What Does a Jigsaw Puzzle Have to Do with Demos?


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Imagine that someone has just dumped a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle on a table in front of you – a large pile of unintelligible puzzle pieces – but you cannot see the box cover.

(And for those who are experienced at working jigsaw puzzles, to make things even tougher imagine that the puzzle appears to have no distinct edges…)

Where do you begin? Without a clear understanding of what the puzzle is supposed to look like, it will be very tough to complete it.

Imagine being presented a demo delivered the same way – lots of individual pieces but no clear picture of the end result…

On the other hand, if you are shown a picture of the completed puzzle up-front, then you have a reasonable possibility of working the puzzle. Similarly, it you are shown the end result of a demo at the beginning, then you have an understanding of how the various pieces contribute to the end deliverable.

A jigsaw puzzle is a wonderful example of a Great Demo! before-and-after Illustration in practice. The “before” is the image of the pile of confusing puzzle pieces; the “after” is the picture of the completed puzzle.

Copyright © 2009 The Second Derivative – All Rights Reserved.

For more tips and articles on demonstration effectiveness skills and methods, email me at [email protected] or visit our website at www.SecondDerivative.com. For demo tips, best practices, tools and techniques, join the DemoGurus Community Website at www.DemoGurus.com or explore our blog at http://greatdemo.blogspot.com/.

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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