Developing effective product demos is a challenging exercise. You will not be able to develop a product demo on your own unless and until you know the product too very well.
Knowing the product does not imply knowing how to use the product. Rather it indicates a thorough knowledge of the capability of the product. While developing a product demo you need to know what to showcase so that prospective customers get attracted to buy the product. There are hundreds of similar products in the market. Therefore a product demo must showcase exclusive features in the product. By exclusive features I mean features that make a product different from other similar products.Therefore always make sure you get help from subject matter experts while you develop the demo.
Always remember a product demo is just a feature or capability tour. Unlike a tutorial it does not exactly tell you how to use the product.
In this post I shall attempt to put down some guidelines create a product demo. I use a sample demo picked up from the Microsoft web site for illustration.
Please note the guidelines are not standardized.
Click the image to enlarge
Always begin the product demo with the title slide displaying the full name of the product.
Make sure you list down the contents next. List of contents must include introduction followed the key features to be showcased and conclusion. The list of contents must flow in a logical order such as Introduction , Feature Overview ( two or more features to be listed) and Conclusion.
The next step would be to elaborate upon each item in the list of contents. Start with a brief introduction. In the Introduction section, highlight the key benefits of using the product. Do not use highly technical language. Highlight aspects that customers can relate to.
The key to making a demo effective is by using a case study/scenario or example.Make sure you use one case study throughout the demo.
In the particular demo that Microsoft has created the Fabrikam example runs throughout the demo. The features of MS PowerPoint are showcased through this example. The example serves to help users relate to the practical use of the product in solving their problems at work.
After you have hinted the benefits of the product, the next step is to highlight the hows and whys. If you state MS Powerpoint helps one create and manage presentations, you also need to elaborate what features in the product helps one do these.
The PowerPoint demo highlights some key features to create , manage and share presentations.
When you showcase a feature always begin by stating the benefit of that feature.
Next highlight what can be done with the feature using an example as illustrated in the PowerPoint demo.
Check the feature overview for managing presentations using Powerpoint. You need to note the way the feature has been showcased using an example and the way it has been made relevant to the audience.
Make sure you end the demo with a conclusion.The conclusion must reinforce the benefits of the product.
Finally give contact information so that prospective customers can contact the company.
The Microsoft PowerPoint demo uses Flash and Voice Over which has enhanced the quality of the demo.
You could follow these guidelines and make a simple demo using Captivate.
Filed under: Technical Writing