How to Spice Up Innovative Presentations with Demonstrations - dummies

How to Spice Up Innovative Presentations with Demonstrations

By Ray Anthony, Barbara Boyd

“Seeing is believing,” as the saying goes. Demonstrations, when performed properly during an innovative presentation, lend proof to your claims, especially with skeptics or cynics.

If you work in sales, marketing, or in a technical capacity, product demonstrations back up and verify your claims about your product being the fastest, most durable, most flexible, easiest to use, lightest, most quiet, or whatever the outstanding capacity places your product or service above the competition.

Demonstrations add dynamism, drama, and interest to your talk. They create three-dimensional realism that appeals to several senses. Numerous research studies confirm the obvious fact that the more a person’s senses (sight, sound, touch, smell, taste) are involved in an evaluation process, the easier and faster they can be persuaded.

Just look at infomercials and the creativity they use to demonstrate their slicer-dicers, vacuums, or exercise equipment, and you’ll understand why they’re so successful.

Oftentimes the more dramatic the demonstration, the more impressive. At the annual Paris Air Show, the world’s oldest and largest commercial air show, major manufacturers (such as Boeing, Lockheed, BAE, and Sukhoi) demonstrate the capabilities of their military and civilian aircraft to potential customers.

You see the best pilots doing what look like impossible maneuvers — straight up takeoffs, hairpin turns, stalls, and steep landings — to prove their machines are the best of the lot.

Demonstrators use a traditional demonstration technique called FAB (Feature, Advantage, Benefit). Say that at a trade show for construction and remodeling companies, your company features an industrial-quality cordless drill.

You talk about its brushless motors and say, “One key feature of our drill is the industry’s most advanced brushless motors. The advantage is they are more powerful, durable, and have greater efficiency. The benefit to your construction professionals is greater productivity and reliability, which enables them to do more in less time. And that translates into more profits for your company.”

When you include a demonstration in your presentation, practice ahead of time so it comes across as realistic and is done smoothly and professionally.

Any time you can, invite people from the audience to actually use your product or service as you guide them through the demonstration. Experiencing your claims firsthand removes any doubt an audience member may have.