Nathan Gold

Presentation Coach, Trainer, and Speaker

DEMOmobile Hint-To-Success #4

Have a backup plan. In fact, have two backup plans.

Why? Because you only get one shot at your time on stage. If your demo doesn't work, the conference and 6-minute timer is not going to stop and wait for you to reboot your machine or try a different server.

I am continually amazed at (most) companies who have not taken the time to prepare any backup plans in case of a failure. I realize that there are too many possible failure scenarios to plan for everything, but you can definitely plan for some of the more obvious possible breakdown points in your demo.

When you are rehearsing your demo in the privacy of your offices, try a few things out of the ordinary. Such as, at about 25% of the way through the demo, pull the plug or accidentally turn off the laptop you are using. Now what? How are you going to continue?

I suggest you spend time thinking about this now, before you go on stage and have a possible nervous breakdown because your demo just crumbled and you have no way to continue except to wave your arms and flap your lips.

One more thing about backup. There are two sides to having one or more backup plans. One side is simply having a backup plan. The other side is actually practicing the backup plan(s). If you practice the backup plans several times, you will be even more prepared to handle any situation while you are in the limelight. I hope you don't have to thank me one day for this hint.