Recently, the M-Files Enablement and Training Team held one of our regular Partner Champion Training events for the EMEA region, which are sessions for trainers to focus on developing processes, skills, and delivery methods to best help all types of clients get up to speed and benefiting from M-Files adoption.
During the demo sessions, people were asked to provide feedback on the points they loved and during the process, we all had a lot of fun and learned a great deal. One thing we learned is that many of these points are universal and can be used for all kinds of deliveries, so we have distilled the key takeaways into a top 10 list that you can use to powerup your delivery game!
10 Must-know Guidelines for Excellent Demos
- Rules of Engagement
Setting up session rules at the start, helps the audience feel secure, sets expectation, and helps drive engagement for the entire event. Things like, outlining the schedule, noting breaks, and mentioning how to give input only takes a minute or two, yet puts minds at ease and enables for natural conversation to flow.
- Set the Pace
The speed of delivery is important. A little too slow is great! Sometimes we feel that in order to bring value, we need to pack as much information in as possible, but the "less is more" approach works wonders, giving space for listening, learning, reflection and questions to arise.
- Interactive by design
Interact with the audience, use advocates, and give space for answers. One great way to get people on your side, is to have them on your side already. Enter the sessions a little early, small talk over a coffee about the day and then, ask questions and call on people to share their experiences and give their insights. This shares the informational workload and turns a lecture into a discussion.
Use analogies liberally and design them to be familiar to your audience. Stories connect us emotionally to what we are seeing and describing features through similar processes we already use, helps us engage and remember what we are learning. It is an excellent way to encourage the "Aha moments" as people see connections to what they already know.
- Keep it real
Just like stories, personal life examples for feature explanations work well too, and presenting our own experiences provides participants with a chance to see things from another perspective and then relate these to themselves. And of course, it makes us human, not just robots going through the program.
- Keep it clean
It's an old rule, but it works. For instance, if you use slides to accompany your demos, keep it clean. Simple slides are more memorable, less distractive and gives the presenter room to speak and connect with the audience. Additional material can be provided to support the session later, so no need to cram it all into one slide and instead - let your personality shine!
- Structural change
When demoing features or key points, make them flow in a logical order to step participants through from start to finish. There are many ways to do this, but ensure the audience knows why, what and how things work, plus include the reasons for them to be interested in learning. And of course, recap what has been learned often enough, to tie-off all the loose ends.
- Tips please
Offering pro-tips help the audience powerup their know-how and for when there is a group with mixed skill, offers more to the advanced participants without leaving out the rest. A few usage tips sprinkled throughout a session can improve the experience for everyone and facilitate adoption.
- The right tool for the job
Remote delivery is now the norm, so using some of the tools available like whiteboards, polls and pointers to enhance interaction, engagement and highlight during demos are great. Get to know them well beforehand though and of course, be prepared for the demo effect, if they don't always work as expected.
- A little humour goes a long way
Have some fun! A happy participant is a better learner and adding a little humor along the way improves the atmosphere and enhances retention. This is especially useful when things don't go quite to plan, which as any experienced trainer knows, happens a lot.
To wrap it up
See? Delivering effectively isn't rocket science, however developing the way we deliver what we know has a large impact on the audience, whether onsite or remotely. Just as M-Files empowers the "it's not where it is, it is what it is that matters" mindset - An M-Files delivery process takes what we know and communicates the why and how, so we can take what we know within the organization, and use it well.
See you next time!