WC Fields once said, “Never work with children or animals.” If I might slightly modify that to reflect the technology industry, “Never work with live software demos.”
It’s a variation on the common thread that everyone experiences where a computer program or piece of software doesn’t work until you try to show the problem to someone else. Or even worse, when someone is watching you type. My typing rate drops like a rock and every word is misspelled at least twice.
Luckily, there are ways to mitigate most of the risk associated with showcasing your work and efforts. As I am running around this, these solutions are sitting at the top of my mind:
1. Know your environment.
As a company that works a lot with sound, that means learning as much as you can about the layout of the speakers, the size of the room, what can you configure to make the experience as seamless as possible. For example, a few weeks ago we had a setup where there was no plan for a monitor to face the speaker during a presentation. That meant we were reliant on the sound echoing back onto the stage. After a quick discussion with the stage manager, a monitor was placed and the direct sound saved us a lot of problems. Getting in early and asking questions was key to avoiding issues.
2. Know your audience.
I like to figure out a series of 10 questions that I expect my audience to ask specific to the software and odd and surprising use cases. Most of the time, a good presentation demo runs on rails which allows you to fully control each step along the way. When you switch to hands on demos, that’s when things can start to go very, very wrong. By having the list of “Can it do X?” and resulting answers makes the software seem very natural and keeps the flow moving as people
3. Know your software.
It seems redundant, but knowing the aspects that are technically impressive might not always translate into what provides a great demo. I have worked with a script that covers the high points of the implementation, which is what I love to discuss, along side the more marketing focused side. I’ve also been guilty of rolling out the latest version of the code to show a new feature without fully testing all the legacy functionality.
While not every demo can and will go perfectly, being able to plan out the room, people, and software goes a long way to reducing the overall risk of something going askew. The rewards of being able to show a successful demo are huge, balancing and controlling the risk around live software is essential to creating the best overall view of your product.
LISNR is a high frequency, inaudible technology; a new communication protocol that sends data over audio. As the leaders of the Internet of Sound, we use inaudible sound waves called SmartTones™, to transmit information. LISNR essentially transmits customizable packets of data every second that enable proximity data transmission, second-screen functionality, authentication and low-fi device to deviceconnectivity on any LISNR enabled device. We enable this functionality better and more efficiently than bluetooth (proximity), ACR (2nd Screen), and NFC/RFID (authentication). As an integrated software partner, LISNR can power devices to connect with world around better than ever before.