It’s a fun debate – the “old school” mentality of showing live software versus the simpler, stress and error-free technique of leveraging pre-recorded assets. In the end does it really matter to the ultimate judges, your audience?
I can’t be alone when I admit, moments before most presentations, my brain bounces around at least a dozen or so random thoughts as I prepare for the stage, plug in to a projector and tell my story.
Presenting is stressful no matter how savvy or good you think you are.
On a recent Wednesday afternoon, in an office building high above the streets of downtown Chicago, home to one of the largest accounting firms in the world, I was preparing for a short demonstration to a few influential executives.
Tethered to the projector and patiently awaiting my opportunity to present, a timely question was posed from a fellow team member, “Why would you not show live software? Are you afraid?”
His tone indicated a sense of bravado, a slight challenge to my ego? I smirked. Years ago I would have accepted that challenge without any hesitation, feeling the need to convince others of my public speaking prowess. Whereas today I’ve evolved to a much higher level of engagement with my audience.
Unbeknownst to my audience the effort to “warm up” my software consisted of a double-click on PowerPoint file saved to my desktop. No sweat beads dripping down my back, no concern about gaining “guest access” to the firm’s internet and nary a concern to connect to my own software. For the next 30 minutes I dedicated my time actively listening and engaging with the executives in strategic discussions and less time stressing over which windows, reports, screens to open next.
GO HYBRID – My advice is adopt a hybrid approach. Our conversations, as I’m certain yours will too, wandered beyond my script. Fortunately, with a live connection to our cloud as my backup solution, I was able to adjust and seamlessly segue between screens. This hybrid approach, the use pre-recorded and live software can support just about everyone scenario. And, I guarantee you’ll become a better listener focused on your decision makers how you can solve their challenges.
If you still don’t believe me read the pros and cons listed below:
PRO – you ever worry about access to another company’s corporate network
PRO – you will become a better listener
PRO – a click-thru demo may actually “run” faster
PRO – let’s face it, none of us are getting younger, never forget where to “click” next
PRO – an easy, simple and powerful “giveaway” for your prospect.
PRO – as a result of creating scripted demos, you will sound more polished than ever
PRO – no more sweaty armpits
CON – you will disappoint your co-worker who was setting you up for failure!