I need one of those!

I remember the pain of writing essays in high school.

It went something like this. Draft a 3 point, 3 to 5 page first draft by hand. Type the draft up using my Brother typewriter. Turn it in. Get the comments from Mr. Jones, my English teacher. Make manual corrections. Type it up again. Repeat. Typing errors? Either throw out the sheet or try to fix it with white out.

All that changed with one demo. My brother gave me a demonstration of the word processor he was using in his classes. It took all of five minutes. He showed me why I no longer needed to retype the same essay three times. He showed me why I no longer needed to use white out.  He showed me why I no longer needed to fear spelling errors. I wanted one of those. I needed one of those.

It was the perfect opportunity for a demo. There was a need for a better way and there was a much better way that needed to be shown to be understood.

When not to demo

Fast forward 20+ years. It’s the reverse situation. I can imagine getting a demo of the latest version of Microsoft Word.  Now I know what a word processor is supposed to do and I know how to use the old version.  The current demo would show me an annoying ribbon which hides all the buttons I’m familiar with. Now I’m thinking, “Crap, I need to learn word processing again. Not fun.”

What kind of demos are you doing?

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Categories: Information Technology, Selling

Author:Tom Molyneux

A business process strategist with a focus on real-time event management.

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2 Comments on “I need one of those!”

  1. Max
    October 7, 2012 at 10:25 pm #

    Well, you still have your keyboard, at least.

    • October 8, 2012 at 7:58 am #

      What I like is the fact that the demonstration connected to real pain and told a story. A great demo needs to do both and focus on the idea that things used to be one way but now are better or safer or cheaper because of the thing being shown.

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