When a highlight of your presentation is your demo, and your demo isn't working, things can fall apart quickly. But they don't have to! Today's presentation skills training "What if..." tells you how to cope if your demo goes belly up while you're on the presentation stage.
What if...the demo freezes?
Answer from Kerri: It’s certainly difficult to have a demo happen without the demo! If you find yourself in this unfortunate boat, the first thing to remember is not to panic. Sure, that may be easier said than done. But, taking a breath and a pause in the moment can keep you from making a bad situation worse by rambling or apologizing.
Ask the audience for a few moments to deal with things. The asking doesn’t have to be frantic. Just request a few moments to take a look at what’s happening, and hopefully figure out a solution. As you’re working on it, there’s no need to ramble or express extra frustration. Just quietly see if you can solve the problem.
If it looks like you absolutely can’t get things running again, take out the demo visuals all together. Be prepared to speak through the process you’re demoing without the equipment itself. How would you describe this process if you met a really interested person at a party? You wouldn’t have your technology. You’d just have to be ready to talk through things.
Here’s the bottom line – a malfunctioning demo has the potential to take over your presentation as a whole. But if you’re prepared to deal with it ahead of time, you’ll be ahead of the game should something drastic go wrong.