Last week I attended a webinar by Peter Cohan, founder of The Second Derivative. Peter and his company focus on a niche area of the presentation world, the art of the demo. He advises companies and presenters on how to make demos more effective and beneficial to the bottom line.
Since Peter is an experienced presenter, he knows that the his job is not done when the webcast is over. He sent out a follow-up email to the participants and included some additional materials of interest to people who would register for such an event. He had a description of services that his company offers, which he didn't have to hard-sell during the event because he knew he would have a chance to hit it later. He gave a specific call to action, inviting his audience to come to his website and get an assessment of their demo prowess in a self-serve questionnaire. And he marketed additional services and offerings in terms of benefits to the audience.
I asked him if I could make some of those extra resources available to you as readers of The Webinar Blog. Many of the guidelines for presenting a quality demo obviously apply to the larger world of online presentations. He graciously agreed to let you read or download the documents.
The first document you should take a look at is The Content-Free Buzzword-Compliant Vocabulary List. Peter's observations perfectly match my own frustrations in this area. I do a lot of work with high tech marketing, and if I see another presentation or speech talking about "seamless integration" and "robust best-of-breed" software I'm going to scream. Saying something is powerful and scalable is unhelpful to your audience. Give them specifics on what your product can do (preferably in a way that sets it apart from what your less capable competitors can manage).
The second, more information-packed document is Stunningly Awful Demos - The Great Demo! Top Ten List of What NOT To Do. Nine of the ten points in the document apply equally well to online webcasts and webinars. I have talked about most of these in previous blog entries, but it's nice to get them all bundled in one easy to read reference guide.
Thanks for sharing, Peter!