Presenting Software – Taking a Page from Restaurant Waiters’ Playbook - Great Demo

Presenting Software – Taking a Page from Restaurant Waiters’ Playbook

Notice how waiters in mediocre restaurants serve dishes: they simply ask, “Who had the linguini?” and plonk! – a plate of pasta plops down in front of you and the waiter disappears.

Now consider how waitstaff in elegant restaurants serve dishes. As they gently place the plate, they also turn it, carefully, to the position that best presents the food. Next, they describe what you are seeing:

“Here is your delicious linguini pomodorado… The tomatoes were grown in our garden, right outside, and harvested exactly at the peak ripeness, then sauteed gently with fresh herbs snipped just minutes ago. The linguini was prepared by hand, today, from semolina made by our partner farm just down the road – they are absolute experts in pasta preparation! The pine nuts also come from our local trees and are carefully pan-roasted just until the fragrant oils begin to glisten. Enjoy!”

Who will get the bigger tip, do you think?

In the world of software demos, the vendor that communicates more effectively, particularly when showing key screens, tends to be more successful in moving the opportunity forward.

In a mediocre demo, the presenter simply says, “…And here’s a dashboard” (often followed by the additional comment, “…which is super-configurable…”).

In a Great Demo, the presenter explains what the audience is seeing, how it will help the audience solve their business problems and connects the screen with the tangible business value it enables.

With restaurants, fast food isn’t better. With demos, showing more features doesn’t communicate more value. In fine dining, less is often more – and the same is also true for demos!

Bon appétit!

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