Tips for DemoCamp Presenters from Jerry & I

As a follow up from his treatise on DemoCamp below are some more comments from Jerry. Jerry is totally right (I think). What he is asking for is some framing so people get the significance (or lack thereof) of a given presentation and an understanding of where it fits in to the world outside the mind of the respective developer. You can make this tight…even if it spills over to two minutes, it’s time well spent and broadens your appeal.

I know when Levi and I presented at DemoCamp2 we did not show a single page of our application. We talked about what we had learned about pricing and building registration forms hoping that others could learn from our mistakes and build better services. People have responded warmly to our sharing of that knowledge.

Whether they realize it or not, I know everyone has worthwhile knowledge to share…that is what I am most interested in seeing at DemoCamp’s carrying forward, but that’s just my two cents. Here is Jerry’s follow up:

Fair comment from Randy [comment is near the bottom]…. Pursuing fun should not, for example, preclude Osh’s suggestions for demoers:

1. Start by saying who you are (5 seconds)
2. then say what you are going to show (10 seconds)
3. say what sort of discussion and feedback you’re inviting (15 seconds)
4. then demo! (9 minutes, 30 seconds) no commercials :-) your honest passion is sufficient, no need for spin repeat audience questions briefly into the mic so that everyone can hear

Building on this, I advocate for including a sound bite (15 -30 seconds) on “context” (e.g. why this demo is significant? what does it mean for the developers or for their community of interest or for society at large? What are its’ limitations? Does it generate a result faster? Or more inexpensively? Or reduces hassle? Or entertains more thoroughly or offers a more efficient design?) that would come after “….then demo”. Taken together, these suggestions make for a friendlier demo and indeed, resemble the method for writing up a science project which probably hasn’t changes significantly in 200 years.

Like your blog comment of late November 2005 where you outlined what it takes to build a successful Web 2.0 company, many of your recommendations held true for brick and mortar companies in 1920s, 1950s, 1970s, and today.

5 thoughts on “Tips for DemoCamp Presenters from Jerry & I

  1. “Hi Mike,Thanks for the post. I am not too worried. Upon reflection, I believe what we're seeing are really just teething problems. As DemoCamp grows in size, rules and mores will develop, not out of any particular desire by organizers and demonstrators to be business-minded, but instead, out of the need to be practical and courteous. Impatience has been one of my weak points over the years (~:Cheers,Jerry”

  2. [...] Demos are not a product sales pitch. Read Value to the Audience; Tips for Presenting at DemoCamp and What Makes a Great Demo. We are looking for companies and individuals to celebrate and inspire the community. [...]

  3. At the end of your demo, when doing the question/answer period. be sure to repeat the questions that the audience asks over the mic for the rest of the group to hear.

  4. [...] are not a product sales pitch. Read Value to the Audience; Tips for Presenting at DemoCamp and What Makes a Great Demo. We are looking for companies and individuals to celebrate and inspire [...]

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