Demonstrations serve a number of functions including selling a product and showing how something works. Rather than just standing in front of a crowd and speaking, speakers can employ different techniques to make demonstrations more engaging and more believable. People doing a demonstration typically use several components to get their point across.
Using visuals such as photographs, multimedia presentation software and charts and graphs can help audiences visually digest the information from the presenter. Photographs can show before and after pictures while others can show take people to a different place or something the presenter can’t bring to the demonstration.
Software programs can add text and video/audio to show short clips. Presenters can add graphs to explain sales figures, government statistics to show trends in products and services. People doing a demonstration should use a large enough text and clear, distinct photographs. Visual aids can add quite an impact and can often make a sale or get a point across quickly.
People demonstrating a product should incorporate the product into their demonstration to show how it works, functions and operates. Demonstrators can also tell audiences what it doesn’t do and how it can break if they use it improperly, what color it comes in, and the size or the price range.
Speakers can also talk about the benefits of the product and how it beats the competitors. Addressing the audience about how it improves someone’s life or how it can make something easier adds to success in demonstrating a product.
Giving out handouts at a demonstration acts as a point of reference for the audience. Those giving the demonstration can assemble handouts in a variety of ways using brochures, booklets or even folders full of information about the demonstration. They should be attractive, contain colorful pictures and be in an easy-to-read text.
Handouts should include contact information, a website and email address where people can learn more. Speakers can also give audiences a DVD or flash drive with information about the demonstration.
Practice becomes a critical portion of the process when the presenter rehearses and fixes parts of the demonstration that might not work. Presenters should do the demonstration as is and how they would do it for real. Using a group of fellow students or co-workers provides feedback.
If practicing alone, speakers should use a full-length mirror to watch themselves, taking note of facial expressions and hand gestures. Speakers should also practice with a radio or television playing to create a distraction; this helps speakers keep going. Rehearsals also allow people to time their demonstration.