EYN#030 - My Secrets To Crafting Impactful Demos

Apr 23, 2024
Gymnast holding a post on rings apparatus

We love a good tech demo. "Stop giving me death by BulletPoint and let me see the darn thing."

But, so often the demo is a completely irrelevant, a complete disaster or just dull, dull dull! I think we can spice them up and raise our game. Here's how I think about designing a demo.


Yes another mnemonic - I love em. A great springboard to design top class demos. Here's what it stands for:

  • Relevant
  • Ambitious
  • Works
  • Story
  • Understandable
  • Backup



A brilliant demo delivered to the wrong audience is an awful demo. My friends crashed and burned at a massive conference doing exactly that. The conference blurb got the wrong people in the session and the demo was brilliant for a far more technical audience.

Design the demo to inspire and inform the persona's that are actually in your audience. Step away from the generic features demo, and make sure the people in the audience want to see what you've actually got.



Put yourself in the shoes of the audience. You’re a busy person. You don't want 10 minutes on how to type a name in a CRM field. Boring!

Based on the personas of the audience, we need to make this a little more adventurous, audacious …. bodacious.

Set your sights a little bit higher. Take the time to craft a great demo and make it reusable. Pre-load some data in there, setup workflows that showcase the capability, build out some great reports that show compelling insight.

Raise your level of ambition.



And it needs to work! It's like Olympic Gymnastics. Marks for difficulty and marks for execution. You need an ambitious routine that you can execute.

People want to see something that is useful, interesting and memorable. They also want it to work. So you need a great demo, that’s executed well.

Best way to achieve that is to prepare and practice.



I've seen so many demos given with a complete lack of story or structure. The most common … the feature walkthrough. Open the product, then methodically explain each option in the GUI.

Instead share a problem that's relevant to your audience and then solve it with your solution. Ignore everything that is irrelevant to the story you're telling. Save the feature walk through for the documentation.



I've sat through so many demos where I had no idea what was happening. Hopping from screen to screen at 100 miles an hour like a treefrog on Redbull. Setting 50 settings in screen 1 and then 75 in screen 2. Try this instead:

  • Describe the problem you’re solving.
  • Give a high level overview of how you’ll solve the problem.
  • Solve the problem with the product - make it simple.
  • Recap what you did.


What can happen will happen. Just today I was demoing how to use GenAI to build empathy with different tech personas. The demo failed. Why? I don't know. It's working fine now.

How will you cope when it DOES go wrong? My approach:

  • Admit there's a problem. Don't cover it up.
  • If appropriate use some humour to reduce stress levels.
  • Move to video backup or screenshots in PowerPoint.

Well there we go, RAWSUB. My high level framework for designing impactful, memorable and relevant demos.

Hope this helps



Whenever you're ready, there are 3 ways I can help you:

  • Podcast:  The latest episode is " 6 Tips To Drive Action With Customers" with Maddie Suppon. Check it out on the Elevated You website or on  Apple, Spotify and Google Podcasts.
  • Technical Storytelling Essentials: Accelerate your career, increase your impact and influence people.  Affordably priced, world-class course digital course for individuals.
  • Technical Storytelling for Organisations: Programs designed to increase the impact of your team.  Inspire, develop and motivate your team to influence key stakeholders and generate action with your customers.