Thursday, September 30, 2010

Pre-Filled Login Dialog – Fewer “Clicks” and No Errors

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a demo begin with, “Now I’ll log into the application…” – followed by one or more rounds of typing, correcting, being rejected (miss-entered login or password), followed by more typing (much more carefully the second – or third – time around)! I often suggest to start your demo already logged in, as a result.

However, many applications will time-out and require you to log in again if you don’t start your demo rapidly enough after introductions, etc. Here’s a simple solution to minimize the typing seen by the customer and to reduce the risk of login errors: enter your login and password – but don’t click on “login”. Simply leave it so that you have only a single click to login once the demo “proper” begins. Nice!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

RFP – Acronym Alternative

Just heard at a recent Great Demo! Workshop:  RFP = “Request For Pain”.

Friday, September 17, 2010

A Cure for Zippy Mouse Syndrome

Record a few of your demos using Camtasia (or similar tool) to track your mouse movements – play them back and be prepared to be shocked...! Use what you learn to adjust and to slow your mouse movements down to make them smooth and d-e-l-i-b-e-r-a-t-e.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Remote Demos – the role of the “Active Conduit”

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?

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Dessert Tray – Terrific Example of Vision Generation

A waiter in a nice restaurant wants to sell desserts to a dining party at a table. Compare the following approaches:

Option 1: The waiter says, “Are you interested in dessert? We have some really nice ones…”


Option 2: The waiter brings a tray of fabulous-looking desserts to the table, presents them for visual inspection to the dining party and says, “Are you interested in dessert? We have some really nice ones…”

Which approach will generate more sales of desserts? Why? How can we apply this to demos? (Hint: Think Illustrations and the “Menu Approach”)