Sales

Dry Runs Before Product Demos

Are you getting nervous before you give a product demo? Consider doing a dry run.

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At the same time, many employees are too confident and are tempted to wing their presentations. These employees may see practice as a waste of time.

But, for employees on both ends of the confidence spectrum and everyone in between, a presentation or product demo dry run is a key aspect of a successful presentation. Dry runs have a number of important benefits for presenters.

Improving Confidence

Especially for those uncomfortable with public speaking, dry runs are key. While it might seem like added torture, the best way to grow more confident in public speaking is to practice.

For most presenters, it can be less threatening to practice in front of those they know than to take their chances with a room full of strangers. Practice, as they say, makes perfect!

Ensuring Appropriate Timing and Flow

No matter how well timed you think your presentation is, you won’t know for sure until you’ve practiced it live. You might find that you run out of time with your current content, or only use up a small fraction of the time you have available.

Or, you might find that, after hearing your presentation out loud, it doesn’t really flow that well from one point to the next. A dry run can help you identify the potential kinks in your presentation while giving you ample time to make needed adjustments.

Boosting Audience Interaction

A practiced, rehearsed presentation is essential to a positive audience experience. “You can’t make an effective presentation if you read from a script, rely too much on notes, or use your slides as cue cards,” says Bill Rosenthal in an article for Forbes. “You have to rehearse well enough so you can give all your attention to the audience.”

Similarly, giving a dry run to colleagues who aren’t as familiar with the material as you are will help you get a sense of the kinds of questions that might come up during the actual presentation.

Ensuring a No-Problem Tech Experience

In an article for Fortune, Balaji Viswanathan confirms the importance of dry runs with his own experience. “During one of my recent presentations, I didn’t do a tech dry run,” he writes. “Not surprisingly the tech melted down and there was precious minutes lost. Make sure the technology doesn’t fail you.”

The danger of a product failure during a demo goes beyond lost minutes. It can mean a lost sale if a potential customer gets the impression your product isn’t reliable. But even if you aren’t selling tech or a product at all, a PowerPoint®, video connection, or audio failure can be embarrassing and distracting.

Dry runs take up time, and it can seem awkward giving a “pretend” presentation to a group of colleagues or even on video. But, successful presenters know that dry runs can make all the difference between a successful presentation and an embarrassing flop.