5 Tips for Great Demos

By Tyler Sauve

What turns a good balance into a great demo?

You’ll need an audience and someone to balance. But first, you might want to learn a few things:

  • Learn to sell without being a salesman.
  • Learn to pitch without being pitchy.
  • Make it organic and keep it personal.

Here’s a couple other tips I’ve found to be exceptionally useful…

1) Use anecdotes. People love stories. It’s in our blood. We used to sit around and tell stories long before there was even a written language. A good story or anecdote isn’t just a testimonial; there is a beginning, middle and end. There are obstacles that need to be overcome. There’s doubt and fear, surprises and a triumphant ending. Draw them in and tap into their imagination and emotions. Let them lose themselves in your words.*
2) Make them laugh. The shortest distance between two people is humour. Keep it tasteful; you’re not there to do standup comedy, but rather to keep the mood light and playful and keep them waiting eagerly for your next punchline. Don’t take yourself too seriously but don’t be a class clown seeking attention at any expense.

3) Use body language. You might be thinking this is difficult because you’ll be demoing on someone and giving them a balance, but that only makes it easier. Be dramatic with your movements. You’re already moving. Be dramatic with your face, your eyes, your arms. Make eye contact with specific audience members and draw them in.
4) Make sure you can be heard. Wear a mic if needed, they’re super cheap to rent. You don’t need to blast your audience’s ears off, but they should be able to hear your every word. Remember, modulation is key. Change your pace, speed up, slow down. If you’re saying something you really want them to pay attention to, speak quieter, and slow down, so they’ll want to lean forward so they don’t miss it. Change the tone throughout. The last thing you want to do is come across like a monotonous robot.
5) Get someone to record you. Watch your-self. Make notes. Show other presenters whose opinion you value and ask for feedback.

I will leave with one last suggestion… find a Toastmasters Chapter in your area. It’s the best public speaking training organization I have ever seen. If you’re afraid to stand up and say your name or if you’ve spoken to thousands of people in an audience and have for years, you can always be better.

*for liability reasons, if you’re telling a story about someone else do not use their real name unless you have permission. If you do have permission be sure to tell your audience that.
Tyler has been a trainer of public speakers and presenters for almost ten years.

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