has produceda single, all encompassing, one-size-fits-all demo designed to (try to) meetthe needs of a broad range of customers and audience members. They are like epic poems (e.g., the Odyssey, theIliad, Beowulf, etc.) – in manyfrightening ways. Let’s explore…

An epic poem is “a lengthy narrative… containing the detailsof heroic deeds or events…” Some attributesof epic poems include:

– Thesetting is vast, covering many nations, the world or the universe
– Containslong lists (epic catalogue).
– Featureslong and formal speeches.

Sound like a few demos you’ve experienced?

Interestingly, storytellers learn and teach epic poemsthrough constant repetition – they hear and tell them over and over (and overand over), in exactly the same order,with exactly the same words. And, if interrupted, the storyteller has toreturn exactly to where he or sheleft off to continue…

Have you ever seen this happen with demos?

Epic poems are terrific when told over (several) cold winterevenings to a willing and interested audience. But presenting demos in epic poem format? That’s the making of an epic failure!

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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