One thing every good demo needs is CONTENT.
Here I mean the actual parts of your product you choose to show, how much to show, and how you get from one part to another. Good content should be engaging, should demonstrate value and should not need too much explanation in order for people to understand.
My standard advice is to be results and outcome orientated and show the most exciting business value outcomes first. You should enter the product with everything set up and ready to showcase the result and show what this means for the customer.
I've seen too many demos that miss the mark, by trying to build up from an empty state to get to a business result right at the end. By this time, the chief buyer, your champion, and everyone except people who have to do the actual work have left or tuned out.
Leave the proof until you are confirming the value for a customer, as a demo should be about getting customers into the understanding you have something to offer them, and helping them realize you are relevant.
Good content can also be about storytelling and transferal of ownership of the solution. What you want is for the customer to empathizes with the challenges and the problem, and feel like this is relevant and applicable to their problem. Better than telling them how they can use it, is them realizing how they want to use your product.
To build a good story, and a good demo, you need to consider the business value points you are aiming to hit, and to start at an exciting part of the story that hooks them in quickly. Just like a James Bond film, the best part should be before the opening credits, with an exciting and compelling aspect of the solution that engages and draws people in, earning the right to tell more of the story.
Once they see the excitement of that opening scene, you can start to demystify some of the magic. You want them to ask questions and remove obstacles in their mind from how this applies to their challenges. However you don't need to raise unasked questions, or explain aspects they will learn down the road. In fact having some mystery in all of the capabilities can mean customers believe the solution will help them with more problems and challenges than they would if you exhaustively went through all the options with them.
I would also emphasize the important of connecting what you show, back to the business challenges your customer mentioned in discovery.
Along with the structure mentioned in part 1 of this series, compelling content will help your customer remember what you do, and how it helps them achieve their business goals.
By focusing your demos on only the most relevant content and parts of your solution, you earn the right to become a more trusted advisor and position more capabilities with your customer.
What parts of your demo or product offer the best content for storytelling and demonstrating business value?