Three Ways to Improve Your Product Demos

Michele Warg
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It's not easy to stand in front of a skeptical audience and speak intelligently about a product's benefits and features. But that is exactly what a good product demo is: selling the product directly to an in-person audience through the use of your own knowledge and charisma. It can be a tall order, but with the following tips, you can make your product demos more effective.

Get to Know the Product Better

The first tip for a better product demo is to know your product like an old friend. This may seem like an obvious tip, but too often, salespeople focus on theatrics without knowing enough about the product they're selling. This is according to Ben Casnocha, founder, chief executive officer and chairman of Comcate Inc., a San Francisco technology firm. In addition to learning the product's features and benefits, be able to answer tough questions about possible drawbacks or shortcomings. Know exactly how the product works in every situation. Being able to answer any question your audience may throw at you helps you come across as a product expert, and makes your audience more comfortable to make a purchase.

Set Up Early

Another tip for a great product demo is to prepare thoroughly before the product presentation begins. If possible, set up the computer, projector or TV set the day before the demo. Make sure all the wired connections work and everything is plugged in and ready to go. Print out handouts or brochures and place them near the seating area for the audience. Perform a quick run-through of your entire product demo so you can get familiar with the timing, and study any accompanying PowerPoint presentations until you have each slide memorized. You also could prepare a short script or general outline of the attributes on which you want to focus, which keeps you focused during the demo.

Be Engaging

The first two tips focus on what to do before your product demo. The last tip is for during the presentation: engage your audience. This could involve a number of techniques, but the important thing is to keep your audience interested, excited and ready to buy. First, give plenty of chances to ask questions throughout your verbal presentation. Make sure everyone is on the same page with you before you move on to another section. Try playing icebreaker games to learn each person's name, or ask for volunteers to help you during demonstrations. Include a question-and-answer session at the end of your product demo to catch any questions that may not have been answered during the presentation. The point is to increase audience involvement to prevent boredom and make the demo more fun and interactive.

Use these product presentation tips to keep your audience engaged and interested in what you're selling. By knowing your product well, preparing thoroughly and engaging the audience, you create a more effective product demo and leave a positive impression on your audience.

Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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