Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Demos – And Grocery Lists

I am constantly amazed at how vendors, in their demos, expect audiences to retain and remember the (often) enormous number of features and functions presented – particularly when human brains are rather poor at remembering undifferentiated lists of information.  For example:  Have you ever had the following happen to you?

You drive to the grocery/supermarket with a mental list of 5 items in your head.  Everything is fine until the moment you step through the door into the store, when you suddenly can’t recall 2 (or more) of the items on your mental list.  You can remember the first item or two, and perhaps the last one, but – darn it! – what were those other items?  Being presented with the hundreds of items (and advertising) seems to have knocked those middle items off of your mental list – and you often don’t recall what they were until you exit the store…

What can we do to combat this when WE are presenting demos?  Here’s a short list (additions welcome):

-          Do the Last Thing First
-          Organize your content in “chunks”
-          Tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them, then tell them what you just told them…
-          Repeat (adults learn by repetition; adults learn by repetition; adults learn by repetition…)
-          Summarize (an elegant way of repeating)
-          Find ways to make your delivery more interesting and remarkable (see my articles “What Makes a Demo Truly Remarkable” and “We Are Programmed To Forget” on my website – or email me for copies at
-          Other ideas?

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