You want to showcase your product in the best light and have your audience care about what you're offering, but the trouble is that creating a great demo is time consuming and needs some core knowledge. That's where storytelling simplifies the process.
The Authentic Marketing Podcast provides a plan for an authentic approach to customer engagement that creates clarity within your sales and marketing, generating more leads and closing sales faster.
In this episode, Simon Harvey and Daniel Kleber are going to show you how to weave a narrative around your product. A story that uses demonstration to show how your product solves a problem in a way that resonates with your audience.
Listen in now to learn how with the right framework and a bit of storytelling magic, anyone can create a great demo.
To simplify your demo creation process, download the free demo script canvas. By using our template canvas, you can create a memorable and effective experience that will leave a lasting impression on your audience. You can find it here (or copy and paste the link below):
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You know what it's like, we've all been sucked into those quarterly showcases from the likes of Apple and others and ended up pulling out a credit card to pre purchase the latest gadget before it hits the streets. The formula's simple. Great demos close sales. You want to showcase your product in the best light and have your audience care about what you're offering. But the trouble is that creating a great demo is time consuming and you need to have some core knowledge. That's where storytelling can simplify the process. In today's episode, we're going to show you how to weave a narrative around your product. A story that uses demonstration to show how your product solves a problem in a way that resonates with your audience. With the right framework and a bit of storytelling magic, anyone can create a demo. So let's see how it's done. Hi there and welcome to the authentic marketing podcast in association with Demodia. I'm your host Simon Harvey and joining me as usual is my co host Daniel Klaber. Hi there, Daniel.Daniel:
So Daniel, exciting day today. So as you know, I'm a real Apple fan and they've got their worldwide developers conference coming up in the next couple of weeks. So I'm really looking forward to that. So it'sDaniel:
that time of year again. Yep, indeed. Yeah, I know you're following every single release on Apple's side, and you must be counting the days until the developers conference. I know the world would end if you missed that.Simon:
Well, it wouldn't be quite that bad, yeah. I know I'm a reasonable fan, certainly. I do have quite a few Apple products, I would definitely say that. For those that aren't quite such big fans though, um, Apple have several big events each year. You know, they announce their products, you know, the latest stuff that's coming off the software line or their product line. And they talk a lot about the new features and capabilities that those things are going to have. So, for somebody like me, uh, it's a little bit like Christmas, you know, it's like waiting to see what comes out of the, uh, the presents or waiting to see what comes out from under the tree and where I can spend my money next.Daniel:
Don't forget to leave the milk and the cookies. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I actually have a picture of you in my head waiting in front of the big Apple store in Zurich to open up their doors so you can rush in and spend your hard earned money.Simon:
Maybe not quite that this time, but yeah, it's getting there.Daniel:
But. You know, I do agree that Apple does a great job at presenting their new products. They always put on a great stage show with lots of fancy graphics and product videos. Yeah,Simon:
you're absolutely right. They've got to spend a fortune on stuff like that. But, um, when you're Apple, I guess that's not such a big problem really, is it? Um, I do think though Apple's done a great job of building up the brand over the years and building up all the followers and you know, they come up with fantastic, stunning presentations year after year and they've got a really good style for doing that. But one thing though, I'd say that as we're talking about demos in this series, I really don't think that they're the ones that most of our listeners should actually be copying or should actually be taking their ideas from unless they're already very well established and there's a good reason for that. So. If you go back to when Apple was struggling more, and when they were trying to build the new product line. In fact, do you remember that? Are you even old enough to remember that? Do you remember the launch of the iPod?Daniel:
Well, I was kind of four years old at that time, but, uh, I have to admit it definitely changed my life to the better.Simon:
God, man, how old are you? Make me feel old. Yeah, but no, it was certainly something that did change the world back then. Um, and Apple was in a completely different situation then, you know, they'd had many failed product releases and didn't really have, uh, interested buyers, they needed to be more careful about the way that they presented their products. So, for those that aren't old enough to remember, when they announced the iPod, they said this. They said it's a thousand songs in your pocket and now you can carry a whole music library with you wherever you go. You know, that statement or those couple of statements were really essential. The problem was back then that MP3 players that were around at the time, these little USB thumb drive type things. And they really could only store 20 or so songs on a device. So if you wanted to have more songs, you need to update your library every day. And, um, that one demo and those one sort of statements turned out to be the most important in the company's history. So you'reDaniel:
telling me that people were carrying around computersSimon:
before? Yeah, we weren't going quite that far, but, uh, they were a little bit smaller.Daniel:
So they clearly pointed out the problem that they were solving with their new product during the demonstration.Simon:
Yeah, and then that's the key thing. They focused on the problem inside there. You can carry around your whole music library. You don't have to spend all day uploading and focusing on just those 20 songs. Yeah.Daniel:
You know, I see so many companies messing up their product demos. They get caught up in showing off all their fancy features and using all sorts of technical language and jargon that nobody can understand. And they don't even bother explaining why any of it really matters in the first place. So if you're giving a product demo, you need to make sure you're not just showing off features for the sake of it. Make sure you're demonstrating and talking about how your product makes a real difference in people'sSimon:
lives. Yeah, you're absolutely right. People buy when they read or hear the words that make them want to buy. So it's essential that you incorporate those into your demo. The other problem, though, that I see just as often is a lack of planning. You know, so many demos just send me to sleep because they weren't planned. Nobody thought about exactly what they were going to talk about and how they were going to present that. It's just a feature dump with no structure. So, a great demo. Is all about showing the right things and not overloading your audience with everything that your product can do. So example, I give quite often when I'm talking to customers, imagine you're trying to carry pints of beer. I'm sure you're familiar with that. Oh yeah, definitely. And I'm talking about proper English pints of beer here. You know, the large glasses, no handles, not like these little, uh, tiny Swiss glasses. So each point that you talk about in your demo, it is like giving you a pint of beer. One pint is fine, you know, you can pick up that, you can carry it, you can hold it, you can walk across the bar without spilling anything. Two pints of beer, yeah, you can probably manage that without spilling anything too, without an issue. That's like giving them two things to think about, two demo points to consider in there, two features, something like that. But the thing is, the third one, Now you're starting to have problems. It starts to get a little bit more tricky. You're starting to spill stuff. And if it's busy, um, you know, there's other stuff going on in the room. You're less likely to get there without making a mess. But if you've got four pints, you know, give them four bits of information. What's going to happen? You just end up with a sticky mess on the floor, basically. And that's exactly the same as you go through demos. You get to that point where they're just like, God, what is it that they've shown me? And you forget everything. You don't just forget the last thing that was shown you forget the whole lot. Well,Daniel:
you know, I think I could carry four, but um, I get the point that you want to bring across. Overloading your audience with information about your product or service will end up in a mess. Yeah,Simon:
absolutely. Yep. ButDaniel:
here's the thing. If you want to sell your product, you need to make people care about it. Yep. You need to show them how it solves their problems and makes their lives better. And you can't do that by just spouting off a bunch of technical stuff that nobody can follow. That's very true. If you want to make sure your product demo is clear and effective, you need to keep your focus on what really matters. And that's your audience and the problems that they're facing. But it's easy to get lost in the details and lose sight of the big picture. I understand. So how do you avoidSimon:
that? So here's the deal then, if you want your product demo to be a hit, You've got to have a plan, and that's about where the story comes in. You've got to have a story structure inside there. So having a story helps you to structure your demo in a way that's clear for your audience to understand, easy for them to follow, and easy for them to remember. So you want to take your audience on a journey and that journey is going to go from a problem to a solution and a good template was going to help you identify the key elements of that journey. So you want to make sure you're talking about things like the characters. Um, so that's going to be the person that you're doing the demo for. So if you're doing an HR demo, for example, you might be representing the HR person in the company and you need to talk about conflict. Um, so something that's going wrong, a problem that they've got. And the resolution, and that's your solution. So with a structure like that, you can craft a narrative that's both informative and entertaining, but here's the real magic though, with the storytelling template, it keeps you on track. So when you're giving a demo, it's easy to get sidetracked. It's easier to overwhelm your audience with cool features and functions and all of those sorts of things. But staying focused on the story will help you to carry on skipping some of the things that don't matter and focusing on the things that do matter. And that means your audience will walk away with a really clear understanding of what your product is and more specifically, how it's going to help them to solve that particular problem that they're looking for a solution to.Daniel:
You know, I always ask myself why I was able to remember every single movie that I watched since I was a kid, but I wasn't able to remember what my teacher told me five minutes ago.Simon:
I think we all have that problem.Daniel:
But yeah, it's definitely the stories that's behind the ideas. And that's a really simple way to build demos that interest people. We've got a great story based structure for product demos. That's easy to use and always delivers great results. And guess what? Anyone can use it to create an Apple level demonstration that blows minds. So let's take a closer look.Simon:
So listeners. By now you're asking yourselves, how can I do this myself? So over the next few minutes, we're going to run you through the simple steps that you need to take to build an amazing product demonstration created using a story structure. So, let's start at the beginning. I mentioned earlier, every great story needs to have a hero. So the first step is to choose the main character for your demo. So this needs to be someone that represents your main target group for your demonstration. So if you're selling a product that offers a solution to a problem within the HR department for example, you might want to choose somebody like the HR manager and make that person your hero. If it's solving a problem for a car mechanic, you probably don't want to focus on the mechanic themselves, but you might want to focus on somebody like the workshop manager, um, that's actually got some buying power in there. You know, the key is choosing somebody that has decision making power. You know, you're not building a demo for end users. That's key inside here. If you find yourself building a demo for end users, you're creating a training course and not a sales demo. So you want to make sure you're staying focused.Daniel:
Simon, I think you're right. That's a really good point that I hadn't thought of until now. We're not here to train people how to use the product, we're here to sell to them and there's a distinct difference. So choosing a main character that represents the audience you're selling to is essential. They need to see themselves and be able to relate to what you'reSimon:
showing. Yeah, exactly. So when your audience sees themselves as the character in your demonstration, It becomes easier for them to see the value that your product or service brings to that particular person or brings to them in particular.Daniel:
Cool, so we've got the character sorted. Now, what should our listeners think about next?Simon:
So, step two is all about discussing your main character's problem. So many companies miss out when they come to doing this in demos, it's unbelievable. So whether you're creating a demo video or doing a live video, um, it's really essential to make sure that everybody's clear what the problem is that you're solving. So many people, particularly on the live demonstrations, just jump straight into the demo. You know, they're keen to show off the product. They're keen to show off what it can do, but by opening with a problem, you hook the attention of your audience and you keep them watching. You know, they understand why they should can continue listening.Daniel:
So you give them a real reason to listen.Simon:
Yeah, you're absolutely right. So when your audience understands from the start that your demo is the solution to their problem, then they stay awake because they want to know how they're going to solve it. So going back to a HR example. If we were demoing software that helped with skills acquisition, um, then we want to start by identifying the HR manager's biggest problem. So that might be something like, you know, they're losing skilled labor to competitors, or they're wasting money recruiting the wrong type of talent, for example. We then showcase how the character in our demo solves this problem using our software. SoDaniel:
for all you listeners out there, it's very important to make sure you highlight the problem that your audience is facing, and then show how your product or service can solve that problem. You also need to make sure to pick one main problem and focus on that, instead of picking ten and trying to cover them all. As Simon said earlier, I would rather be drinking my beer than to see it spilled on theSimon:
floor. Exactly. It's important to remember that as humans, we're natural problem solvers and you're going to create a far more effective and engaging demo by identifying your audience's biggest problem and showing them how you can solve that within your demo than you are by just showing them features. So, to summarize. Step two is all about talking to your main character and thinking about what their problem is and showing, in the way of a demo, how you solve that. Great.Daniel:
We've covered steps one and two. So, let's move on to step three, which is all about demonstrating the perfect solution to your audience. It's time to show your target audience how your product solves their problem perfectly. And the most effective way of doing that is using clear and understandable language. It's essential to keep your focus on the problem and its solution because that's the central theme of our demo.Simon:
Exactly. So I'd say, again, a problem that I see here. Is people trying to show off more than they need to. So I talked earlier about not doing feature dumps. You need to refrain from presenting features that have nothing to do with the problem. So for example, imagine our software solution for human resources and skills acquisition, you know. It might address the issue of insufficient competencies within your company. So during the demo, you'd showcase how your product tackles this problem specifically by generating comprehensive reports on employee skills, for example, and highlighting any gaps in their expertise. You know, additionally, our product might also be useful for HR managers. to help them develop custom training plans or to monitor progress towards their skills acquisition goals. But the thing is, that's not the problem that our audience is here to see. They're here to understand how you address that skills gap question. So there's no need to go into all those other features and to show them how you run employee training programs or set up job advertisements to recruit your missing skills. That's a demo for another day or another section of that particular demo. Stay focused. AndDaniel:
by doing so, we provide a clear understanding of the value that our product or service can bring to our audience. So step three is all about making your audience understand how our solution will make their life easier.Simon:
So step four, let's move on to the last one. Finally. We need to remind our audience what a bad solution looks like. So the fall from grace. This is a popular concept in film narratives because it shows how far a hero Might fall or how much they can fail within the story. So in a demo, you can use a similar concept to show your audience what happens when they don't address their problem. You need to demonstrate the consequences of not using your product or service so that users get a sense of urgency and understand why they need to move forward. You know, motivates them to take action.Daniel:
So it's like pulling a gun towards theSimon:
head. I wouldn't go quite that far. Yeah,Daniel:
I see. So, Simon, how can we apply this concept toSimon:
a demo? Well, okay, so let's say you're giving that HR demo again. Um, you need to illustrate what happens if they don't use the software. For example, they might miss important transformations that are happening within their business. Uh, and ultimately this could result in. Missing competencies in there. It could result in competitors taking away skills from them and being able to outmaneuver them in the market. Um, and it could be just generally damaging for their business overall. So you need to make that very clear, including these negative elements. You make your audience feel the consequences of not addressing the problem, and that's important to motivate them to take action, I think. So just one thing actually around this that I'd add, you know, whilst we're talking about demos in here, you don't actually have to use product the whole time in there to tell the story. Um, one thing I've learned through experience and I definitely recommend is don't be afraid to jump out and use other media where appropriate. You know, you can jump into a PowerPoint slide every now and again, or you can show a little video or jump to a graphic or something on a webpage, you know. Use other media to get across some of these other points as well. It's about the overall experience and not just necessarily showing off your product the whole time.Daniel:
Well, that makes a lot of sense by showing what a bad solution looks like. You're giving your audience a glimpse of what could happen if they don't take action. This really is a powerful way to create urgency and drive them to make aSimon:
decision. So let's move on to step five and this is all about the business transformation. So at this point it's all about showing your audience the success they'll achieve after they've used your product. You want to clarify how much better their lives are going to be once they've used the product and once their problem is solved. So this again can be something that you're doing outside of the demonstration itself, but it should be something that's concrete and precisely describes the benefits that they're going to get from your product or service. So it's like in films where you show the happy ending at the end of the story.Daniel:
Alright, that makes sense. That's the final step in giving the perfect demo in our framework. But there's something more you need to remember. The final step, and the one to never forget, especially if this demo is for use in a video, the call to action, or CTA. After you've shown the main character successfully resolving their problem, you want to call your customers to action so they start to do business with you and solve their problems. And that's a very important step.Simon:
Yeah, I think that's really important. And as you mentioned, I think it's especially important if the demo is going to be used in a video. Uh, if it's a demonstration that you're doing yourself, maybe it's a little bit less important because you've got control of the situation in the meeting. But if it's something that the user is running on a website, or it's a click tour type demonstration, you need to remind them how they can do business with you. That's really essential.Daniel:
So there you have it. Five steps to creating the perfect demo.Simon:
So, there you have it. Those are the simple steps that you need to follow to create a demonstration that tells a story and connects with your customers at a deeper level. So if there's one thing that we mentioned today many times, which I don't want you to forget, it's this, remember the problem. Never forget that problem. If you feel yourself getting pulled into showing features and functions, then do this. Take a pause and ask yourself whether or not what you're talking about at the moment helps the customer to solve that all important problem. If it doesn't, then stop. You've probably said enough at this point in time and you're now adding to the confusion. That section of the demo is complete. So, if you're having problems creating demonstrations that tell your story without being a feature dump and you need somebody to help you script your demos, Then you can hire an authentic engagement coach. Just go to demodia. com to hire a coach that will show you how to increase the effectiveness of your product demos and give you an easier way to grow your business. So we're at that point in the show again, where I like to give you a set of concrete actions that you can take to help you improve your product demos. Today, I'd like to take a closer look at your decision demonstration. So as a reminder, this is the main personalized demonstration that you give at the end of your sales process. It's often the demonstration that's going to make or break your sales. So it's important to get this right. Firstly, then what I want you to do is to jot down a few notes about your audience. And in particular, think about what it is that they want to achieve. You know, do they want to be able to do something faster? Do they want to be able to do it cheaper? Something with less errors? Think about what that aspiration is, what they're trying to achieve. When you've done that, write down the problem. What's getting in the way of them achieving this? Now next, I want you to go through your product. And in this section, you're going to document a short flow that outlines in some simple steps how your product solves this problem above. So this is going to be something very easy and simple and it's only going to show the features of the product that are required to show how you solve that problem. You should be able to talk through these in no more than about 10 minutes or so. Finally, I want you to create a couple of PowerPoint slides or some other visuals. So in the first of these, you're going to highlight what things will look like if your customer fails to act on what you're showing them. So in other words, if they don't do anything, if they carry on doing things the way that they are at the moment, what's the world going to look like for them? Often there's things like legal regulations, perhaps, that they might fall foul of. There may be competitors that are coming into the market and doing things differently. differently, and they may be going to take over some space, you need to make those sorts of things very clear to your customers, because without some sort of reason to act, they're not going to. The second slide I want you to create is going to illustrate how your solution will transform their business. So you've shown technically how you're going to do this, but now is your chance to speak to the instinctive side of the brain and talk to them about exactly what they should expect to achieve from a business results perspective. You want to talk about things here like savings, reduced risks, um, or things that are going to improve their general standing in the marketplace. To help get you started, we've put together a demo script canvas, and you can download that using the link that's shown in the show notes. So by following these steps, you're going to create a set of powerful and effective demos that will help you showcase your product or service to its best extent and close deals faster. That's all for today's episode of Authentic Marketing, everybody. Thanks very much for listening, and don't forget to bookmark the podcast and follow us on LinkedIn. We'd love to hear what you want to know and how we're helping your business succeed. I'll see you next time.