Live demonstrations can be a powerful tool in conveying key concepts in data networking. While it’s not the only way, it’s something most engineers want. No doubt you’ve heard, ” I’ll believe it when I see it!” This is true if your telling me you have a simple solution, an innovative capability, the best solution offered in the market, or … You fill in the blank. But the worst thing that can happen is that a well intended live demonstrations goes awry, leaving your credibility in the dirt.
Here are 15 practical tips to ensure a smooth live demonstration:
- Map Out What You Want To Demo and stick to it. If you sidetrack you leave yourself open to failure.
- Make A List Of Dependencies. It looks horrible when you demo something and don’t have the required dependencies. Java is a common example of a dependency that is often overlooked.
- Screen Grab Your CLI and cut and paste it in while you talk. Fumbling through a command looks bad. If you have done it before, capture that to a text file and use it to cut and paste rather than type. Keep the commands on a second monitor so they are out of sight.
- For outputs that take a while to propagate or “Show Up” in the demo, provide a screenshot instead and move on.
- Run through the demonstration beforehand so you are comfortable with the flow.
- Present it to a coworker first. Ask for honest feedback and make adjustments.
- Turn off Windows Update.
- Turn off notifications. We don’t want to see a text from your significant other or a chat message from a buddy. We also don’t want to see your email notifications every time a firewall generates a log message.
- If you’re recording the demo, hide the clock. This makes the video timeless ( for the most part).
- Don’t talk to the screen, talk to the room.
- Set your mouse it a larger size so it can be easily seen. Mac users may be interested in an app called Mouspouseé. It gives you a nice spotlight and can also show your keystrokes.
- Close all applications except for the ones required to demo. This makes it look much better when you alt-tab through your apps.
- Consider screen resolution. You’ll have to find a good balance here. Bigger isn’t always better if the interface you are showing us doesn’t handle large resolutions.
- Ask questions before you hit enter or submit. This engages the audience. Let us guess what we expect to see.
- Relax, you’re the expert
These are but a few tips that u can share and most of them are based upon my own personal experiences. If your interested in more details on any one of these please leave a comment below and I’ll be sure to address it the bottom line is that all of this takes preparation. By spending the time up front you’ll be sure to knock it out of the park with your next live demo. If you happen to record the demo and post it on the web somewhere be sure to shoot me a link or share it in the comments.