‘Twas the Night Before the Big Demo - Great Demo

‘Twas the Night Before the Big Demo

'twas the nigh before the big demo

‘Twas the Night Before the Big Demo

A 2023 Updated Visit from the DiscoAndDemoGuru!

(with apologies to Clement Clarke Moore)


‘Twas the night ‘fore the demo and all through the house

Not a creature was stirring, ‘cept my SE and their mouse;

I’d proposed a big licensing deal with great care

In hope that a big order soon would be there;


Management was restless and not in their beds

As visions of bonuses danced in their heads;

And my VP with their forecast and me with my own,

Had just started a long EOQ roam,


When out from my mobile there came a great tone,

I sprang from my chair to answer my phone,

What could it be? Was it good news or no?

A last-minute order? A contract? PO?


Greetings said my PA, who spoke on the line,

It was someone to see me, offering help at this time!

Who could it be at this last-minute hour,

To make the deal sweet and avoid something sour?


Away to the door, I flew in a flash,

And swept it wide open in my quest for fast cash,

When who to my wondering eyes should appear,

The DemoGuru! And standing so near!


He came in my office and while dusting off snow

Said, “I have some news that you’ll want to know.”

He drew up a chair and asked for some tea,


And said to my VP, SE, and to me:


“Your deal is in trouble and I’ll tell you now,

Your demo’s confusing, complex, and lacks ‘Wow!’

It’s riddled with features and functions and more,

And too many ‘cool’ things, mouse clicks galore,


Start with discovery, that’s where it begins,

Most folks do too little, that’s one of their sins,

Ask questions, be curious, give quid pro quo too,

And bias your prospect in favor of you,


Generate vision, (many miss this key step)

Give before getting and avoid big regret,

Rich dialog is the goal at this point,

A demo without it is far out of joint.


Now on to your demo, but be novel, don’t bore,

Prospects all know there’s always much more,

Traditional demos are painful indeed,

A new methodology: That’s what you need!


Don’t flog them with features and other neat stuff,

Stick with the substance, stay ‘way from the fluff,

The more that you show is not always nice,

Your prospects will say, ‘Please lower the price!’


The Buzzword-Compliant Vocabulary list,

Are words, I’m afraid, that are better off missed,

Not Flexible, nor Powerful, nor Easy-to-Use,

Robust and World-class are words that abuse,


And no corporate overview, please don’t do that,

After ten minutes they’re grabbing their hat,

Use real data, stay focused, on target, be brief,

Build vision, while you suspend disbelief!


Your prospect is queued and ready to go,

They love the vision you’ve built with them so.

They want Technical Proof in the demo you’ve planned,

Specific Capabilities, everything else banned.”


“But how can we do this?” I heard myself cry,

“We victims of momentum, we’re nervous to try

Another approach, a new way to go,

We have to admit we’re just a bit slow!”


Do the Last Thing First!” he said with a smile,

“Then Peel Back the Layers, and Do It with style,

Start with each job title is what I endorse,

Then Invert your pyramid to determine the course,


Your prospect’s Situation is a great way to start,

Their Problems and Reasons; CBI is the heart,

Review these and check – is this still the case?

Are we aligned or are we off base?


Start with the end, that big pay-off screen,

Crisply describe just what they are seeing!

Capture their interest, compel their attention,

Make sure it aligns with their mode of retention.


When it clicks and they’re hooked, they’ll then ask for more,

There’s absolutely no way that they’ll head for the door.

They’ll say, ‘That looks great, now prove that it’s so,

Is it easy to use? Please show us the flow.’


Then Do It, just Do It, with no extra clicks,

To return to that Illustrative image that sticks,

Make it simple and fast, make it easy and clear,

Then they will realize they’ve nothing to fear,


Encourage their questions, most are not new,

Good ones and Great ones (and Stupid ones too),

When ‘yes’ won’t suffice, avoid sowing seeds,

Parking Lots help keep you out of the weeds,


Peel back the layers, like an onion you skin,

Show only what’s needed, put nothing else in,

Let them drive the demo, a real conversation,

Compelling, engaging, (and sales stage conversion!)


Move your mouse smoothly, no zippy distractions

Helps you avoid confusing retractions.

Please point precisely, call out color and axis,

Doing this well may take some real practice!


Then summarize, summarize, repeat what you said,

Adults need to hear it three times (it is said),

And when you do show a key take-away screen,

Leave it up, let it linger, so they’ll know what they’ve seen!”


“I get it – I’ll do it!” exclaimed my SE,

“This is all so obvious, it’s way clear to me!”

And they sprang into action, their mouse flew like lightening,

(Frankly, their speed was a little bit frightening!)


The DiscoAndDemoGuru smiled, then he said,

“Your way is now clear, put that baby to bed,

Your deal’s now on track, your order secure,

You’ll make your numbers at the end of the year”,


Then he strode from my office in the flash of a pun,

Turned ‘round and he said, “My job here is done,”

Ere he drove out of sight, he offered this cheer,

Great Demo! to all and to all a great year!”


Happy Holidays and Winter/Summer Solstice!

The DiscoAndDemoGuru


Copyright © 2005-2023 The Second Derivative – All Rights Reserved.

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