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How to Demo a Product: Tips for a Winning Presentation

Angela Guedes
November 28, 2023

When you’re about to showcase a product, the goal is clear: show how it works and why it's useful. A good product demo it’s more than just going through a list of features. It's about clearly demonstrating how your product solves specific problems or improves certain tasks.

In this guide, we'll cut through the fluff and focus on what matters. You'll learn how to demo a product, from how to understand your audience, highlight your product's key features effectively, and keep your audience engaged throughout the demo. 

This guide is for anyone who wants to improve their demo skills, whether you're new to it or seasoned in the art of product presentations.

What a Product Demo Really Means for Your Prospects

At the heart of learning how to demo a product is understanding what makes a demo truly effective. It's not just about showing off your product; a product demo is your chance to show how your product fits into the daily lives or work of your potential customers.

Think of a product demo as a bridge. On one side, you have a customer with specific needs, problems, or goals. On the other side is your product, with its unique features and capabilities. 

Your demo is the bridge that connects these two sides, showing your audience how crossing over to your product can make a real difference for them.

Every time you plan how to demo a product, focus on making it relevant and relatable. It's about saying, "We understand what you need, and here's how our product can help." For example, if you're demonstrating a new software, don't just talk about its features; show how these features can save time, reduce errors, or make tasks easier.

Remember, a successful demo doesn't overwhelm the audience with technical jargon. Instead, it speaks their language and addresses their concerns or aspirations. More than showing what your product can do, focus on what it can do for them specifically.

Getting to Know Your Audience: The Key to a Great Demo

A critical step in figuring out how to demo a product effectively is knowing who you're talking to. This means figuring out what they need, what problems they face, and what they want to achieve. 

Start by researching your audience. Are they tech-savvy or do they prefer simplicity? What are their business goals or personal aspirations? Are they looking for cost-effective solutions or are they more interested in premium, high-end features? This kind of knowledge lets you tailor your demo to address their particular concerns or desires.

For instance, if you're demonstrating a new project management tool to a group of busy project managers, they'll likely be more interested in how it can streamline their workflow and make their day-to-day tasks more manageable.

While presenting, it’s also important to engage with your audience. Ask questions and encourage feedback. This not only helps keep the demo interactive but also provides you with real-time insights into their responses. 

Are they engaged with a particular feature? Do they seem confused or need more clarification on a certain point? This immediate feedback is invaluable and can guide you to focus on areas that are hitting the mark or to adjust your approach if something isn’t clear.

Demonstrating a product with understanding means you're not just showing a product, but offering a solution they find valuable. This way, your demo becomes more effective and builds trust with your audience.

Preparing for Your Product Demo

Effective preparation is crucial for a successful product demo. 

Before diving into how to demo a product, start by outlining your demonstration. Identify the key features of your product that align with your audience's needs. This plan acts as a guide, helping you focus on the essential aspects of your product during the demo. For instance, when showcasing software, prioritize the functions that will most appeal to your audience.

As you prepare, think about the questions your audience might ask. Being ready with answers demonstrates your expertise and preparedness, which strengthens your credibility. 

Practicing your demo is also important. Run through it with a colleague or record yourself to refine your presentation and build confidence.

Halfway through your prep for how to demo a product, double-check your technical setup. Make sure all your equipment works and that you're comfortable using it. Avoiding technical hiccups keeps the attention on your product and your message.

In the final stages of preparation, focus on streamlining your presentation. Keep it concise and relevant to your audience's interests. This helps ensure your demo is not only informative but also engaging.

This thorough preparation paves the way for a smooth, impactful demo that clearly communicates the value of your product to your audience.

Crafting Your Demo with a Storytelling Approach

In learning how to demo a product, think about telling a story. This means starting your demo with a problem that your audience faces and showing how your product solves it.

For example, if your product is a time-management app, begin by talking about the challenge of juggling many tasks.

Next, introduce your product as the solution to this problem. Describe its features in a way that relates directly to solving the issue you've presented. For instance, show how the app organizes tasks more efficiently. 

As you move through your demo, focus on the change your product brings. Illustrate how life or work is better with your product. If you're talking about a time-management app, show how it frees up time or reduces stress. This part of the demo is about showing the real, practical benefits of using your product.

Towards the end of your demo, wrap up your story. Recap how your product addresses the problem you started with. This helps your audience remember the key points and the value of your product.

In short, using a storytelling approach in your demo can make it more engaging and relatable. It helps your audience see your product as a practical solution to a real problem, which can make your demo more impactful and memorable.

Demonstrating Key Features

This part of your demo is where you get to showcase what sets your product apart. The trick is to focus on how these features benefit the user. Each feature you present should directly tie back to a need or problem your audience experiences.

Start by identifying the most important features of your product. Think about what makes your product unique and how these features meet your audience's specific needs.

For instance, if your product is a project management tool, you might focus on its unique collaboration capabilities or its intuitive user interface. Remember, the goal is to keep your audience engaged, so pick features that you know will interest them.

Also important, explain each feature in simple terms. Avoid technical jargon that could confuse your audience. Instead, use clear, concise language.

For example, if you’re demonstrating a new camera, rather than diving into technical specifications, you could focus on how its advanced lens improves photo quality in low-light conditions. This approach makes it easier for your audience to understand and appreciate the value of the features you're demonstrating.

As you conclude this section of your demo, briefly summarize the features you've shown. This helps reinforce what your audience has learned and makes it easier for them to remember the key points. 

In summary, when demonstrating key features in your product demo, focus on simplicity, relevance, and benefits.

Engaging with Your Audience

Engaging your audience during a product demo is about making each participant feel like an active part of the experience. Here’s some advice to elevate your engagement:

  • Tailor Content in Real-Time: Listen actively. If certain features spark more interest, focus more on them. Shift gears if you sense a topic isn’t resonating.
  • Incorporate Storytelling with Data: Combine relatable stories with concrete data. This balance keeps the content compelling and credible.
  • Use Humor Appropriately: A light joke or a humorous remark can make the atmosphere more relaxed, but always keep it appropriate and professional.
  • Polls and Q&A Sessions: Use interactive tools like live polls to gather instant feedback. Reserve time for a Q&A session to address specific queries.
  • Real-Case Demonstrations: If feasible, show your product in action. Solving a common problem live can be very impactful.
  • Leverage Social Proof: Briefly mention other clients (without revealing sensitive info) who have benefitted from your product, especially those similar to your audience.
  • Personalize Examples: Use your understanding of the audience’s industry or specific challenges in your examples. This shows that you’re not just selling a product but offering a solution.
  • Encourage Notes and Follow-ups: Suggest that attendees take notes and offer follow-up material. This keeps them engaged beyond the demo.

Handling Technical Difficulties Gracefully

Technical hiccups can occur during a product demo. How you handle these moments can greatly impact your audience's perception of both you and your product. Here's how to manage technical difficulties gracefully while demonstrating how to demo a product:

  • Preparation is Key: Always test your equipment and software before the demo. This includes checking internet connectivity, presentation tools, and the product itself. Even with preparation, be ready for unexpected issues.
  • Stay Calm and Collected: If a technical issue arises, remain calm and professional. Your composure reassures the audience that you’re in control and capable of handling unexpected situations.
  • Have a Backup Plan: Always have a plan B. This could be pre-recorded segments of your demo, screenshots, or a simple whiteboard explanation. This way, you can continue to convey your message without relying solely on technology.
  • Communicate Transparently: Inform your audience about the issue succinctly and let them know you’re working on it. Avoid delving into too many technical details which can be distracting and detract from the product's value.
  • Use the Time Wisely: If the problem takes time to fix, use this as an opportunity to discuss other aspects of the product or answer any questions. This keeps the audience engaged and ensures the time is used productively.
  • Learn and Improve: After the demo, analyze what went wrong and how it was addressed. This reflection helps improve future demos and your ability to handle similar situations.

The Art of the Follow-Up

Mastering the art of the follow-up is as crucial as knowing how to demo a product. The follow-up is where potential leads are nurtured into customers. Here’s some seasoned advice:

  • Timeliness is Key: Reach out within 24 hours of the demo. This ensures your product remains fresh in the minds of your audience. A prompt follow-up shows professionalism and enthusiasm.
  • Personalize Your Approach: Tailor your follow-up message. Reference specific points or questions raised during the demo to show that you were attentive and value their input.
  • Provide Additional Resources: Include helpful materials like detailed guides, case studies, or a link to a recording of the demo. This not only reinforces your message but also provides value to your prospects.
  • Set Clear Next Steps: Be clear about what the next stages are. Whether it’s scheduling another meeting, a call for more detailed discussion, or a trial period, make sure your audience knows what to expect and by when.
  • Gather Feedback: Use follow-up as an opportunity to ask for feedback about the demo. This shows that you’re open to learning and improving, and it can provide valuable insights for future presentations.
  • Stay Consistent and Persistent: Sometimes, one follow-up isn’t enough. Maintain regular, but not overwhelming, communication to keep your product on their radar without being intrusive.
  • Use CRM Tools Effectively: Leverage your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools to track follow-up activities. This ensures no lead falls through the cracks and allows for more efficient follow-up processes.

Bonus: cut sales cycles with async product demos

When it's tough to schedule calls with prospects, asynchronous demos are an efficient and flexible option. A recorded demo also helps your champions spread the word about your product. Here’s how to approach it:

  1. Start with a Personalized Video: When you’re stuck in the scheduling back and forth nightmare, create a personalized video to demo your product. Claap is a great tool for this and you can even include a CTA at the end of your video.
  2. Create a Shared Content Library: Post-demo, create a library of resources for your internal champion. This could include the recording of your live product demo, presentations of use cases identified during your call, and any relevant product vision or roadmap materials. This method allows your champion to share this information internally without additional meetings, thus speeding up the decision-making process​​.
  3. Nurture and Train at Scale: You can also use video to share updates, showcase specific feature, or answer questions. For example, sharing a new integration or feature update through a personalized video can help build stronger relationships. It demonstrates effort and commitment to providing tailored content and support​​.

Incorporating asynchronous methods in how to demo a product not only caters to the evolving preferences of B2B buyers but also effectively accelerates the sales cycle. By using personalized videos and shared resources, you can engage prospects and customers on their terms, making your sales process more adaptable and responsive​​.


And there you have it! From preparing your product demo to the art of follow-up, we've covered some key aspects of how to demo a product effectively. 

Keep in mind that every demo is a learning experience. Each time you present, you'll discover new ways to improve and connect more deeply with your audience. Stay open to feedback, be adaptable, and always look for ways to refine your approach.

Above all, enjoy the process. Your enthusiasm for your product is contagious, and when combined with the tips we've shared, it can make your demos not just informative, but also inspiring. Here's to many successful product demos ahead!

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